Opening Files with Different Applications

Use the OS X file manager features available to open files with different applications when using this Mac-based operating system.

Opening files with different applications

When you open a file in OS X, it will usually open in the default application for that type of file. For example, a photo will open in Preview. But you may not always want this. In this lesson, we'll show you how to open a file in a different application, as well as how to change the default application so a file will always open in your preferred program.

Opening a file in the default application

As you learned in our lesson on Working with Files, you can locate and double-click a file to open it. It will open in the default application for that type of file.

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To open a file in a different application:

Sometimes you may want to open a file in a different application without changing the default. For example, you may want to open a photo with Adobe Photoshop to crop or resize it.

  1. Locate and right-click the desired file. From the drop-down menu, select Open With and choose the desired application. In this example, we'll select Adobe Photoshop CC.
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  2. The file will open in the selected application.
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To change the default application:

You may prefer to change the default application for certain types of files so they'll always open in the new app when you double-click them. For example, you may want your photos to always open in Adobe Photoshop instead of the Preview application.

  1. Locate and right-click the desired file, then select Get Info from the menu that appears. Alternatively, you can select the file and then press Command+I on your keyboard.
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  2. A dialog box will appear. Under Open with, click the drop-down menu and select the desired application. In our example, we'll select Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.


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  3. Click Change All.
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  4. A dialog box will appear confirming that you wish to change the default application for all files of this file type. Click Continue.
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  5. The default application will be changed. The next time you double-click a file of that type, it will open in the new default application.
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