In this frame you will find short descriptions of several terms you will encounter while straying around this site. The respective words appear as hypertext links but will be distinctive from normal links by their appearance in italic font like this.


Actions are the key concept of TurboTool. When you use TurboTool you will put a file onto TurboTool's FileWell and then choose an action from the action browser to be performed.
Actions are composed of Atomics which you can create, edit and rearrange to compose actions for your specific needs. TurboTool provides several actions as examples, so you may have a look what is possible and how you can create your own actions.


AppleScript is kind of a easy programming language which is part of Mac OS for a long time. With AppleScript you may tell TurboTool to load a file and perform a specific action on it. While it is as easy to use TurboTool itself, sometimes it is preferred to call TurboTool from inside another application by this way.
Some examples are part of the TurboTool distribution.

Additionally TurboTool since version 2.2 supports AppleScript to call other applications. This feature will only work with Mac OS X since version 10.2.4, unfortunately.


Atomics are the building blocks of Actions. You will see them if you select an action in the action browser on the main window and choose the Inspector button.
The types of atomics range from simple informational dialogs to powerful (UNIX) shell scripts, which can perform complex operations on the FileWell's content.
Open the Atomics Browser from the Tools menu to see all possible atomics. If you open the Help Drawer of the browsers panel you will find documentation to every single atomic type.


Droplets are a really powerful feature of Mac OS (X) and of TurboTool especially. In short these are TT actions reduced to one icon which you may place anywhere on the Desktop or at another convenient place. They are simply used by drag-n-drop or double-click. So you may trigger a complex action on a file simply by D&D the file's icon onto the droplet. Depending on the kind of action TT will pop up and show results or dialogs, or TT will do its job quietly in the background.
Droplets are only working with a valid license key for TurboTool, so after your trial period you have to buy a license to benefit from this turbo feature for the future.


The FileWell is a new graphical element, which combines simplicity with power. It features an iconic view of files, a drag-n-drop area, an Open Panel, a file history (plus browser), a configurable 'Open With Application', and some basic Finder operations like 'Show in Finder' and 'Save As...'. See What is a FileWell? for snapshots and examples of use.

FileWell History

Control-Click onto a FileWell to get the context menu and see a list of the 20 files last used. There is also a history browser available through the context menu. See What is a FileWell? for snapshots and examples of use.


PayPal is one of the top online billing systems. It allows you to pay your fee online by entering your credit card information. The whole payment process will be handled by secure mechanisms. You will have to register with PayPal which is free, though. Visit PayPal for more information.
If you pay your TurboTool license via PayPal it may take up to two days until you will get your license key. If that's too long for you, consider to use share*it

Services Menu

You will find the Services menu in the left most menu of many applications. This is a very distinctive feature of Mac OS X which has not yet revealed its full capacities because Apple has not implemented all features yet. With Mac OS X 10.2 (aka Jaguar) all Cocoa applications and the Finder (!) will offer a Services menu, where you will find the interface to applications which are offering services. TurboTool is one of those applications.
To use a service you will have to select something - this could be a text, a part of a graphic, a file or folder - and depending on this selection some of the menu items in the Services menu will become active. When you select one of the menu items, an application like TurboTool is called, takes your selection and performs actions on it. While other applications will only offer one action at a time, TurboTool will let you select the action to perform, when it has been activated.


share*it is a shareware licensing systems. It allows you to pay your fee online by entering your credit card information. The whole payment process will be handled by secure mechanisms. The license key you will buy there will be immediately available for you to license your TurboTool.
You will need a valid email address for registration - freemailer addresses will not be accepted by the share*it system. As an alternative you may pay your license via PayPal with the drawback that your license key will be processed in up to two days instead of seconds when using share*it. Additionally you will have to register with PayPal which is free, though.

share*it is in the business for several years and one of the best addresses for shareware distribution. Please visit it at


Terminal is an application which gives you access to the more UNIX-like features of Mac OS X. It is the so-called command line access to the OS.
You may start Terminal from /Applications/Utilities.
TurboTool will hide some of the complexity of UNIX by encapsulating commands into actions - but sometimes Terminal is the only way to get things go. You may also control TurboTool from Terminal: type tt -help and see what this command line tool can do with TurboTool.


tt is a command line tool which accompanies and controls TurboTool. It is for use from the Terminal application, as well as from within TurboTool in several special cases. Look for its use in the examples, especially in Shell Scripts, where tt is used as '%tt'. After correct installations of TurboTool and tt which is part of the TurboTool package, you may start tt from Terminal. Type tt -help for a list of options.


TurboTool uses variables to transfer values between different atomics in one action. Besides this, several variables are set by default. So will %well, e.g., expand to the filename from the FileWell, %basename will strip of any leading directory path from this same filename. See the menu 'Variables Help' from the 'Help' menu for the complete list.

Other variables are for your own purposes. They are especially useful, when you are asking the user for input by using a Variables atomic, and later want to use this input value in a shell script.

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Last update: March 5, 2003