Need an Editor? You Have One - Part 2

In the last blog post I discussed Services, a technology that allows applications to interact to share common dictionaries and tasks. While that post dealt with grammar and spell checking turned on through the Preferences in TextEdit, there are far more Services that can be shared between applications.

Under each application’s menu is a sub-menu called Services.
In the last blog post I discussed Services, a technology that allows applications to interact to share common dictionaries and tasks. While that post dealt with grammar and spell checking turned on through the Preferences in TextEdit, there are far more Services that can be shared between applications.

Under each application’s menu is a sub-menu called Services.



Just what appears in that menu will depend first, on the applications that you have installed and second, on the capabilities that are available in the application that you are using. In the screenshot above, notice that nothing is grayed out. Compare it to the Services menu in AppleWorks below:



Although the choices are shown, none are available in applications that were written for Mac OS 8 or 9.

However, applications that have been written for Mac OS X have the ability to use these Services.

Now, back to editing. Notice that in both screenshots, I chose to expand the Speech Service. Say hello to your new “best friend.” This friend will read out loud to you. To use it, just select some text and then go to the Services menu and select Speech > Start Speaking Text.

I usually highlight a few paragraphs and then I listen while I follow along in the text. Although your computer will make a few pronunciation errors, the speech is clear enough for you to hear errors such as using the word “the” when you needed the word “they.” It will also allow you to “hear” missing words and awkward wording.

I often go back for a second or third read-through to catch more subtle errors. However. it really works! I don’t have to rely on someone else to read my articles and I can use my editing friend any time I need a hand!

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