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The Service Menu

The Services menu in Mac OS X suffers from two main problems:

  • It's not customizable
  • Nobody knows where it is

It seems to me that if the Service Menu were put in the top-right corner of the menu bar (à la the Scripts menu) and it were configurable to remove services from applications I never want to use, that it'd be immensely more useful. For bonus points, enabled items could appear in a "Services" submenu in a contextual menu. A bit more can be found here.

Where oh where is 10.3? 🙂

9 Responses to "The Service Menu"

  1. Erik, you can actually hack application's Info.plist files to remove their Services from the menu. It's not very elegant, but well...

    As for the contextual menu, there's ICeCoffEE . It looks like it also does the menubar thing.

  2. I realize these things. That doesn't mean the Service menu is any more usable for my mom. Or 99% of Mac OS X users. The technical elite always find a way to do what they want, but that's not what the OS is about.

  3. I was going to write an app to help customize the services menu, but you can't change some apps such as BBEdit. I could be wrong, but BBEdit doesn't have an Info.plist but still has services.

    And the menu is always alphabetical...

  4. At some point you have to accept there is only so much you can do with a WIMP interface without it becoming cluttered. Have you seen the crazy context menus you can end up with in Windows?

    Besides, most of the services I've come across are for pretty infrequent use. I think it's fine the way it is :).

    PS As far as I can tell, if something doesn't provide its service via plist then it will be installed in Library/Services thingee folder.

  5. Have you filed the bug reports requesting these changes yet? 🙂

  6. It always surprises me when people submit others to such arguments as "i like it the way it is, and if it's all good for me, hence it should be all good for you"...

    Providing all users with means to easily customize their own computer's interface doesn't prevent anybody who likes it the way it is to simply change nothing at all...

  7. For every preference, there is a checkbox.

    For every twenty checkboxes, there is a tab.

    For every ten tabs, there is a preferences window.

    For every five preference windows there is a Microsoft program...

    Which way do YOU want to go?

  8. Satellio,

    My point is simply you cannot allow every aspect of the UI to be fully customisable by default (at least via a UI!); this leads to the clutter suggested by codepoet!

    Besides, the means already exist to fully customise your UI, it's called a set of APIs and a development environment ! :p

  9. The first and main goal is for an interface to be consistent and clear, so people don't get confused using it. OK.

    My point was simply that if the options offered in a program preserve consistency with a -- yet to be invented, as for OSX 😉 -- consistent overall interface, nobody will get hurt in the end.

    The improvements Erik was suggesting about the Services menu could be implemented that way.

    You might find that you personally never use a particular options tab... So what?

    Just never use it yourself, and let other people decide what they want to do inside this tab...

    I'm aware that you can't endlessly add preferences tabs for a program...

    But the improvements in the Services menu that Erik was asking for are absolutely reasonable in that perspective...