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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


Take Control of OS X Server, Chapter 8: Mail Services

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This article is a pre-release chapter in the upcoming “Take Control of OS X Server,” by Charles Edge, scheduled for public release later in 2014. Apart from Chapter 1: Introducing OS X Server, and Chapter 2: Choosing Server Hardware, these chapters are available only to TidBITS members; see “Take Control of OS X Server” Streaming in TidBITS for details.

Mail Services

Despite the constant claims about how email is dead (to be replaced by instant messages, Facebook, Twitter, iMessage, or whatever), there is no communication medium more important than email to most organizations. Even people who claim they don’t use email much get testy when they miss an important message or can’t log in for some amount of time. Email is important.

It’s also simple—the SMTP, IMAP, and POP protocols on which email relies have been around for decades, and there’s not much to maintaining the database of user and message information. In OS X Server, enabling all the Unix apps that provide mail services under the hood is merely a matter of clicking an ON button and twiddling a few checkboxes.

But there’s a huge catch. Email is an ecosystem—no mail server can stand on its own, because it must be willing to accept messages from anywhere on the Internet and be capable of sending to anywhere. And due to spammers and other nogoodniks, every email server on the Internet is constantly being bombarded with spam, viruses, and malware, often sent by zombie computers marching in massive international botnets. And don’t get me started about dealing with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, having your server used to relay spam, or the massive blowback that happens when one of your users’ email addresses is used as the return address for spam. As I said in an earlier chapter, email is a toxic hellstew, and I strongly recommend you avoid running your own mail server. I don’t, not any more.

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