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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

 
 

Using Applications

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  • (31) Dragging a document onto an application icon launches the application and opens the document. You can use this technique with ResEdit to open the resource fork of any file.

  • (32) If you need to find out exactly how much memory an application is using, turn on Balloon Help and point at the thermometer in "About This Macintosh."

  • (33) If you hold down the option key while switching to another application (via the application menu or by clicking in its window) the Finder hides the application that you switched out of.

  • (34) The functionality of the old Drive button in the System 6 Standard File Dialog box can be achieved in System 7 by pressing Command-LeftArrow or Command-RightArrow.

  • (35) Font/DA Mover version 4.1 (which is System 7 compatible) does not ship with 7.0. Version 4.1 is available on AppleLink, other electronic services, and from dealers. Older versions will not launch from the Finder 7, and if you use a launching utility like DiskTop, they will not work with TrueType fonts. You mainly need Font/DA Mover 4.1 to install the WordFinder Thesaurus DA into Word 4 or MacWrite (hold down option while clicking the Open button in the Font/DA Mover to open Word or MacWrite) for WordFinder to work.

  • (36) To quit out of an application immediately and awkwardly, hit command-option-escape. After using it you should restart. On a non-ADB keyboard I hear that command-option-tilde does the same thing.

 

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