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

 
 

EFI and SMC Updates for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

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Apple has released four firmware updates for select MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models released in 2012. The MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.9 (4.29 MB) resolves an issue that caused the system to hang during heavy processor loads. The MacBook Air EFI Firmware Update 2.5 (4.76 MB) fixes an issue where Turbo Boost isn’t activated while using Boot Camp, and it ensures that NetBoot works properly when using an Ethernet adapter. The MacBook Pro Retina EFI Update 1.0 (4.97 MB) borrows a little from each of these sibling updates, addressing the former’s system hangs during processor-intensive use and the NetBoot issue of the latter.

Additionally, the MacBook Air SMC Update 1.7 (658 KB) is a System Management Controller patch that enables Mountain Lion’s Power Nap feature for MacBook Air models released in late 2010. As always with firmware updates, we recommend relying on Software Update to ensure you get the firmware update for your specific model, and be careful not to interrupt the update process. (Free)

 

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