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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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MRJ 2.1 Runs Faster, Works with Explorer

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MRJ 2.1 Runs Faster, Works with Explorer -- Apple has released Macintosh Runtime for Java 2.1, which offers substantial performance improvements over previous versions of MRJ and can be used with Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser. (Microsoft dropped support for their own Java virtual machine immediately after Sun won a preliminary injunction against Microsoft's Java implementations; see TidBITS-456.) MRJ 2.1 complies with Sun's Java JDK 1.1.6 specification, optionally supports Sun's Java Foundation Classes and Swing interface toolkit (versions 1.0.3 and 1.1), and adds support for AppleScript (although we don't know how useful this will be in the short term). Although MRJ 2.1 still doesn't run every Java applet under the sun (in fact, the release notes warn users away from Yahoo Games while Apple investigates problems), MRJ 2.1 works with Internet Explorer - just make sure MRJ is selected as Explorer's Java virtual machine - and Java development environments for the Macintosh. Netscape browsers use their own Java implementation and can't currently use MRJ.

MRJ 2.1 requires a PowerPC-based Mac running Mac OS 7.6.1 or later (Mac OS 8.1 or later recommended) with at least 24 MB of RAM, 20 MB of free disk space, and Open Transport 1.1 or better. MRJ 2.1 installs Text Encoding Converter 1.4.2 on all systems, and if you're using Mac OS 7.6.1, it installs version 1.0.3 of the Appearance control panel. Note that MRJ 2.1 does not ship with the Apple Applet Runner; you can use Apple's Applet Runner 2.0 (which shipped with MRJ 2.0, and hence with Mac OS 8.1 and higher) or download it with the MRJ SDK from Apple's developer Web site. MRJ 2.1 is a 7.8 MB download. [GD]



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