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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).

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Some PostScript Fax

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Fax machines are useful in certain situations, no doubt, but indiscriminate use of fax machines strikes some as problematic, especially considering that thermal fax paper cannot be recycled. Fax quality is poor in comparison to output from a PostScript laser printer. In addition, it seems to be a waste of machinery to have a scanner, a laser printer, a modem, and a fax modem or machine when the capabilities of all of them can be combined into one unit. Some companies have come close to such combined machines, but not one has come up with one that works well in all modes.

New chips from National Semiconductor might help the process along by combining fax and scanner abilities with PostScript printing. Should the new chips be put on a controller board, the board could then control a scanner and fax modem transparently to the user. Look for announcements of implementations using these chips in the future as companies build hardware around them.

Related articles:
PC WEEK -- 14-May-90, Vol. 7 #19, pg. 1
PC WEEK -- 02-Jul-90, Vol. 7 #26, pg. 112

 

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