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

 
 

ExtraBITS for 6 May 2013

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A couple of anniversaries to read more about this week, including the World Wide Web celebrating its 20th year in the public domain and science-fiction publisher Tor marking its first year of DRM-free ebooks.

20 Years of the World Wide Web in the Public Domain -- On 30 April 1993, the organization behind the creation of the Web, CERN, officially put the World Wide Web project software — line-mode client, basic server, and common code library — into the public domain. And history was thus written by Tim Berners-Lee, with significant help by Robert Cailliau. You can now read more of that history, and see both the first Web site and the original legal documents, at the site that CERN has put up to celebrate this momentous anniversary. (Adam here. Little did I know, when I met Cailliau at the Hypertext ’93 conference in Seattle, exactly with whom I was having lunch and helping with directions to where he could shop for his teenage daughter. I was somewhat embarrassed, since I hadn’t said complimentary things about his MacWWW browser in my “Internet Starter Kit for Macintosh” book, given that the software was primitive and very buggy, but he was nonetheless very kind.)

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Tor Marks One Year of DRM-free Ebooks -- About a year ago, Tor Books, the highly regarded publisher of science fiction and fantasy, announced that they were dropping digital-rights-management protection on all of their ebooks. Now, Julie Crisp of Tor UK has revealed what that decision has meant in terms of ebook piracy: “As it is, we’ve seen no discernible increase in piracy on any of our titles, despite them being DRM-free for nearly a year.” (This, of course, is no surprise to us: we have been publishing our Take Control ebook DRM-free for nearly ten years, with exactly the same results.) Equally heartening to Tor is how much support their authors have for the DRM-free policy.

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