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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


ExtraBITS for 03 February 2014

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In ExtraBITS this week, a graphics professional takes a detailed look at the new Mac Pro, Apple filmed a stunning commercial to commemorate the Mac’s 30th anniversary, an iPhone 5c burst into flames in a girl’s pocket, and Michael Cohen talks Pages with Chuck Joiner of MacVoices.

Michael Cohen Talks about Pages on MacVoices -- With the new Pages 5 on the Mac, Pages 2 in iOS, and Pages for iCloud, Apple has created a system where documents can move from one to the other seamlessly. But that means that some features are missing in action, and Apple has promised regular updates. So in this podcast, Michael Cohen and MacVoices host Chuck Joiner go over what the issues with Pages are, and how Michael’s “Take Control of Pages” pre-book is designed to help users with frequent updates over the next few months.

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Girl’s iPhone 5c Catches Fire in Her Pocket -- A 14-year-old girl from Kennebunk, Maine suffered second-degree burns when her iPhone 5c caught fire in her pants pocket. Fortunately, she was calm enough to remember to stop, drop, and roll, which considerably reduced her injuries. Lithium-ion batteries like those in the iPhone occasionally cause fires, but they are extremely rare and usually occur only while the phone is charging — there’s no reason to assume that this was anything more than a freak incident.

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30 Years after Macintosh, Viewed through iPhone -- On 24 January 2014, Apple shot a remarkable commercial to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh. The company sent 15 camera crews around the world to shoot the footage over the course of 36 hours, all on the iPhone 5s. The ad shows a number of scenes that would have been science fiction 30 years ago: a man configuring his artificial limbs with an iPhone, children controlling robots with a MacBook, and another guy flying multiple drones via sensors on his arms, wired into a MacBook. The video was directed by Jake Scott, son of legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott, who directed the original “1984” ad. Be sure to read the story of how it was made after the video plays.

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A Professional’s In-Depth Look at the New Mac Pro -- Dave Girard, a graphics professional writing for Ars Technica, has taken an extensive look at the recently released Mac Pro. He says that, despite the high price, it’s a good value, with powerful graphics processors, and he praises the machine’s quietness, low power consumption, and tiny footprint. However, Girard is critical of the Mac Pro’s relatively low processor clock speeds and lack of an option for a second CPU socket.

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