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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


TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 28-Jul-08

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  • AirPort Extreme Update 2008-002 from Apple reportedly "improves the reliability of AirPort connections" on Intel-based Macs. It would be great if it would solve the problem my MacBook sometimes has with frequently dropping wireless connections despite strong signal strength; the last time I ran into that, connecting the power adapter instead of running on battery power solved the problem. (Free, 1.96 MB)
  • Several components of iLife '08 receive minor updates that Apple doesn't deign to describe in detail. iLife Support 8.3 (10 MB) updates system software components used by all the members of the iLife '08 suite, improving overall stability and addressing a number of other minor issues. iPhoto Update 7.1.4 (74 MB) adds new holiday greeting card and postcard themes, "addresses general compatibility issues, improves overall stability, and addresses a number of other minor issues." For iWeb 2.0.4 (35 MB) and iMovie 7.1.4 (38 MB), just replay that quoted clause again in your head. (Free update)
  • Skype from Skype Limited enhances the Internet telephony software with support for NAT-PMP and uPNP, presumably improving Skype's ability to work behind NAT gateways. The new version also fixes a number of bugs, including things like a freeze with more than 3,000 contacts, crashes when applying changes in the Edit Profile window, and chats losing their topics. (Free, 34.5 MB)
  • Keyboard Maestro 3.3 from Stairways Software adds a number of features to the rapidly developed macro utility. Foremost among them is a global status menu and the capability to trigger macros from the status menu, but this version also adds the capability to enable and disable individual actions within a macro for testing purposes, a Fast User Switch action, a Comment action that does nothing but help document a macro, and a preference to save and restore the clipboard history. Also new is the capability to cut, copy, paste, and duplicate macros, triggers, and actions, making it easier to make macros similar to those you've already created. ($36 new, free update, 6.3 MB)
  • PDFpen 3.5 (and PDFpen Pro 3.5) from SmileOnMyMac updates the PDF editing and manipulation utility to support PDFs that follow newer specifications and non-standard PDFs, improves the Correct Text feature, and fixes numerous minor bugs. ($49.95/$94.95 new, free update for 3.x users, 5.3 MB)
  • Typinator 3.1 from Ergonis Software brings to the auto-typing and text expansion utility improved compatibility with programs like Coda, VMware Fusion, Butler, Zend Studio, Lotus Notes, OpenOffice, NeoOffice and more. It also integrates the recently released HTML Snippet Set, offers a redesigned menu bar icon, provides an option to turn off the menu bar icon entirely to save space on the menu bar, and fixes a variety of minor bugs. (19 euros new, free update for copies purchased in the last 2 years, 1.8 MB)
  • Default Folder X 4.0.7 from St. Clair Software is a minor compatibility update for the Open and Save dialog enhancer, fixing problems with Word 2008 and with the "Open in Terminal" and "Click to copy a filename" features. ($34.95 new, free update for purchases before 01-Jun-07 or $14.95 otherwise, 9.2 MB)
  • Firefox 3.0.1 from the Mozilla Foundation fixes several security problems, addresses stability issues, and fixes a problem that could miss printing parts of a page. Note that Firefox add-ons may need to be updated to work with 3.0.1, so if you rely on a particular add-on, it's worth checking its compatibility before updating Firefox itself. (Free, 17.2 MB)


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