To start this series that’s been floating around in my head for a little while, allow me to offer a short introduction.

I first bought a Mac Mini in May 2005 after being a “Windows guy” for my entire life. That was the best technical purchase I have ever made. Over the past year I’ve acquainted myself with the Mac, OS X, Quartz, Finder, and the whole host of Macology.

It occurred to me that, on a daily basis, I find something about the Mac that makes me say “now that just makes sense.” It seems like I also find something every day that frustrates me about Windows. Note to readers: please do not accuse me of being incompetent, I develop software for Linux, OS X, and Windows. I think of myself as pretty well-versed in all three.

Enough talk, this episode’s tip/trick/what-have-you tells you how to create program shortcuts at the top of your Finder window. This is very handy for dragging documents or files over the specified icon to launch. I, for example, will be documenting an SDK in HTML. I’ll want to see how it looks in both Safari and Firefox. Defaulting the .html extension to open in one or the other falls short. Instead, I:


  • Find the application I want to make a shortcut of in my Applications folder

  • Drag the application over the toolbar

  • Hold down option key and then drop the icon on the window.


Here’s how my Finder window looks right now, I’ve got shorcuts for Adobe Reader and Bare Bones Software TextWrangler: