Word Services

I find that WordService.service is not compatible with the Finder in 10.2.4. With it installed, there is no services menu in the Finder. When I removed it and restarted my computer, the services menu worked again in the Finder. WordService.service is also incompatible with Mariner Write 3.1.

That’s a bug of OS X. Some service combinations disable the services menu of Carbon applications. Depends on the version of OS X, the installed services, the machine one is using and probably the phase of the moon too :wink:

During login OS X scans the info.plist files (just plain XML!!!) of application and service packages and builds the services menu based on this information. This works fine for Cocoa applications but for some unknown reason the service system of Carbon sometimes just doesn’t work. No code of any service is executed and therefore it’s not a conflict like those under OS 9 and its system extensions.

Yup… one machine I use (G4/800, OS X 10.2.4) Word.Service disables the services menu in the Finder. On another (G4/733, OS X 10.2.4) Word.service is fine but antiword.service disables the menu!

What a mess! I hope Apple fixes it sometime…


I have found that the quantity of service items is the culprit. I’m not sure what the actual limit is yet. But, by cutting out services in the Word Services, I was able to reach a point where the remaining showed up.

More recently, I went to the applications injecting unused services (such as BlueTooth) and ditched thos services as well.

So you can have use of some of the services at least. I used the Property List Editor to edit the info.plist found inside the package/Contents.

I am new to Wordservice 2.5 - I use OS 10.2.6
After much time wasted I get the same results as others, Services is non-functional.

It seems to work with TextEdit, but that is not a very good tool.

The cures seem to be written in a manner I can’t understand. There is NO package containing the info.plist that I can modifty.

Wordservice seems to have potential, is there any hope that it will work?

Sure - as soon as Apple fixes the bugs of OS X. Or if you’re only using Cocoa applications  ;D

I understand that Apple has problems, but Brian mentioned that he was able to work around (somewhat) the problem "I used the Property List Editor to edit the info.plist found inside the package/Contents. ". Can someone help me to accomplish the same cure.

  1. where can I find Property List Editor.
  2. where can I find the info.plist in question, I find nearly 300 info.plist’s when searching the System.

Right- or control-click on the WordService file ("WordService.service") and choose "Show Package Contents". Then open the folder "Contents" where you will find the "info.plist" file which you can edit with any editor (e.g. TextEdit).

Search for NSServices - it’s a long array defining all commands, menu items and shortcuts. Just remove those entries you don’t need. If you delete enough entries, the services menu of Carbon applications will reappear (the number actually depends on the OS X version and your other installed services).

How about adding word count as a feature to word services?

For example, if I want to get rid of "Convert- Mac- to Windows-Encoding"

Should I just delete this from the plist?  Is that all I have to do or is this too much or too little?


                        <string>Convert/Mac- to Windows-Encoding</string>

Thanks for your help.

That feature is already there: Services > Statistics…


That’s exactly what you have to do to remove this command.

Thank you for clearing that up for me!  ;D

I am using WS 2.5.1 in OS 10.3.5 with TexShop. The readme claims that sorting is not case sensitive, but all the uppercase items sort before the lowercase ones. This is not what one wants for an index. Is there any way to make it really be case insensitive (and mix the UC and LC items)?

…Peter Hinman


you’re right - sorting is currently case sensitive. Version 2.5.2 will fix this (probably coming next month).

First, many thanks to Devon for providing WordService as OS X freeware.  ;)

There is an error in the sorting of texts written in Hebrew (using Unicode Hebrew with OS 10.3). As it is, it sorts the letter SEEN (which looks something like a W with a dot on the upper left corner) after the SHEEN (which looks like a W with a dot on the upper right corner). Actually, the SEEN should come before the SHEEN.

Please correct this in the next version.
If this is a problem with OS X, please notify the appropriate people at Apple. Thanks!

An addendum to my previous. The Letter SEEN is called "Hebrew Letter Shin with Sin dot" on the Unicode table in the Character Palette. It is Unicode FB2B.
The letter SHEEN is called "Hebrew Letter Shin with Shin dot" on the Unicode table in the Character Palette. It is Unicode FB2A.
Again, SEEN should come before SHEEN as that is how it is done in all standard lexicons.


WordService doesn’t contain any language specific code and just sorts the provided plain text (by comparing the unicode characters of all lines from left-to-right as there’s no information about the writing direction for example). Therefore it’s not bug, just a limitation of the simple sorting implementation.