Contextual Menu Manager/Apple Data Detectors

The incoming message contextual menu allows "Mark as Read" and "Mark as Unread" . Although their functionality was previously available via AppleScripts, CM makes it faster and easier to use.

Incoming Message Contextual Menu

When you hold down the cursor over the Connection Status window, you have access to all items related to connecting.

Connection Status Window with Contextual Menu


Where is Emailer's CMM?

[Q] I'm still looking for the site for the CMM. Did it ever get posted?

[A] So far as I know, it never got posted. There was a bug in it that changed its name (and the name of other CMMs as well) to "A"; that's why it was not released with v3.

Personally, I think that it is a frill that won't be used much. For one thing, the Stuffit Deluxe CMM does the same thing (in a slightly different manner), and for another, with drag and drop, you have an alternative that works very well.

[A] A version was released shortly after the breakup as a beta copy. I haven't had any problems with it.

Download Emailer Contextual plugin here

[A] Or even use FinderPop--accomplishes the same thing with even less hassle. For the Emailer CMM to be able to attach something to a message, you must have Emailer running anyway; FinderPop (and D&D) will launch Emailer as needed.

[A] If you use OneClick and the Emailer CMM, dropping a non-text file on the EM icon in a palette will cause EM to launch, create a new message and attach the file.

[A] You can also do that by dragging the icon on the Emailer icon in the Finder. There's a bug fix that you have to make with ResEdit, though, before you can do it. You have to change the FREF resource that is '????' to '****' for this to work with all file types.

CM Hot Tips:

Add addresses to Address Book

Even though I use One Click and Emailer Tools, CM, coupled with the ADD are good ways to perform message actions -- I especially like window control (since I tend to keep several mail forms open) even more so is the ability to selectively add addresses from incoming email addresses to your address book.

Add Attachment

If you are going to email an attachment to a person click on the file, invoke the CM. Emailer will open a new mail form and attach the file as well. (Emailer needs to be open to do this)

What are CMMs?

[Q] I've seen a lot of discussion of CMMs, but search me, I don't know what you guys are talking about! Can someone help me?

[A] Contextual Menus are a new feature of MacOS 8's interface. The Contextual Menus extension implements the system's Contextual Menu Manager (CMM) for CMM-aware applications. It lets the user control-click (not the command key) a particular location on the screen and access a pop-up menu containing a set of commands relevant to that part of the screen.

Emailer 2.0v3 now uses the CMM, so you can control-click in different areas of Emailer 's interface and use a Contextual Menu to perform actions relevant to those areas of Emailer .

[A] The new contextual menu feature in Emailer 2.0v3 does NOT require Apple Data Detectors or the Contextual Menu Enabler. It merely requires the Contextual Menu Extension, which is part of OS 8.0.

[A] To make contextual menus even easier there's a Control panel called FinderPop,( it is freeware) that allows you to merely hold the mouse down to activate contextual menus. Check it out.

[A] Depending on context, "CMM" = either "contextual menu manager" (the under-the-hood stuff in the system software that supports this stuff) or "contextual menu module" (a particular kind of plug-in that adds specific functionality to contextual menus, usually either globally or in the Finder).

Contextual menus work in OS 8 and later. Basically, the idea is that when you ctrl-click on a particular object (e.g., a file or folder in the Finder, a URL in a text file, three selected outgoing messages in Emailer's browser window, a misspelled word in Word 98) a menu will pop up that'll give you some choices about what to do with the selected object, and the items in the menu will change depending on what type of object is being clicked on.

One noticeable downside to CMMs is that they tend not to integrate well in graphics applications, where a lot of clicking (modified & otherwise) and dragging goes on. Fortunately, the system allows you to easily turn contextual menus on or off within an application (in the Help menu).

FinderPop is a Control Panel which improves and extends the Mac OS 8 Finder's Contextual Menus (PowerMac only; a 68K version is unlikely.)

Fri-08-May-98: Shareware site TUCOWS has awarded FinderPop the coveted Golden Calf award for the month!


For More Info on CMM see:

Control Click Home Page

Look Ma No Hands

Difference in Command-Click and Control-Click

[Q] When I command-click, I get a new mail window with the clicked address in the proper place. What is the difference between command click and control click? Will it only do one or the other?

[A] There are 2 different things here. Command-clicking was the original Emailer technique for processing URLs before Apple introduced contextual menus in OS 8. This still works in Emailer 2.0v3.

In OS8 we got contextual menus which work with a control-click. Apple then released the Internet Address Detectors as a contextual menu plugin to show what could be done with contextual menus, so IAD requires control-clicking. You could select text in Emailer prior to 2.0v3 and control-click to use IAD. Emailer 2.0v3 implemented contextual menu support, including support for IAD, so control-clicking now brings up a whole pile of menu options in Emailer which it didn't do before. For a start you get a range of menu options which depends on whether you are control-clicking in the Browser or in an open message. Secondly, just control-clicking in an open message, without selecting any text, brings up a menu in 2.0v3, and that menu includes IAD options for all URLs contained in the message and its headers. This is a big improvement in ease of use.


Apple Data Detectors

Difference between ADD and IAD

[Q] What is the difference between ADD and IAD?

[A] IADs are plug-ins for the ADD Contextual Menu Manager plug-in. Apple (and possible other companies) are working on more Data Detectors for currencies, zip codes, and more.

It's a contextual menu plugin. First, configure the options in the Apple Data Detectors (ADD) Control Panel to suit your applications. Then, try control-clicking in an Emailer message and see the range of options you get given in relation to email, web pages or other URL addresses mentioned in the message or its headers. In other applications, select all the text first before control-clicking and you should get a similar range of options - always provided there is at least one URL contained in the text. (Emailer is kind to you - it recognizes IAD so you don't have to select the text first).

Programs without inbuilt IAD support require you to select text first before control-clicking, and some programs may not even support that. Most text editors and word processors should support IAD if you select the text first.

Advantages for Emailer users - no need to go looking for URLs in the message, just control-click anywhere in it and let IAD do all the work and just offer you the options you've chosen in the Control Panel. You can still use command-clicking in a URL if you wish, but IAD provides a wider range of options including book marking.

All about IAD

IAD = Internet Address Detectors, part of Apple's cool Data Detectors technology. Visit to read all about it.

Internet Address Detectors** -- The next additions to my Contextual Menus Items folder came free from Apple in the form of Apple's Internet Address Detectors (IAD). IAD parses a Control-clicked text selection in almost any application and offers possible actions relating to URLs and email addresses in the selection, such as opening a URL or saving it as a bookmark. IAD works with Internet Config, Netscape Navigator, AOL, Internet Explorer, Anarchie, Fetch, Cyberdog, and more, and it comes with an Apple Data Detectors control panel where you can configure it to offer only commands that make sense for Internet software you use. (Note you can expand the control panel's window to see more controls at once.) If IAD doesn't find the correct version of an application, you may be able to fix the problem by rebuilding your desktop.

You also get a new extension, the Contextual Menu Enabler, which adds Mac OS 8 contextual menu capabilities to applications that don't otherwise support them. As you might guess, there are problems with some applications that use the Control key for other purposes. Apple has released a bland tech note that mentions problems in FileMaker and Excel and points the finger squarely at these applications, saying "Apple advised developers not to use the Control key because it was reserved for future use." We users end up in the middle; with luck, either Apple will release a version that accepts custom keyboard shortcuts or software developers will update applications so they are CM savvy.

IAD downloads as a 2.2 MB DiskCopy image; you'll need DiskCopy 6.x(available from the IAD download page) or Aladdin's ShrinkWrap 3.0 to install the software.


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