Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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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

 
 

What You Get Is What You CSS, With Style Master 4.0

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Western Civilisation's flagship product, Style Master, is a CSS editor. You don't use it to create Web pages; you use it to create the look of Web pages - the font, size, color, and layout of the various elements that constitute your Web pages, as dictated though a CSS "style sheet." Style Master is my ideal of a program that knows a big complicated language so that you don't have to; you do see the actual CSS, but you can interact with it through pop-up menus and checkboxes that list the appropriate options and generate the correct syntax.

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The big question as you work with CSS is always how your CSS code is reflected in the appearance of an actual page as rendered in a browser. Style Master has always permitted you to preview your style sheet in conjunction with any Web page in any browser; but the new version, 4.0, goes one better. The rendering of a Web page can be previewed in conjunction with your style sheet right in Style Master's own window (the Design Pane), and then, when you click a rule in your style sheet, any regions affected by that rule in the Design Pane preview are highlighted. Furthermore, it works the other way as well: click anywhere in the Design Pane preview rendering, and Style Master tells you whole containment hierarchy of elements for the spot where you clicked, plus it highlights in the style sheet all the rules that govern the appearance of that part of the Web page.

So, now you've no excuse for not generating gorgeous Web pages, gorgeously coded; plus Style Master itself is also more gorgeous than ever, thanks to numerous interface improvements. Style Master 4.0 is a $30 upgrade for current users; a new copy costs $60. A 30-day demo is available for download.

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