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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

 
 
JesterCapWhat?! Something about this article seems odd? Maybe you should read it again carefully, or double-check the date it was published...
 

Mac OS X 10.4 Easter Egg Found and Lost

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This story comes from Littleton, MA, where TidBITS reader Nancy Kotary writes:

"Recently the weather here turned very cold (again!), and right about the same time, I noticed my 15-inch PowerBook G4 was acting up. I'd come home to find all sorts of weird windows open, or new folders on the Desktop with names like "ag899uiogheo". I was about to take it in for repairs when I accidentally discovered the cause: I'd been leaving the computer open, and my cat had taken to lying on the warm keyboard.

"I didn't have the heart to close the computer after that, and besides, it was sort of fun to see what sort of random havoc the cat would cause. Yesterday, though, I got surprise when I peered over the cat's curled-up form at the PowerBook screen and saw that Software Update was running and some huge download was in progress. It took four or five hours to complete, and when it was finished, it turned out to be the golden master installer image for Mac OS 10.4! I was able to burn the disk and install that same day - for free!"

Our conjecture is that there must be some secret combination of keys which causes Software Update to "see" the Mac OS X 10.4 installer as an available download. Perhaps this was put in as an Easter Egg (all this happened surprisingly close to Easter), or maybe it was just a convenient way for the Apple folks to obtain the latest build during development. There's no way to learn what combination of keys and buttons the cat may have pressed, so, like the Lost Chord, this feat of downloading a free Mac OS X 10.4 installer will probably never be repeated.

 

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