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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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Parallels Sponsoring TidBITS

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We're pleased to welcome our latest long-term sponsor, Parallels, makers of the popular Parallels Desktop virtualization software that enables an Intel-based Mac to run Windows XP, Windows Vista, and other PC operating systems.

Back in 1991, the Macintosh world watched - and reaped the benefits of - a huge competitive battle in the field of compression software. As each company strove to outdo the others, traditional archiving software like StuffIt was supplemented by programs like AutoDoubler that compressed files during idle time and then expanded them quickly when necessary. Hard disks were tiny back then, and although increased hard disk sizes eventually eliminated the need for background compression programs, it was amazing to see how quickly strong competition caused each company to improve and innovate.

I'm reminded of those times when I look at the virtualization field today. After Apple announced Boot Camp in April 2006, Parallels followed with the first release of Parallels Desktop in May 2006 (for our review, see "Parallels Desktop: The Switch Is Complete," 2006-06-19). Joe Kissell brought out his "Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac" ebook late in May 2006, and since then, he has been working non-stop to keep up with updates from Parallels and Apple, and new entrants VMware Fusion and VirtualBox.

Much of that work has been in tracking developments with Parallels Desktop, which has gone from a public beta to version 3.0 during that time, adding features that make it possible to share partitions with Boot Camp and run Windows programs alongside Mac applications without displaying the Windows desktop. Those efforts gave Parallels a huge head start, but with VMware Fusion coming on strong, I'm excited to see what Parallels comes up with next. For right now, though, note that Parallels has an exclusive offer for TidBITS readers: $10 off the just-released Parallels Desktop 3.0, bringing the price down to $69.99.

Thanks to Parallels for their support of TidBITS and the Mac community!

 

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