Mac system services: Services for short distances between different apps

On the Apple Mac under macOS, there are numerous system services that enable easier use of the computer. Unfortunately, they are a bit hidden, which is why I would like to point them out to you in this guide. So if you don't use the Automator or want to bridge the time until the shortcuts that will come with macOS Monterey, then take a look at the macOS services. These can be used, for example, to transfer texts from one app to another, write a new email to a marked email address and much more. Maybe there is something for your workflow.

Use Mac system services: Use via the app menu

The services can be used for the macOS operating system as well as for each individual app. If you have opened an app, then simply click on its name in the menu bar (to the right of the  symbol) to make the appropriate selection and then move the mouse to the "Services" item. Depending on the app and any highlighted content such as text, images, e-mail or website addresses, different options are now shown. The last point is also the shortcut to the service settings. In these you can activate, deactivate and / or assign a shortcut to individual Mac services, i.e. with a shortcut.

Mac system services: Services in macOS ensure short distances between apps. If you mark z. B. Text in Safari you have these and other shortcuts at your disposal, which copy with just one click, open an app and paste the selected items into it.
Mac system services: Services in macOS ensure short distances between apps. If you mark z. B. Text in Safari you have these and other shortcuts at your disposal, which copy with just one click, open an app and paste the selected items into it.

Activate macOS services: Via the system settings

It only becomes really clear what you can do with the options when you take a look at the selection yourself. If you do not want to use the shortcut via the app menu, but rather the "regular" route to these settings, simply use the following steps:

  1. Click on the in the menu bar at the top left Apple icon
  2. Select in the drop-down menu that opens System settings ...
  3. Now open the point in the overview Keyboard
  4. Select the middle tab by name shortcuts from
  5. Click on the point in the left bar services
Which Mac services do you need and which not? And which should be available directly via key combination? You can answer these questions individually in the macOS system settings.
Which Mac services do you need and which not? And which should be available directly via key combination? You can answer these questions individually in the macOS system settings.

Now you can tick individual services and activate them - or remove the checkmark and deactivate the system service. In addition, an individual key combination can be set to the right of each service. So if you have to copy a selected text from a PDF, from a website or from elsewhere into an e-mail or into a text document, you can specify the appropriate shortcut here. If you then use this, you save yourself copying with cmd + C, opening the target app and pasting with cmd + V. Practical, isn't it?

There are even more tips and tricks for using the Apple Mac here:

My tips & tricks about technology & Apple

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2 Responses to "Mac system services: services for short distances between different apps"

  1. I have an AppleScript to create new files. Comparable to Windows right mouse button -> New file.
    You are welcome to send me an email, then I will give you the script.

    1. Jen Kleinholz

      Hi Jonas! Thanks to you for the offer. That's nice. Personally, however, I have no need. But maybe there are other readers who would like to have something like this?

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