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



Pick an apple! 
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



Related Articles



PocketMac for BlackBerry 4 Released

Send Article to a Friend

PocketMac last week released the latest version of its BlackBerry for Macintosh software, version 4.0. (For details on the previous version, see "Putting BlackBerries in Your PocketMac," 06-Feb-06.) The software is available at no cost to BlackBerry owners, paid for by Research in Motion (RIM), the firm that makes the BlackBerry device. Unlike the previous release of the software, this version requires no serial number to activate. Clicking the Download Now button on PocketMac's site redirects your Web browser to an area on RIM's site from which you select the software from a pop-up menu, fill out a one-time profile, and download the software. PocketMac for BlackBerry requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later and is a 24.3 MB download.

Version 4 includes other significant enhancements, including pushing Safari's bookmarks to a BlackBerry and installing third-party applications. This version also can mount memory cards in the Blackberry Pearl model's mini-SD (Secure Digital) slot as a drive.

In addition, the latest release can synchronize email from a BlackBerry's inbox and sent mail folders to Microsoft Entourage or Apple's Mail. Email messages received on a Mac with PocketMac for BlackBerry running can be forwarded automatically to the BlackBerry's address. (BlackBerry devices typically use "push" email to receive messages, in which RIM's servers poll one or more of your email accounts on a regular basis for new messages and then push those messages to an individual BlackBerry. BlackBerry devices can also receive email directly.) A new option allows .Mac subscribers to back up data to Apple's .Mac service on each synchronization.

PocketMac for BlackBerry can sync contacts, calendars, tasks, and notes from common Mac OS X software, including Address Book, iCal, Entourage, and Now Up-to-Date & Contact. However, despite Bluetooth support built into many current BlackBerry models, RIM intentionally disabled most forms of Bluetooth connectivity for what RIM terms "security reasons," due to the BlackBerry's heavy penetration into the government and corporate marketplace. Thus, PocketMac for BlackBerry can sync only via a USB cable, which also acts to charge the unit.

Unlike the previous version of the software, PocketMac for BlackBerry 4 is not an iSync plug-in; rather, it has been redesigned to run independently, although its interface still looks somewhat like iSync. The redesign is a welcome improvement, featuring better and more familiar organization.


Automatic turns almost any car into a connected car. By pairing
Automatic’s connected car adapter with iPhone apps on
Automatic’s platform, drivers are able to drive safer and smarter.
TidBITS readers get 20% off all orders at <>