ICeCoffEE and Services are your friends

2007-04-12 23:21:17 UTC

ICeCoffEE is an APE extension by Nicholas Riley that lets you ⌘-click on a URL in any NSTextView to open that URL in your favorite browser.

But it has another feature that’s far more useful than that.

ICeCoffEE is named after ICeTEe, an extension for Mac OS that also provided the ⌘-click feature. ICeTEe added it to TextEdit (that’s the “TE” part; TextEdit was the text-editing control in Mac OS, and it’s totally separate from TextEdit.app). But ICeCoffEE has one other feature, which I find far more useful. It’s a two-part feature:

  1. It adds a Services menu to your contextual menu.
  2. And you can edit that menu.

What that means is that rather than having to mouse all the way up to the Application menu, then rifle through an enormous list of services*, you can instead simply right-click on the view that already has your focus, and find the service you want among the set of services that you actually use.

(Before you mention ServiceScrubber: That works by editing applications’ Info.plists. Not a good way to go about it. I’d rather have services specifically excluded from the Services menu without having to edit any part of the applications. ICeCoffEE provides this.)

This is pretty big. The major reason why people don’t use services—even in the face of ThisService, which is the greatest developer tool since Interface Builder—is having to cross half the screen and then wade through several dozen menu items. ICeCoffEE solves both of those problems, so now you have no excuse not to use the full power of services in your work.

It also lets you put the Services menu in the menu bar, but while that beats having it hidden in the Application menu, I don’t think that that’s as cool as having it in the contextual menu. Worse, it doesn’t let you edit the menu-bar Services menu. The one in the contextual menu is a hundred times more useful.

ICeCoffEE is free and a UB, and works in any Cocoa app. You’ll need Mac OS X 10.1 or later, though current versions require 10.3.9 or later.

* My Services menu has 46 menu items in it, and that’s counting submenus as 1 each.

One Response to “ICeCoffEE and Services are your friends”

  1. ssp Says:

    Amen on the Services menu. In fact there is a function ‘NSSetShowsServicesMenuItem’ in Cocoa which sounds like it’d be the proper tool for this task. Unfortunately it never seemed to work in OS X and has been marked as deprecated since the X.3 release (it just didn’t do anything before that). It may be worth to file a report on that and suggest that it is un-deprecated.

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