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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

 
 

Take Control News/18-Sep-06

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Learn More with the "Macworld Mac Basics Superguide" -- It's time for a Mac quiz! (Answers below.)

  1. How do you change the default look for all Finder windows?
  2. How do you make the Dock invisible?
  3. How do you switch to a different user account without logging out?
  4. How do you quit an application that's frozen and not responding?

If you're uncertain as to the answers to any of these questions, allow us to recommend the just-released "Macworld Mac Basics Superguide," a 78-page ebook from Macworld created in part by TidBITS and Take Control authors. Written in a friendly question-and-answer format, the $12.95 ebook helps you find your way in Mac OS X, use the Dock, set System Preferences, set up and switch among user accounts, work with applications and documents, search your Mac, keep your Mac secure, troubleshoot problems, and get started with bundled Mac OS applications. Every Mac user should know (or would at least benefit from knowing) this information.

Now, I'm sure some of you are thinking, "But I'm a raging thunder lizard when it comes to Macintosh expertise. I edit plists in pico. Heck, I boot into Open Firmware for fun!" I'm sure that's all true, but unless you're also a tremendously patient and giving thunder lizard, helping all your less-experienced friends and relatives probably takes valuable time away from making sure your Web site validates as XHTML Strict. Point them toward this ebook or buy it for them (there's no nasty DRM that prevents you from buying a copy for someone else), and you won't have to answer a whole slew of entirely reasonable questions about things you learned years ago. (Plus, there's a discount off "Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac" they can use to keep their Macs running more smoothly and further reduce your tech support load.)

Answers:

  1. Choose File > New Finder Window (Command-N), set it exactly the way you want without selecting any file or folder inside, and close it. (Remember that there's an option in the Finder's General preference pane to open all new windows in column view; it overrides other views if selected.)
  2. Choose Apple Menu > Dock > Turn Dock Hiding On (Command-Option-D).
  3. Turn on Fast User Switching in the Accounts preference pane, and then use the Fast User Switching menu in the menu bar.
  4. Force quit it by choosing Apple Menu > Force Quit (Command-Option-Escape), selecting the frozen app and clicking Force Quit. Or, click and hold on the app's Dock icon and choose Force Quit from the menu that appears.

 

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