Tuesday, November 01, 2005

MacOnMacs: I miss my Apple Applications menu from OS 9

As much as I love OS X, there are a few things I miss - one of them being the ability to access directories and applications through the Apple menu "file/application launcher" feature from OS 9. Well, like most things that you might miss, there are solutions out there...

Butler is a multi-functional application that gives you access to file/application launcher in your menu bar. But Butler does much more than this. It is great as a bookmark manager, allowing you to access the bookmarks from any of your web browsers in a centralized pulldown menu while also enabling you to drag and drop new bookmarks into the same interface. Additionally, it has an enhanced "multi-pasteboard" ability, lets you control iTunes, access your Address Book, and much more from the same menu bar pulldowns. I found Butler did almost too much for what I wanted, and the access to certain features, e.g. your Address Book if you have a lot of contacts, can be a little slow. However, the app is free, very customizable, has plugin support, and would be a great addition for many people.

XMenu is a further step toward simplicity. It doesn't have all the features that Butler does (some of which you might not even want), but it is free and provides access through the same type of menu bar-based interface as Butler to folders and applications. Nice, simple, and does just what you want it to do.

Finally, for those of you who don't want to add any extra software to accomplish a relatively simple task, you need look no further than your Dock for a solution. If it's applications you want to access then just locate your Applications folder in the Finder then drag and drop it onto the Dock BELOW (or to the RIGHT of, if you're using the "too Window-sy for me" default Dock placement at the bottom of your screen ;-) ) the line that separates your applications from your documents in the Dock. To access the contents of the folder simply right/control-click the Applications folder now in your Dock and, voila, convenient one click access to all your apps. You can use the same trick for other file folders to obtain the broader file launch ability.

That's a few quick tips to bring back the beloved application/file launcher that many of us thought we lost when we moved to OS X. See which one you like and then enjoy your newfound efficiency and speed! :-)
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11/01/2005 10:18:00 p.m.  


Anonymous Amber Mac said...

Wow - one again, a great MacsOnMacs post!

November 06, 2005 12:45 a.m.  

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