TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple Menu Utils
Volume Number:8
Issue Number:3
Column Tag:Tools of the Trade

3 Ways to Make Launching Easier

Access files through hierarchical choices under the Apple Menu

By Dave Kelly, MacTutor Regular Contributing Author

System 7.0 provides new capabilities that are being tapped more and more as developers become familiar with them. Now Utilities was the first to take advantage of System 7.0’s ability to support hierarchical menus for Apple Menu Items. Since then at least two other products have made their way to market. The Finder should have had this feature, but it was left to third party vendors to implement it.

To be able to access files multiple levels deep from the Apple Menu saves time and is a great convenience. Just place an alias of a folder in your Apple Menu items folder and the contents of the menu will appear hierarchically in the Apple Menu. If you’re using System 7.0 you should not be without this feature.

Now Utilities, HandOff II, and HAM all will support this and other features. You will want to compare all the features before deciding which one you get. I’ve prepared a brief chart showing some of the differences in each product. It may not be complete, especially in the case of Now Utilities which includes other utilities in its package.

HAM has a unique method of supporting Hierarchical Apple Menu items. In particular, you can change the order of Apple Menu items by dragging items in the menu list. Items with check marks will be displayed in the Apple Menu. Recent items are remembered by HAM. HAM creates and alias for recently used items and places the alias in a Recent Items folder in the Apple Menu items folder. Another feature that I like is the ability to create “HAMlets”. HAMlets are like aliases except they remember documents or applications. HAM will automatically create a HAMlet named “Resume HAMlet” that is placed in your Startup folder so that if you have an inadvertent crash, everything will open back to where you left off when you restart. You can save HAMlet so you can open multiple documents and/or applications at any time. Only one minor annoyance with HAM’s hierarchical apple menu items it that items in the control panel that are disabled with Now Utilities Startup Manager (or similar INIT controller) can still be accessed. An error message occurs if a disabled control panel is selected, but it is an annoyance.

HandOff II strength is in the application launching department. It is very convenient to be able to create “briefcases” that can launch multiple applications or documents from HandOff II’s launch menu. Both HandOff II and Now Utilities let you configure specific color bit depth and sound configuration for each application. What is conspicuously missing is the ability to switch on/off 32 bit addressing (off for applications that crash when 32 bit mode is used). In addition, HandOff II can force substitutions of file types so that you can use your favorite application to automatically open documents created with another application. Although the custom launch menu looks similar to the one available in Now Utilities, briefcases make HandOff II’s menu much more attractive. Control panel items that are disabled by INIT manager programs are shown in as disabled items. Disabled items are not shown at all in Now Menu’s control panel folder menu.

Theres a certain amount of tradeoff when selecting from these utilities. Now Utilities for $129 contains many more utilities than just menu handling. HandOff II for $99 has more application launching features than the others. HAM for $99 has the ability to create “HAMlets” and has more control over which items are shown in the hierarchical Apple Menu. Besides one of the developers of HAM is Chris Derossi, one of MacTutor’s founding editorial board members. Way to go, Chris, HAM is a great product. Then again, so are the other two products. Since you can disable parts of each you might be able to use them together, but it might be risky. You definitely should not use hierarchical menu capabilities from more than one of them at a time.

HandOff IINow UtilitiesHAM
Price$99$129$99
Hierarchical Apple Menu (7.0)444
Set number of levels2-5 levelsNO (5 levels)NO (5 levels)
Sort Apple MenuNONO4
Turn On/Off444
Exclude specific foldersNO44
Small Fonts option4NONO
Expand Network Volumes444
Other Features:
Auto Hide Background Windows44NO
(system 7.0 only)
Auto drop menus44NO
Drop menus at mouse click44N/A
Pop Up Launch Menu44NO
Group Files4documentsN/A
Launch multiple frequently used files4NON/A
Remember open itemsNO44
Auto Reopen items at startupNONO4
Reopen recent itemsNO44
Specify items to appear as
Hierarchical menusNOApple Menu only4
Auto add apps to launch menu44N/A
Allow apps to open all file types4NON/A
Add folders to Launch menu (7.0)4NON/A
Automatic Application Substitution4NON/A
Switch applications44NO
Color Depth Switching44NO
Processor cache switchingNONONO
Sound Level switching44NO
System 7.0 savvy444
Balloon Help44NO
Apple Events4NONO

For more information:

HandOff II is published by:

Connectix Corporation

125 Constitution Drive, Menlo Park, California 94025

Phone: 800-950-5880, 415-324-0727

FAX: 415-571-5195 • AppleLink: CONNECTIX

CompuServe: “MACAVEN”

Price: $99 • Not copy protected.

Now Utilities is published by:

Now Software, Inc

520 SW Harrison, Suite 435, Portland, Oregon 97201

Phone: 503-274-2800 • FAX: 503-274-0670

AppleLink: NOWSOFTWARE

Price: $129 • Not copy protected.

HAM is published by:

Microseeds Publishing, Inc.

5801 Benjamin Center Drive, Suite 103

Tampa, Florida 33634

Phone: 813-882-8635

FAX: 813-884-5941

AppleLink: MICROPUB

America OnLine: MICROSEEDS

CompuServe: 76004, 2100 (GO MACBVEN)

Microseeds BBS: 813-885-2686

Price: $99

Not copy protected.

