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Open Files with Finder's App Switcher

Say you're in the Finder looking at a file and you want to open it with an application that's already running but which doesn't own that particular document. How? Switch to that app and choose File > Open? Too many steps. Choose Open With from the file's contextual menu? Takes too long, and the app might not be listed. Drag the file to the Dock and drop it onto the app's icon? The icon might be hard to find; worse, you might miss.

In Leopard there's a new solution: use the Command-Tab switcher. Yes, the Command-Tab switcher accepts drag-and-drop! The gesture required is a bit tricky. Start dragging the file in the Finder: move the file, but don't let up on the mouse button. With your other hand, press Command-Tab to summon the switcher, and don't let up on the Command key. Drag the file onto the application's icon in the switcher and let go of the mouse. (Now you can let go of the Command key too.) Extra tip: If you switch to the app beforehand, its icon in the Command-Tab switcher will be easy to find; it will be first (or second).

Visit Take Control of Customizing Leopard

 
 

ExtraBITS for 24 October 2011

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Apple shut down the entire company for two hours last week to celebrate Steve Jobs’s life; you can now watch the video of that event. Also this week, we have a MacJury podcast with Tonya Engst and Jeff Carlson talking about the iPhone 4S, news of a high-tech security hack using an iPhone 4, a profile of the founders of Dropbox, and an article about the new AirPort Utility app for iOS 5.

Watch the 19 October 2011 Apple Event Celebrating Steve Jobs -- Two weeks after Steve Jobs’s passing, Apple shut down the entire company — even retail stores worldwide — for two hours to pay tribute to the founder and former CEO. The event featured remembrances from Apple executives and board members, as well as musical performances by Norah Jones and Coldplay. (Did you think any Steve Jobs event, even posthumous, would go on without some musical component?)

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Tonya and Jeff Talk iPhone 4S First Weekend on the MacJury -- Tonya Engst and Jeff Carlson both received new iPhone 4S devices over the weekend, and both of them encountered activation problems due to cross-grading their spouses’ AT&T accounts. Tune in to learn how the problems were (easily) solved, and hear more about their first impressions of Apple’s newest iPhone.

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iPhone Used to Eavesdrop on Nearby Keyboards -- This research finding from Georgia Tech sounds like it comes from the plot of a high-tech thriller — a team has figured out how to listen in on what someone is typing on a nearby keyboard by using the accelerometer and gyroscope of an iPhone 4 to sense keyboard vibrations and decipher sentences with 80 percent accuracy. Although the actual risk of this happening is essentially non-existent, it’s yet another example of just how important it is that smartphone security be maintained by manufacturers and users alike.

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The Inside Story of Dropbox -- Victoria Barret of Forbes has written a charming piece about the rise of Dropbox, the cloud-based file sharing site that we and numerous others have come to rely on. Especially interesting is her telling of the meeting the Dropbox founders had with Steve Jobs, and their concern about what iCloud may become. (For the moment, they have little to worry about, since iCloud is for individuals syncing their own devices, whereas Dropbox also enables multiple people to collaborate seamlessly.)

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Use the New AirPort Utility App for iOS 5 -- Apple’s release of an AirPort Utility app for iOS 5 lets you leave the desktop version behind for most base station configuration tasks. It’s free, and has the bonus of a graphic presentation of your network layout and connections among base stations. Glenn Fleishman has the details at Macworld.

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