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

 
 

BBEdit 10.5.6 and TextWrangler 4.5.4

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While nary a new feature has been added to BBEdit 10.5.6, Bare Bones Software stuffed this version of its flagship text editor full to the gills with well over 90 fixes. One notable change sees BBEdit no longer requiring items in the Stationery application support folder to have the Finder “Stationery Pad” option turned on in order for them to appear in BBEdit’s Stationery menu or palette. As per usual, the release notes are breezy and sound like they’ve been written by an actual person. Here are just a few of our favorite nuggets from this update:

Application startup performance has been significantly improved. Anyone who has complained that BBEdit is slow to launch is going to have to find something else to complain about.

In a Markdown document, a list which is immediately preceded by a horizontal rule ---- or a headline is now recognized as such. The documentation says to put blank lines before and after “block elements” (like lists and horizontal rules), but the implementations all support this format. #likeUnscramblingAnEgg

Hex Dump just got made wicked fast. You’re welcome.

Bare Bones has also updated TextWrangler to version 4.5.4, with the free text editor receiving most of the same fixes and refinements accorded to BBEdit. Note that as of this writing, neither Mac App Store editions of BBEdit or TextWrangler have been updated to the most recent releases. ($49.99 for BBEdit, 12.9 MB, release notes; free for TextWrangler, 9.8 MB, release notes)

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

BBEdit, from Bare Bones Software, is the preeminent text editor on the Mac thanks to its deep, powerful feature set. With this 199-page ebook, created in collaboration with Bare Bones, you'll learn how to take advantage of BBEdit's most powerful features whether you use BBEdit for prose, HTML, or code.

 

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