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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

 
 

Facebook Groups Gain Dropbox-Based File Sharing

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Facebook Groups may be used for all sorts of purposes: neighborhood exchanges, kids’ sports teams, Wiccan circles, and much more, as long as everyone has a Facebook account. As you know from any sort of digital group to which you belong, it’s often useful to share files among members, such as documents and schedules. Facebook has tapped Dropbox to provide an additional option.

Facebook Groups already let you click Add File in a new post and choose a document from local storage to be uploaded and linked to the post for others to download. In a change being rolled out to users — and, thus, you may not see it yet when you log into Facebook — a new option to add files from Dropbox will also appear. Any linked files are available for viewing and download, just as with local files. But what sets this new feature apart is that what people are actually getting is a link to the file on Dropbox, so if the file changes in the Dropbox folder, everyone who subsequently downloads it gets the latest version. Even better, if the owner of the Dropbox file makes a change, group members receive a notification, so they can return and download it again.

This Facebook feature works very much like Dropbox’s existing public-file sharing feature: a token-based URL is exposed in Facebook and can be copied and distributed without providing access to any other files in the owner’s Dropbox account.

When the rollout is complete (over the coming days, Dropbox says), all Facebook Groups members will see a Dropbox link, and will have the option to link in a Dropbox account.

Dropbox offers free accounts that include a paltry 2 GB of storage (compared with 5 GB for Google Drive and 7 GB for Microsoft SkyDrive), but adding photos and referring new users can increase your free storage to as much as 18 GB. If you need more space, Dropbox has paid plans starting at $10 per month for 100 GB of storage.

 

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