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


Chapter 3 of “Take Control of Apple TV” Available

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We’re back with the latest chapter in “Take Control of Apple TV.” With setup complete, author Josh Centers turns his attention in Chapter 3, “Control Your Apple TV,” to teaching you all the different ways to make your Apple TV do your bidding. The obvious approach is with the included Apple Remote, but Josh also explains how you can use Apple’s free Remote app for iOS, any random infrared remote you may have, or even a Bluetooth keyboard.

Why might you want to go beyond the Apple Remote? As Josh explains, the Apple Remote is small and easily lost, and its hunt-and-peck approach to entering text is painful. The just-updated Remote app makes typing easier, and offers direct control over content (so you can play or pause a movie from your iPhone, rather than mess about on the TV screen). But when you do need to use the Apple TV’s normal interface, the gestures in the Remote app are a bit slippery. Apart from typing, teaching your Apple TV to respond to a standard infrared remote is a surprisingly good option, especially if you can map Apple TV functions to unused keys on your TV’s remote, as I’ve done. And while a Bluetooth keyboard (or a Mac running Type2Phone; see “Type2Phone: Use Your Mac as a Keyboard for iOS Devices,” 10 April 2013) may seem like overkill, it actually works well, particularly if you do a lot of searching, such as for videos in the Apple TV’s YouTube app. And please, keep those comments and questions coming!

As with Chapter 2, “Set Up Your Apple TV,” this chapter is available for free, but only to TidBITS members; everyone is welcome to read Chapter 1, “Introducing Apple TV,” to see what Josh plans to cover. The full ebook will be available for purchase by everyone in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats once it’s complete.

Publishing this book in its entirety for TidBITS members as it’s being written is one of the ways we thank TidBITS members for their support. We also hope it encourages those of you who have been reading TidBITS for free for years to help us continue to bring you carefully considered, professionally written and edited articles each week (for more details, see “TidBITS Needs Your Support in 2013: Join Our Membership Program,” 17 December 2012).


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