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A new 'Services' package Apps
InstantLinks screenshotWhile looking for interesting OS X apps recently, I happened upon a program called InstantLinks, available from Subsume Technologies. InstantLinks, shown in use at the right (click on the image for a larger screenshot), is a system service that is available in any application that supports OS X services (such as Fire and OmniWeb, to name two).

What does it do? From a services-aware application, you highlight a text string that you're interested in, such as a word, an address, or a URL. Then simply activate the InstantLinks service menu, and pick the action you would like performed on your selection. You can look it up in a dictionary, map the location, open the URL, search the web, or check a thesaurus.

It's an amazing example of some of the really neat stuff that I think we'll see coming out for OS X in the next few months. Highly recommended, if for nothing more than a peak at the future possibilities of OS X. Read the rest of the article if you'd like a detailed explanation for how to install and activate the progam (it's a bit different than a typical application).

How to install InstantLinks:
  1. Download the progam from this URL.
  2. Uncompress the download, preferably from a terminal window or by using OpenUp.
  3. After expanding, you'll have a folder called InstantLinks-2_0_0_0. Open this folder in a finder window.
  4. Open another finder window, and navigate to /Users/username/Library/Services/.
  5. Move (or copy) the InstantLinks program from the first finder window into the second.
  6. Logout and login.
You should now see an InstantLinks submenu in the Services menu (within Services-aware applications, of course). To use it, highlight some text and pick the action you'd like to perform!

This installation method will make InstantLinks available to the current user. I would imagine there should be a way to install it globally, but I didn't see a "Services" directory in the global "/Library" directory.
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