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
$116.47
Apple Inc.
+0.16
MSFT
$47.98
Microsoft Corpora
-0.72
GOOG
$537.50
Google Inc.
+2.67

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Cobook 3.0.7 - Intelligent address book....
Cobook Contacts is an intuitive, engaging address book. Solve the problem of contact management with Cobook Contacts and its simple interface and powerful syncing and integration possibilities.... Read more
StatsBar 1.9 - Monitor system processes...
StatsBar gives you a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the following areas of your Mac: CPU usage Memory usage Disk usage Network and bandwidth usage Battery power and health (MacBooks only)... Read more
Cyberduck 4.6 - 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
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
Evernote 6.0.1 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
calibre 2.11 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more
Herald 5.0.1 - Notification plugin for M...
Note: Versions 2.1.3 (for OS X 10.7), 3.0.6 (for OS X 10.8), and 4.0.8 (for OS X 10.9) are no longer supported by the developer. Herald is a notification plugin for Mail.app, Apple's Mac OS X email... Read more
Firetask 3.7 - Innovative task managemen...
Firetask uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask's "Today" view shows all relevant... Read more
TechTool Pro 7.0.6 - Hard drive and syst...
TechTool Pro is now 7, and this is the most advanced version of the acclaimed Macintosh troubleshooting utility created in its 20-year history. Micromat has redeveloped TechTool Pro 7 to be fully 64... Read more
PhotoDesk 3.0.1 - Instagram client for p...
PhotoDesk lets you view, like, comment, and download Instagram pictures/videos! (NO Uploads! / Image Posting! Instagram forbids that! AND you *need* an *existing* Instagram account). But you can do... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to E...
Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to Earn In-Game Stuff for Far Cry 4 Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Golfinity – Tips, Tricks, Strategies, an...
Dig this: Would you like to know what we thought of being an infinite golfer? Check out our Golfinity review! Golfinity offers unlimited ways to test your skills at golf. Here are a few ways to make sure your score doesn’t get too high and your... | Read more »
Dark Hearts, The Sequel to Haunting Meli...
Dark Hearts, The Sequel to Haunting Melissa, is Available Now Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Meowza! Toyze Brings Talking Tom to Life...
Meowza! | Read more »
Square Enix Announces New Tactical RPG f...
Square Enix Announces New Tactical RPG for Mobile, Heavenstrike Rivals. Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] With their epic stories and gorgeous graphics, | Read more »
Quest for Revenge (Games)
Quest for Revenge 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The great Kingdom of the west has fallen. The gods ignore the prayers of the desperate. A dark warlord has extinguished... | Read more »
Threadz is a New Writing Adventure for Y...
Threadz is a New Writing Adventure for You and Your Friends Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] In the tradition of round-robin storytelling, | Read more »
SteelSeries Stratus XL Hardware Review
Made by: SteelSeries Price: $59.99 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 4.31 out of 5 stars | Read more »
ACDSee (Photography)
ACDSee 1.0.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Capture, perfect, and share your photos with ACDSee. The ACDSee iPhone app combines an innovative camera, a powerful photo... | Read more »
ProTube for YouTube (Entertainment)
ProTube for YouTube 2.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 2.0.2 (iTunes) Description: ProTube is the ultimate, fully featured YouTube app. With it's highly polished design, ProTube offers ad-free... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $400 with Apple refurbished 2014 1...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping... Read more
New 13-inch 1.4GHz MacBook Air on sale for $8...
 Adorama has the 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. B&H Photo has the 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook... Read more
Apple Expected to Reverse Nine-Month Tablet S...
Apple and Samsung combined accounted for 62 percent of the nearly 36 million branded tablets shipped in 3Q 2014, according to early vendor shipment share estimates from market intelligence firm ABI... Read more
Stratos: 30 Percent of US Smartphone Owners t...
Stratos, Inc., creator of the Bluetooth Connected Card Platform, has announced results from its 2014 Holiday Mobile Payments Survey. The consumer survey found that nearly one out of three (30 percent... Read more
2014 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $...
 B&H Photo has lowered their price on the new 1.4GHz Mac mini to $449.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this new... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
64GB iPod touch on sale for $249, save $50
Best Buy has the 64GB iPod touch on sale for $249 on their online store for a limited time. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for... Read more
15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $17...
 B&H Photo has the 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1799.99 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. B&H will also include free copies of... Read more
New Logitech AnyAngle Case/Stand Brings Flexi...
Logitec has announced the newest addition to its suite of tablet products — the Logitech AnyAngle. A protective case with an any-angle stand for iPad Air 2 and all iPad mini models, AnyAngle is the... Read more
Notebook PC Shipments Rise Year-Over-Year as...
According to preliminary results from the upcoming DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report, the global notebook PC market grew 10 percent year-over-year in Q3’14 to 49.4... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**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, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Store Leader Program - College Gradu...
Job Description: Job Summary As an Apple Store Leader Program agent, you can continue your education as you major in the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.