Nineteen Ways to Open a File

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:

Double-click on a file.

Select a file and press command-down arrow.

Select a file and press command-O.

Click on a file in the Finder sidebar.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.)

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Shop ▾
arrow up Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements.

Subscribe to the Daily Downloads Newsletter