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

 
 

GarageBand 10.0.2

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With the release of GarageBand 10.0.2 for the Mac, Apple has finally brought back the capability to export in MP3 format, a feature missing since last October’s Mavericks-only update (see “New Free iLife and iWork Apps Share across Devices and Platforms,” 22 October 2013). It was a bedeviling change that exasperated a great many users (who voiced their frustrations on Apple’s Support Communities; here’s one discussion thread example), and caused this writer to continue using the previous version of GarageBand (6.0.5). The update also offers multiple enhancements to Accessibility; adds three new Drummers and drum kits from the rock, songwriter, and R&B genres; and improves overall stability. (Free from the Mac App Store, 986 MB)

 

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