Open­ing apps on your Mac

EX­PLORE THE MANY WAYS TO OPEN YOUR PRE­FERRED SOFT­WARE.

TechLife Australia - - CONTENTS - [ NATE DRAKE ]

WHAT’S BET­TER THAN hav­ing an app able to han­dle what­ever kind of file you want to open? An­swer: hav­ing a choice of ways to run your apps. Such flex­i­bil­ity is one of the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the Mac, en­abling it to suit what­ever you need to do right now or the way you like to work.

So to find an app you want, you can browse the Ap­pli­ca­tions folder in Finder, and cre­ate desk­top aliases or add favourites to the Dock for easy ac­cess. If you’re more fa­mil­iar with iPad or iPhone, the macOS Launch­pad presents large app icons in an iOS-like grid. You can use Spot­light or Siri to find apps for you. To open a file with a spe­cific app, drag-and-drop the file onto the app icon or alias in Finder or the Dock.

At the other end of the scale, you can use the Ter­mi­nal util­ity to launch apps from the com­mand line, or to open files with a spe­cific app. To run an app, type the open com­mand, for ex­am­ple: “open/Ap­pli­ca­tions/Mail.app”. Add ‘-a’ to open a named file with a spe­cific app, for in­stance: “open -a Pre­view ~/Pictures/ pump­kins.jpg”.

If you’re a key­board fan but don’t feel ready for Ter­mi­nal com­mands, con­sider set­ting up app short­cuts to open se­lected items us­ing a key com­bi­na­tion. To do this, cre­ate a Ser­vice us­ing Au­toma­tor, another tool that comes free with your Mac, then set up a key­board short­cut for the Ser­vice in Sys­tem Pref­er­ences (see steps 8–9 op­po­site).

How about not hav­ing to open apps your­self at all? You can con­fig­ure your Mac to open spec­i­fied apps au­to­mat­i­cally when you log in to your user ac­count, so they’re al­ready run­ning when you need them. Go to ‘Sys­tem Pref­er­ences > Users & Groups’, and click the Lo­gin Items tab for your user ac­count. (You can also do this for other user ac­counts you man­age.) Click the plus sign be­neath the right-hand pane to add an app. Click the Hide check­box next to an app if you want its win­dows to be hid­den even though it has launched in the back­ground.

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