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

 
 

Take Control Ebook Signing at Smile’s Macworld/iWorld Booth

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One casualty of the modern ebook world is book signings. One of the most ego-boosting days of my life as an author was when a company bought a boatload of my “Internet Starter Kit for Macintosh” books and gave them away at a book signing promotion during the Macintosh Volume Buyer event before a Macworld Expo in Boston in the mid-1990s. There’s nothing like signing book after book while the line snakes out of sight around a corner to make you feel like a best-selling author, even when you know everyone got their copy for free.

With ebooks, it’s harder to have an in-person event, and even harder, if you do, to sign those digital copies. But while talking with Jean MacDonald of Smile, I realized that we actually do now have the technology, thanks to Smile’s PDFpen for iPad app.

So, at 3:00 PM on Friday, 1 February 2013, at the Smile booth in the Appalooza section of the Macworld/iWorld show floor, Joe Kissell and Michael Cohen will be signing copies of their Take Control ebooks: “Take Control of PDFpen 5” and “Take Control of TextExpander” for Michael, and “Take Control of Your Paperless Office” and a slew of other titles for Joe. Of course, you’ll need to have the ebook in PDFpen with you, but Michael and Joe will each have their own stylus. Tonya and I plan to be hanging around as well to see how this sort of digital book signing works out, so if you want to say hello or ask any questions, this will be a good time to catch a number of us in one place.

And yes, I’ve added this signing to the TidBITS Events calendar. See you there!

[Update: Couldn’t resist sharing this image of a signed ebook from the show — thanks to everyone who came by! –Adam]


Check out the Take Control ebooks that expand on the topic in this article:

Smile's PDFpen 5 offers many of the features of Adobe Acrobat Pro at a fraction of the price. With this 132-page ebook, written in collaboration with Smile, you will learn the best ways to use PDFpen to fill out and sign PDF forms, comment on shared PDFs, edit text and graphics, and even scan documents to editable PDFs.
Put more effort into creative thought and less into repetitive typing with TextExpander 4, the award-winning text expansion utility from Smile. Whether you want to type faster or you already use TextExpander but want to harness its power more fully, let author Michael Cohen help you save time and lead you to typing nirvana.
Put your paper online and keep it there with help from Joe Kissell! Assess your situation, develop a strategy, and learn clever techniques for keeping more paper at bay—with an emphasis on the Mac-compatible hardware, software, and processes needed to get the job done.

 

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