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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 20 January 2014

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In this week’s ExtraBITS, the Web-based Trello collaboration tool gets a major update, music-streaming service Rdio goes free, Avatron floats a cloudless file-sharing solution via Kickstarter, and a new feature in Google Chrome makes it easy to hunt down noisy tabs.

Trello Eases Working with Multiple Boards -- The Web-based Trello collaboration tool has been refreshed with a redesigned boards page — they’re now arranged in a tight grid — along with customizable backgrounds for each board. You can also star boards for quick access, and Fog Creek Software has added a boards drawer to make it easier to jump between boards. Since boards tend to map to high-level projects, many of us were having trouble moving among our large collections of boards. Some of Trello’s heavier styling elements have also been removed, leaving a flatter look and improving performance.

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Rdio Now Free on the Web -- Streaming music service Rdio is now free on the Web, where it’s supported by ads. Featuring a library of 20 million tracks, Rdio lets you play whatever music you desire, or it can generate personalized “stations” like those of Pandora and iTunes Radio. Rdio Unlimited remains available for $9.99 per month, offering ad-free playback and use of the Rdio mobile app.

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Avatron’s Everydisk Promises File Sharing without the Cloud -- Concerned about security and privacy when using cloud services? A new Kickstarter project from Avatron Software (a TidBITS sponsor) could help you come back to earth. Based on the company’s Air Connect system for securely establishing direct connections between machines anywhere on the Internet, Everydisk aims to give you access to all your files, on all your machines, wherever you are, without ever storing them in a cloud-based service. The Kickstarter project runs through 25 January 2014 — as little as $20 will get you a year subscription to Everydisk if the project funds, and, as always with Kickstarter, you pay nothing if the project doesn’t fund.

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Google Chrome Simplifies Silencing Noisy Tabs -- At last! The latest version of Google’s Chrome Web browser has added tab icons to notify you if a tab is playing audio, accessing your microphone, or being cast to a Google Chromecast. The new audio alert icon should make it easier to find and silence annoying autoplay videos, such as on sites like -cough- Macworld. The other interesting addition is a preview of the new supervised users mode (ideal for young children), which lets you see a user’s browsing history and restrict access on a per-site basis.

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New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as "Tx" for "TextExpander". With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <http://smle.us/tetouch3-tb>