Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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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

 
 

Carbon Copy Cloner 3.5

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Like many software titles receiving updates in advance of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, version 3.5 of Bombich Software’s Carbon Copy Cloner backup utility adds compliance with the Gatekeeper security feature and includes the capability to create a bootable Mountain Lion installer volume (once you’ve purchased and downloaded Mountain Lion). However, the bigger news is that the app is no longer donationware as Bombich Software transitions to a commercial model to grow its development and support team. Carbon Copy Cloner 3.5 now costs $39.95, but is available at a 25 percent discount ($29.96) through 12 August 2012. If you previously paid for Carbon Copy Cloner and checked the “I paid” button, you won’t be asked to purchase the app again (though if your preferences have been cleared, be sure to read the release notes to learn how to retrieve your registration info).

The new release overhauls its Recovery HD support for instances where you have multiple backup volumes with different operating systems, enabling you to associate a Recovery HD with each one and apply the appropriate operating system to each Recovery HD partition. Carbon Copy Cloner 3.5 now requires 10.6 Snow Leopard or later, but Bombich Software will continue to provide user support and fixes for version 3.4 used on 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard installations for the near future. The new release also improves performance of deleting scheduled tasks, fixes an issue that occurred when running Mac OS X 10.7.4 with a 64-bit kernel that resulted in external volumes not mounting when booted from a backup volume, and updates the graphics for displaying on the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. ($39.95 new, free update if you donated previously, 8.6 MB)

 

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