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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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AppleScript Gets a Truly Definitive Guide

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AppleScript is Apple's system-level programming language for driving and automating applications. It was first made available as an option for the ill-fated System 7 Pro in late 1993; shortly thereafter Apple came to its senses and AppleScript has been present in every new system and on every new Mac since then. Meanwhile, the lack of proper documentation for AppleScript has been astounding. Danny Goodman made an early attempt, but it wasn't up to the standard of his brilliant HyperCard book, and Apple's own manual is often surprisingly vague, allusive, and incomplete.

<http://db.tidbits.com/article/02388>
<http://www.dannyg.com/pubs/>
<http://developer.apple.com/documentation/ AppleScript/Conceptual/ AppleScriptLangGuide/>

Which brings us to my latest book, AppleScript: The Definitive Guide, published by O'Reilly & Associates. AppleScript is a fairly small language, but I was amazed by how difficult it was to write this book! It took more than twice as long as I'd expected. My approach, as readers of my Frontier and REALbasic books know, is not to rely on documentation, but to bang away at the language itself, testing and experimenting, trying to deduce the underlying rules. Well, the underlying rules of AppleScript turn out to be really strange. As a result, my book contains a great deal of material I never knew before and have never seen documented elsewhere. And, needless to say, I present it all in my usual ruthlessly Euclidean manner - with the usual measure of hidden humor, of course.

<http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/applescpttdg/>

This book teaches AppleScript to beginners and explains it to experts; it's an assessment, a guide, and a reference. If you've been curious all these years, or want to get into AppleScript for whatever reason (perhaps to take advantage of AppleScript Studio to write your own apps), or if you're an AppleScript user but would like to put your understanding on firmer ground, I hope you'll consider asking Santa for AppleScript: The Definitive Guide. It lists for $40, but you can get it for $28 at Amazon and support TidBITS with the affiliate percentage at the same time.

<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ 0596005571/tidbitselectro00/ref%3Dnosim/>

 

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