Nineteen ways to open a file

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You may content yourself with double-clicking on files to open them, but depending on what you’re doing, there may be a quicker or more convenient option. Here are 19 different ways to get the job done:

  1. Double-click on a file.

  2. Select a file and press command-down arrow.

  3. Select a file and press command-O.

  4. Click on a file in the Finder sidebar.

  5. Drag a file onto a program icon in the Finder, in the sidebar, in the Finder toolbar, or in the Dock.

  6. Open a file using an Open dialog box by selecting the file and then clicking on Open or OK.

  7. From an Open dialog box, drag a file onto a program icon in the Finder, the sidebar, or the Dock.

  8. Drag a file, or a file’s proxy icon (in the title bar), from the Finder to an Open dialog box, and then select it and click on Open or OK.

  9. Control-click, or right-click, on a file and then choose Open or Open With. In the contextual menu, select an application. This is a good way to open a file with a program you don’t usually use (for example, with Adobe Acrobat instead of Preview). This works for files in Finder windows or in the sidebar.

  10. If you have a stack in the Dock, click on the stack to display its contents, and then click on a file to open it.

  11. Select a file in the Finder, press command-I, and then double-click on the file’s preview. (You may need to expand the Preview section of the Info window.)

  12. If you’re in Column view, double-click on a file’s preview in the Preview column, if it’s visible.

  13. If you’re in Cover Flow view, double-click on a file’s Cover Flow preview.

  14. If you’re viewing a file in Quick Look, double-click on it, and then press command-O or press command-down arrow.

  15. Search for a file in the Spotlight menu (press command-space bar to activate it, and then type your search term), select a file in the list, and then press return or enter.

  16. If you’ve used a file recently, select Apple menu: Recent Items: filename..

  17. In Terminal, run the following command: open filename. Make sure to include the path to the file with its name, for example: /Users/kirk/Documents/my_file.

  18. In Terminal, run the following command to open a file with a specific application: open applicationname filename . With this command, include the path to the application and the file—for example: open /Applications/TextEdit /Users/kirk/Documents/my_file.

  19. In Safari, type a file’s path using the following format, and then press enter: file:///Users/username/Documents/filename.

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