[Cydia description]: Adds actions to the action menu
Oh, those Cydia descriptions are so deceptive … and brief! What Action Menu does is enhance the copy/paste function of your iPad. Really enhances it. Here is an overview of a tool that I use every day, often without even remembering that it is a jail break tweak. It “just works” and fits so well into my daily use of the iPad.
On a stock iPad, your copy/paste pop-up is restricted to: Paste, Select, Select All, Cut, Copy, Suggest [a word] and Define. That’s it. Very limiting (IMNSHO, of course ). In addition, you only have text buttons.
In addition to giving you the option to have icons versus text on your pop-up buttons, the Lite version of this tweak (the free one) provides for these additional Action Menu selections:
Favorites: For text you paste on a regular basis, add it to Favorites for quick and easy access. This text can be anything (e-mail addresses, links, signature blocks, etc.) and it keeps all formatting such as paragraphs. This is my favorite Action Menu item and I use it daily. Please see further down for a more detailed overview of this menu item.
Scroll (To Top/To Bottom): Self-explanatory. Call up the menu, select to scroll up or down. Very handy in long web pages.
Copy All: Self-explanatory and a timesaver. Instead of “select” or “select all,” and then “copy,” press this button and you’ve eliminated a step.
Dial: This is to call a highlighted number. Very handy on the iPhone, but, on the iPad? Not so much …
Not all that ground-breaking, I know (with the exception of Favorites). However, and fortunately, the developer has an add-on pack for this tweak, Action Menu Plus Pack ($2.99, USD). This Pro version of Action Menu provides even more selections. They are:
History: All copied or cut text is saved to a clipboard. The text remains until you delete it (another cut/copy action merely adds to the list - your prior information is not erased). You can always edit the list, either to remove the cut/copy items or to move them up and down the scrollable list. Again, please see below where I go into further detail on this menu item
Send to Pastie: Self explanatory
Today: Add date or time (or both) as a paste action. This is editable in the Settings app under the Action Menu line. See this for the range (from none to full):
Lookup: The picture above also demonstrates what happens when you choose this button. This button opens a pop-up, with these four options: Search, Wiki, Dictionary and Translate. An internal browser will open with the term you’ve highlighted with the option to open in Safari. Oh, and the Search and Translate function use Google.
Locate: This will create Google Maps link of your current location that you can paste into your browser or another note/e-mail.
Tweet: Pressing this button will open your favorite Twitter client with the text ready to go. All you have to do is hit send.
Now, I’ll be honest, I don’t use all these buttons and options. I pretty much keep to History, Favorites, and Scroll. And, I still use the text for the buttons because I never can remember what all the little symbols do. However, this tweak is very customizable. Here is a picture of the tweak’s settings (in the iPad Settings app):
As you can see, you can turn the buttons on or off (including the stock menu items) to get to an arrangement that best suits you. The fun is in the tweaking, right?
As promised, let me cover in more detail my two favorite aspects of Action Menu: Favorites and History.
Again, Favorites is included in the free/Lite version of Action Menu. Now, I know a lot of you are saying “big deal, we now have Keyboard Shortcuts; how is this any better?” Good question! My answer is twofold:
(1) I don’t have to remember the shortcut I’ve assigned to a phrase. And, as a moderator, I use a lot of shortcuts and do a lot of pasting. Besides, it’s easier to hold the screen, pick the line I want and bam! It’s entered. In addition…
(2) It keeps paragraph formatting(!). I could copy this entire post and make it a Favorite - when I elect to paste this Favorite, the subsequent paste would look exactly like this. The iPad’s keyboard shortcut does not do paragraphs or carriage returns.
So, that’s why I like it. Here’s a screenshot of the Favorites button in action:
You can’t really tell in the picture, but each phrase is separated by a light gray line. All I have to do is touch the phrase and it is pasted at the spot where my cursor is. Very fast and convenient.
You can add to the Favorites in two ways. The first way is by selecting/highlighting text, opening the Favorites pop-up (by selecting the button) and then pressing the button at the bottom left. Done.
The second is a bit harder - ‘cause you have to type. You can create or edit a Favorites paste in the Action Menu settings (in the Settings app). See this picture for what I mean:
I don’t use this very often. It is much easier to highlight the text and add it to Favorites. Again, I’m all about convenience…
Lastly, but certainly not least, here’s a bit about my second favorite button, History. This is a screen shot to show you the list that gets made as you cut or copy text:
This has been very convenient when I have several items to copy and paste. I can simply copy all I need to, and then paste later at my leisure. The text I copy at the start is not written over. What a timesaver!
Phew! Congratulations on making it to the end of this review! For such a simple tweak, it sure does a lot of shortcut work for you. I cannot recommend it enough (and that would include getting the full version). I hope this will help you make a decision that will aid you with any cut/copy/paste work on the iPad.