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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

1Password 6.6.4 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Cocktail 10.3.1 - General maintenance an...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for macOS that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
Safari Technology Preview 10.2 - The new...
Safari Technology Preview contains the most recent additions and improvements to WebKit and the latest advances in Safari web technologies. And once installed, you will receive notifications of... Read more
Together 3.8 - 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. Features Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop... Read more
GraphicConverter 10.4 - $39.95
GraphicConverter is an all-purpose image-editing program that can import 200 different graphic-based formats, edit the image, and export it to any of 80 available file formats. The high-end editing... Read more
beaTunes 4.6.13 - Organize your music co...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
Vienna 3.1.9 :e81515b: - RSS and Atom ne...
Vienna is a freeware and Open-Source RSS/Atom newsreader with article storage and management via a SQLite database, written in Objective-C and Cocoa, for the OS X operating system. It provides... Read more
iExplorer 4.0.12.0 - View and transfer f...
iExplorer is an iPhone browser for Mac lets you view the files on your iOS device. By using a drag and drop interface, you can quickly copy files and folders between your Mac and your iPhone or... Read more
OpenEmu 2.0.5 - Open Source game-emulati...
OpenEmu is about to change the world of video game emulation, one console at a time... For the first time, the 'It just works' philosophy now extends to open source video game emulation on the Mac.... Read more
TextSoap 8.3.3 - Automate tedious text d...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is now availa...
| Read more »
Ticket to Earth beginner's guide: H...
Robot Circus launched Ticket to Earth as part of the App Store's indie games event last week. If you're not quite digging the space operatics Mass Effect: Andromeda is serving up, you'll be pleased to know that there's a surprising alternative on... | Read more »
Leap to victory in Nexx Studios new plat...
You’re always a hop, skip, and a jump away from a fiery death in Temple Jump, a new platformer-cum-endless runner from Nexx Studio. It’s out now on both iOS and Android if you’re an adventurer seeking treasure in a crumbling, pixel-laden temple. | Read more »
Failbetter Games details changes coming...
Sunless Sea, Failbetter Games' dark and gloomy sea explorer, sets sail for the iPad tomorrow. Ahead of the game's launch, Failbetter took to Twitter to discuss what will be different in the mobile version of the game. Many of the changes make... | Read more »
Splish, splash! The Pokémon GO Water Fes...
Niantic is back with a new festival for dedicated Pokémon GO collectors. The Water Festival officially kicks off today at 1 P.M. PDT and runs through March 29. Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their assorted evolved forms will be appearing at... | Read more »
Death Road to Canada (Games)
Death Road to Canada 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get it now at the low launch price! Price will go up a dollar every major update. Update news at the bottom of this... | Read more »
Bean's Quest Beginner's Guide:...
Bean's Quest is a new take on both the classic platformer and the endless runner, and it's free on the App Store for the time being. Instead of running constantly, you can't stop jumping. That adds a surprising new level of challenge to the game... | Read more »
How to rake in the cash in Bit City
Our last Bit City guide covered the basics. Now it's time to get into some of the more advanced techniques. In the later cities, cash flow becomes much more difficult, so you'll want to develop some strategies if you want to complete each level.... | Read more »
PixelTerra (Games)
PixelTerra 1.1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.1.1 (iTunes) Description: The world of PixelTerra is quite dangerous so you need to build a shelter, find some food supply and get ready to protect... | Read more »
Tokaido™ (Games)
Tokaido™ 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Discover the digital adaptation of Tokaido, the boardgame phenomenon that has already sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, and... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple’s iPhone 6s Tops Best-Selling Smartphon...
In terms of shipments, the iPhone 6s from Apple bested all competitors for sales in 2016, according to new analysis from IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.... Read more
Logitech Rugged Combo Protective iPad Case an...
Logitech has announced its Logitech Rugged Combo, Logitech Rugged Case, and Logitech Add-on Keyboard for Rugged Case for Apple’s new, more affordable $329 9.7-inch iPad, a complete solution designed... Read more
T-Mobile To Offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus...
T-Mobile has announced it will offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition in a vibrant red aluminum finish. The introduction of this special edition iPhone celebrates Apple’s 10... Read more
9-inch 128GB iPad Pros on sale for $50-$70 of...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ 128GB Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $70 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 9″ Space Gray 128GB WiFi iPad Pro: $649 $50... Read more
27-inch iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP...
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
Save $230 with Apple Certified Refurbished 13...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ 2.0GHz non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros for $230 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for up...
B&H Photo has the Apple 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar... Read more
Today only! 15-inch 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch B...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ 2.7GHz Space Gray Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $300 off MSRP for today only. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Director, *Apple* Program - ERP & Cloud...
Leading Pharmaceutical / Biotech Company is announcing a Director, Apple Program - ERP & Cloud Platform Architecture Lead opportunity in Northbrook, IL. Purpose & Read more
Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
Starte Dein Karriere-Abenteuer in den Hauptst...
…mehrsprachigen Teams betreust Du Kunden von bekannten globale Marken wie Apple , Mercedes, Facebook, Expedia, und vielen anderen! Funktion Du wolltest schon Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.