 
AAPL
$97.03
Apple Inc.
-0.16
MSFT
$44.40
Microsoft Corpora
-0.47
GOOG
$593.35
Google Inc.
-2.63

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.0 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more
Intermission 1.1.1 - Pause and rewind li...
Intermission allows you to pause and rewind live audio from any application on your Mac. Intermission will buffer up to 3 hours of audio, allowing users to skip through any assortment of audio... Read more
Airfoil 4.8.7 - Send audio from any app...
Airfoil allows you to send any audio to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, and even other Macs and PCs, all in sync! It's your audio - everywhere. With Airfoil you can take audio from any... Read more
Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.8 - Connect...
With Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help... Read more
xACT 2.30 - Audio compression toolkit. (...
xACT stands for X Aaudio Compression Toolkit, an application that encodes and decodes FLAC, SHN, Monkey’s Audio, TTA, Wavpack, and Apple Lossless files. It also can encode these formats to MP3, AAC... Read more
Firefox 31.0 - Fast, safe Web browser. (...
Firefox for Mac offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals... Read more
Little Snitch 3.3.3 - Alerts you to outg...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activityAs soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
Thunderbird 31.0 - Email client from Moz...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more
Together 3.2 - Store and organize all of...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop functionality,... Read more
Cyberduck 4.5 - FTP and SFTP browser. (F...
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

LEX Goes Free For One Day In Honor of Ne...
LEX Goes Free For One Day In Honor of New Update Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Thomas Was Alone Goes Universal, Slashes...
Thomas Was Alone Goes Universal, Slashes Price to $3.99 Posted by Ellis Spice on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Meerkatz Challenge Review
Meerkatz Challenge Review By Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FONDLY PUZZLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Cute and challenging, Meerkatz Challenge is a fun puzzle game, particularly for fans of... | Read more »
Book Your Appointment with F.E.A.R. this...
Book Your Appointment with F.E.A.R. | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Epic Skater
For all the hate that it gets for being a pastime for slackers, skateboarding really does require a lot of skill. All those flips and spins take real athleticism, and there’s all the jargon to memorize. Fortunately for us less extreme individuals,... | Read more »
Cultures Review
Cultures Review By Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SLOW-PACED EMPIRE BUILDINGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Cute it might seem, but Cultures is a bit too slow paced when it comes to those pesky timers to... | Read more »
More Paintings Have Been Added to Paint...
More Paintings Have Been Added to Paint it Back! Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
The Order of Souls Review
The Order of Souls Review By Campbell Bird on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STORY GRINDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Order of Souls is a free-to-play, turn-based RPG with a genre-mixing art style, interesting... | Read more »
Revolution 60 Review
Revolution 60 Review By Jordan Minor on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: LASS EFFECTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Revolution 60 is a bold, cinematic action game with ambition to spare.   | Read more »
Matter (Photography)
Matter 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Add stunning 3D effects to your photos with real-time shadows and reflections. Export your creations as photos or video loops... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save on 5th generation refurbished iPod touch...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Many, but not all... Read more
What Should Apple’s Next MacBook Priority Be;...
Stabley Times’ Phil Moore says that after expanding its iMac lineup with a new low end model, Apple’s next Mac hardware decision will be how it wants to approach expanding its MacBook lineup as well... Read more
ArtRage For iPhone Painting App Free During C...
ArtRage for iPhone is currently being offered for free (regularly $1.99) during Comic-Con San Diego #SDCC, July 24-27, in celebration of the upcoming ArtRage 4.5 and other 64-bit versions of the... Read more
With The Apple/IBM Alliance, Is The iPad Now...
Almost since the iPad was rolled out in 2010, and especially after Apple made a 128 GB storage configuration available in 2012, there’s been debate over whether the iPad is a serious tool for... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale starting at $799, free s...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple 27″ Thunderbolt Display (refurbished) a...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 27″ Thunderbolt Displays available for $799 including free shipping. That’s $200 off the cost of new models. Read more
WaterField Designs Unveils Cycling Ride Pouch...
High end computer case and bag maker WaterField Designs of San Francisco now enters the cycling market with the introduction of the Cycling Ride Pouch – an upscale toolkit with a scratch-free iPhone... Read more
Kingston Digital Ships Large Capacity Near 1T...
Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc.,has announced its latest addition to the SSDNow V300 series, the V310. The Kingston SSDNow V310 solid-state... Read more
Apple’s Fiscal Third Quarter Results; Record...
Apple has announced financial results for its fiscal 2014 third quarter ended June 28, 2014, racking up quarterly revenue of $37.4 billion and quarterly net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per... Read more
15-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Retina on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1829 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $170 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
Sr. Manager, *Apple* Deployment Programs fo...
**Job Summary** Apple is seeking candidates for a new position on the Education Content and Technology team. iPad and Mac is in the hands of millions of teachers and Read more
Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
Senior Interaction Designer, *Apple* Online...
**Job Summary** Apple is looking for a hands on Senior…will be a key player in designing for the Apple Online Store. The ideal designer will have a Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.