How to Add Options to macOS’s Services Menu

Macos Services Cover

Most macOS users are not aware of the Services menu or how to customize it according to their liking. The Services menu is basically the menu that appears when you right-click on a selected element on your screen. It’s also accessible from the top menu in macOS.

The Services menu adds lots of extra options to perform tasks directly from inside the application you’re using. For example, you could highlight a sentence in a article and use the Services menu to directly tweet it from inside the menu. Similarly, you may select a name and choose to directly send a message to the person from the Services menu (if the contact is added on your Mac).

In this article we cover how to use the Services menu as well as how to add additional options to the menu.

1. To access the Services menu, select the app’s name from the top menu bar.

2. Select Services in the menu.

Macos Services Apple Menu

If the menu is empty, don’t worry. Simply click on “System Preferences” to add options to the menu.

Macos Services System Preferences

3. In the System Preferences window that opens, make sure Services is selected from the left menu. In the second menu (on the right), you’ll see various options that you can add to the Services menu. These options are grouped according to the content they work with – for example Pictures, Messaging, Searching, Text, etc.

As you might have guessed by looking by the options, the Services menu is contextual, meaning that the menu that appears depends on both the app you’re using and the content (element) you’ve selected.

Macos Services Options

For example, if you’ve selected some text, the options you get in the Services menu will be different than the ones you get when you select a photo. The same option will be slightly different when you select the Services menu on a folder, etc.

By default, the menu is often empty simply because there are no options relevant to the current task. To enable an option, simply check the box next to it. You’ll then find the option in the Services menu which you can then use when required.

Macos Services Checkbox

In addition to enabling a certain option, you can also choose to add a specific keyboard shortcut. By doing so, you can easily use the option anywhere in macOS without opening the Services menu. To do this, click on “none” next to the option you want to add a shortcut to and press the desired keys together.

Macos Services Shortcuts

If at any time you want to reset all the options and keyboard shortcuts to their default settings, simply click the “Restore Defaults” button.

How to Add Additional Options to Services

In addition to the Services options available in macOS by default, you can also add extra options that bring increased functionality. Some third-party apps add various options to the menu when installed.

For example, by installing Evernote, you’ll get an option to add selected text to Evernote.  Unfortunately there’s no specific list that you can view to check whether an app adds options to the Services menu or not, but if used by more app developers, the Services menu can vastly improve a macOS user’s experience.

You can also make a custom quick action in Automator and add it to the Services menu for use. With Automator, you can add tons of options and create a customized workflow that’ll help you save time in your daily tasks.

Did you find the Services menu useful? Do you have any specific menu option that’s made your life much easier and you’d like us to cover? Let us know in the Comments section below.

One comment

  1. I have a simple question. There is a service in the menu, but I want to reassign an application for its action.
    “convert to icon(s)” work with X app, but I want that it will be Y app. How?

Leave a Comment

Yeah! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic! Check out our comment policy here. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.