MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which I answer Mac-related questions sent in by our readers.
This week, readers ask questions about OS X Services not being available in certain applications, seemingly random files of a specific type being scattered in the Applications folder, the system not prompting for user folder deletion options when an account is removed, and scanned photos not importing into iPhoto.
I welcome contributions from readers, so if you have any suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, please post them in the comments!
Question: Services unavailable when using certain applications
MacFixIt reader Hans asks:
When using different applications for example Mail, none of the services are available. Do you have any solution for that?
Services are contextual in nature, and also may need to be enabled in the system preferences on a per-service basis. For instance, if you have a blank Mail message open and go to the Mail application menu (or the contextual menu) to see what services are available, you may not see any listed. However, if you type some text and select the text, then services that are available to handle text should be listed in the Services menu.
If these services are still not working, then open Keyboard system preferences, and in the Keyboard Shortcuts system preferences, select the Services section and enable those that you might find useful. For example, check the box next to "Make new sticky note" in the Text services. This should now be available in the Services menu if you right-click some selected text.
Question: Random files scattered in the Applications folder
MacFixIt reader eharts asks:
Today, I opened my Applications folder and found 24 .ifp files among the apps. The net says they go with games such as Grand Theft Auto, but I don't have any of those. So, any idea what put them there?
It is very likely that some application you have installed is misconfigured and is scattering the files. I would simply remove them and either place them in a separate folder temporarily or delete them for now. If it is a persistent problem, then you can try some general troubleshooting steps to hopefully narrow down when and how the problem occurs, and thus be better able to isolate the issue.
Question: System not prompting for user account deletion options
MacFixIt reader mkmojay asks:
When I go to delete a user account there weren't any options for what to do with the home folder. So I recently started over with a new user and it is happening once again. I think something happens as soon as I move my home folder from the SSD to my larger 2TB internal drive. Have you seen issues with moving the home folder? It drives me crazy that anything I add to the sidebar is gone when I restart my computer. I can't figure out what is happening so I can fix it.
This will happen if you use a nonstandard location for the user account. Upon removing an account, OS X will only offer options to delete, archive, or keep the user account folder if the folder is in the /Users directory on the boot drive. If not, then the system will simply delete the user account but keep the folder as-is.
Question: Scanned photos not importing into iPhoto
MacFixIt reader Shari asks:
I scanned about 1,000 photos on an Epson v500. The pix were scanned into my photo file. Unfortunately, I am unable to import them into iPhoto. Every time I try to drag and drop them into iPhoto, it shuts down and gives a messages that the files are in an unrecognizable format.
Generally scanners save images as JPEG, PNG, or TIFF formats, which are standards that can be handled by programs like iPhoto. If not, then the images may be corrupted and need to be imported, or if they are in a non-standard format then they may need to be converted before being imported. You can use a program like Preview to batch-convert the images, though if Preview can read the images then iPhoto ought to as well.