Mac Monday: Open files with the app you choose

04.28.2014

Mac FolderA document usually knows what app created it, so when you double-click the file, that app opens. But what if you don’t have the parent application, or if the default program is one you’d rather not use? A JPEG image, for instance, can be opened by Apple’s Preview, Adobe Photoshop, or any Web browser. A text file might open in Microsoft Word, Apple’s TextEdit, or Bare Bones Software’s BBEdit. You can override the default by using the File > Open With command and choosing from the submenu. Or, Control-click (or right-click) on a file, and choose the Open With command in the contextual menu that pops up.

To make the program you choose the new default when you open a particular document, press Option to change the contextual menu’s Open With command to Always Open With. Forever afterward, that document will open in the app you chose from the contextual menu.

Bonus tip: Want to always open a certain type of file in a specific program? You might want, for instance, JPEGs to always open in Photoshop so you can edit them, instead of in Preview. Select any JPEG and choose File > Get Info. In the Info window’s Open With section, select an app from the drop-down menu, click the Change All button, and click Continue in the confirmation dialog box.

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