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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

 

 

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GIF Gaffe

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GIF Gaffe -- Our article on the recent Unisys/CompuServe GIF fiasco (see TidBITS-259) contained a few misstatements. First, Unisys's patent on the LZW compression method was effective in 1985, not 1993 as stated in the article. Second, the TIFF file format is not itself licensed from Unisys, but the LZW method used in the TIFF format is licensed from Unisys.

Notwithstanding, the LZW compression format was first published in June of 1984, calling into question Unisys's subsequent application for a patent on the method. Also, while CompuServe can be accused of many things, making a secret of LZW's use in the GIF format is not one of them. It remains astounding that Unisys overlooked the (increasingly widespread) GIF file format for seven years.

CompuServe announced last week plans to serve as the coordinator of a new "free and open" GIF24 standard. GIF24 will support 24-bit, lossless compression and will presumably be free of proprietary technology. [GD]

 

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