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The Preference pane menu editor and the resulting contextual menu displayed by the Finder.
Note: Aqueiss only runs on Mac OS 10.5.x and below because contextual menus do not work on Mac OS 10.6 and above.
Aqueiss is an internet enabled contextual menu that you can use to access any URL on the internet conveniently from within any application that supports contextual menus. (A contextual menu is displayed when you "control-click" in certain parts of an applications window, such as on selected text.)
With Aqueiss you can:
- Access URLs conveniently from a contextual menu.
- Group your URLs into any number of named groups you like.
- Add any URLs that take a single search argument.
- Name the items in your menu as you wish.
Here is the default state of the menu editor when you first install Aqueiss:
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The default menu has two groups (Search, Spell), and six items:
In the Finder's contextual menu you would see this:
Consider the "Google" item in the menu. Notice in the screen shot above the corresponding URL listed is
Notice that the URL contains a pattern: <x>. This is the replacement pattern Aqueiss uses to replace with the selected text (or clipboard contents) when the menu item is selected. The replacement pattern can be changed to suit your own requirements.
After replacing the pattern Aqueiss simply opens the URL. In the case of Google this would invoke a search for the selected text (or clipboard contents.) Since this is a URL, the selected text which replaces the pattern is "url encoded."
Using the Aqueiss system preference pane you can create menus that contain any number of URL's. You can organize the menu items into named groups, and define your own "pattern to replace" for inserting the text selection (see the bottom of the screen shot above).
The text Aqueiss uses is usually provided by the application when you control-click on a selection. Some applications do not provide the selected text, and in this case you can have Aqueiss use the contents of the clipboard as an alternative.
Editing the Menu
Using the Aqueiss system preference pane you can add and delete your own URL's, and organize them into groups. But an alternative method enables you to create large menus, and switch menus easily:
In addition to using the Aqueiss system preference pane to edit the menu, you can import menus from plain text files. This is particularly useful if the menu is large, or you want to switch menus easily.
As of Version 2.1.7 Aqueiss provides a method of generating contextual menus by importing menu items, rather than editing them directly in the Aqueiss preference pane.
The import file must have an extension of "txt" and be a plain text file. Each line of the file consists of three tab separated items:
<Group Name><tab><Menu Item Name><tab><Menu Item URL><line feed>
<Group Name> is the name of the section header for the menu item.
<Menu Item Name> is the name displayed in the menu itself.
<Menu Item URL> is the URL which is opened when this item is selected.
(Note that <line feed> may be a carriage return [Mac], line feed [Unix] or both [Windows])
See the file "Sample Menu Import.txt" for a specific example of this format.
To load the menu into the contextual menu open the Aqueiss preference pane and select the menu editor tab. Then click the "Import..." button and navigate to your import file, select it and then click "Choose".
Default Aqueiss Functionality
The default Aqueiss contextual menu plugin adds commands which apply to text selections: spell checking and internet searches.
Since some applications do not provide the text of a selection to the plugin, Aqueiss optionally can use the contents of the clipboard as an alternative. Aqueiss will first try to use the applications selected text, and if that is not available then it can use the clipboard contents.
The option to use the clipboard as an alternative is specified in the System Preference pane which is used to configure Aqueiss . Aqueiss indicates the source of the text when the menu is displayed i.e. either the word "Selection" or "Clipboard" precedes the list of menu items.
If no text is available, then Aqueiss indicates that by adding a menu item named "No text", and all commands are disabled.
Aqueiss is configured using a System Preference pane. Open System Preferences and select "Aqueiss" from the "Other" section if viewing by Category.
Aqueiss requires a password to operate. You must enter either a demo or registered password. Aqueiss ships with a built-in demo password, but if it has expired (because we didn't update it) you can get another one from our web site so that you can extend your trial period.
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The "Menu Editor" panel enables you to add/delete items and groups in the contextual menu. It also let's your define a "pattern to replace". This pattern is the placeholder for the query. The text of the query is either the text of the current selection or the clipboard, depending on how the current application operates. The default pattern is "<x>".
You can also drag items and groups to rearrange their positions in the list. (Note that groups can not contain subgroups.)
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The preferences are saved in the file named "com.limit-point.Aqueiss.plist" located in "~/Library/Preferences".
Finally Aqueiss can be used to execute AppleScripts from a contextual menu. Moreover, you can insert the replacement pattern any where in the script. After Aqueiss substitutes the value of the text selection (or clipboard) it will run the script. This is how you can pass data into a script.
To do this simply enter the "URL" as a pathname to a file which is an plain text AppleScript file with extension "applescript."
The software distribution for Aqueiss contains a sample AppleScript file named "Beep.applescript." If you open the script you'll see that it all it says is:
Modify the menu to contain an entry that refers to this script as shown:
Then if you make a text selection that is a number, such as "4" and select the script from the contextual menu the computer will beep four times.
Using the AppleScript Preprocessor
Sometimes the text selection is not of the proper form as a search argument to a given URL. An example of this is the book catalogue URL:
The author's name is expected to be entered last name first. So if you were searching for books by Stephen King you would enter "King Stephen" into their search field, and similarly the search argument in the URL must also be last name first.
But usually names in text are first name first. This seems to present a problem for Aqueiss. However, Aqueiss has a feature called "AppleScript Preprocessing" which can be used to put the search argument into its proper format.
Here's how it works:
In the preference pane of the contextual menu there is a field named "AppleScript Search Arg Preprocessor":
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The script you enter into this field will be executed for each menu item. The script usually contains special "tags":
which are replaced, resp., by the query, or search argument, (which is the
in the menu item URL) and url of each menu item. These tags enable you to create new search arguments from the given text selection conditioned on the current menu item URL.
The result of the script is used as the new query (or new search arg.)
A sample script, "Reverse.applescript", is provided in the software distribution that does what you need for the book catalogue URL above: reverses a name like "Stephen King" to "King Stephen". Note that the script must be a text file, with extension "applescript", and not a compiled script (which has extension "scpt".) Note that the script provided only reverses names when the URL is the one you want, namely http://catalogue.gvpl.ca/search~S1/?searchtype=a&.searcharg=<x>
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