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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

 
 

Leopard Envy and Tiger Inertia

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I have made the mistake on previous releases of Mac OS X, other operating systems, and even software applications of upgrading immediately on a "dot zero" (.0) release, something I typically advise others to avoid. However, the pain I suffer is mitigated by helping others, and as a tech writer, it's sort of my job to be on the bleeding edge to file reports back to later adopters.

Leopard is an interesting case. I had used Leopard betas, and updated a test Power Mac in my office - one that I will be selling one of these days - to the shipping version of Leopard on the day before its formal release. A few days later, I installed 10.5.0 on my home PowerBook G4, suffering problems I've documented elsewhere due to an out-of-date copy of PGP (see "PGP Causes Leopard Slowdown, But Fix Is Simple," 2007-11-13).

However, my regular work machine - a Mac Pro I bought in spring - remains on Tiger. And what I'm finding is that as every day goes by, I'm looking more and more for missing features in Tiger that I use at home in Leopard. Even with the 10.5.1 update, I still think Leopard has a bit to go in fixing some security design errors and in a few areas of stability and functionality.

But I find myself on my Mac Pro looking for Quick Look, a functional Spotlight (instead of the okay but not great one in Tiger), Back to My Mac (once I got that working), and even some of the glitz like Cover Flow in the Finder.

I'm not ready to take the plunge yet: I need to be sure of 100-percent functionality for my daily work. But I'm strangely close to making the move. Maybe with 10.5.2, whenever that comes, I'll finally be ready.

 

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