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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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Microsoft Sponsoring TidBITS

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Halloween, at least in the United States, is upon us, and we're pleased to welcome, along with the usual bunch of trick-or-treating kids, our latest long-term sponsor, Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit, more commonly known as MacBU and pronounced, at least for Halloween, as MacBOO! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Microsoft has sponsored TidBITS at various times over our 16-year history, but I hadn't known the current folks in the MacBU before the conversations that led to this sponsorship, conversations that started in response to their desire to make the MacBU a more active member of the Macintosh community. I was happy to discover that they were both clued into the Mac world in general and fully aware of how Microsoft as a company is often viewed, which is why they've been working on outreach efforts like more user group presentations, starting and maintaining a blog, and supporting publications like TidBITS. I expect they'll also be gathering feedback in a variety of ways as they work on the next version of the Microsoft Office applications. (Not surprisingly, I'm lobbying for collaboration features that will simplify sharing files while tracking changes across versions and enabling commentary.)

In the spirit of the season, the MacBU folks wanted to offer a treat for TidBITS readers to launch the sponsorship. Unfortunately, with two members of their team out on maternity leave, they couldn't find the time to create what I suggested - a batch of MacBOO! t-shirts with a bunch of ghostly Office icons floating around. Instead, they're giving away five copies of Microsoft Office 2004, which list for $399. If you'd like a copy, we're using our DealBITS system to pick the five winners - just enter as you would any other DealBITS drawing. As usual, all entries are covered under our privacy policy.

In the end, it's good to see the MacBU making efforts like this, since one way or another, Microsoft remains one of the most important software vendors for professional Macintosh users, and everyone stands to benefit if they become all the more invested in the world of the Macintosh.

 

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