MacMost Now 706: Setting Default Applications

In OS X you have various ways of setting default applications for files and other actions. You can set your default email and web browser applications with settings in Mail and Safari. You can set what happens when you connect a camera or SD card, or insert an optical disc. You can also set which application will be used to open specific file types.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 706: Setting Default Applications.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today lets take a look at default applications. So when you do something on your Mac that will trigger application run, which application runs? For instance, when you open a web link, which browser runs? If you want to send and email, which email application runs? If you want to open a JPEG file, which image viewing application runs? There are ways to set all of these defaults. Let's take a look. So say you wanted to set which browser runs when you click on a link, maybe your in an application and it says go on our website for more information. Maybe you click on link in an email and it opens up the web browser. Well, to do that you go into Safari, even if Safari isn't the application you want to run, it's not the browser you want to choose. In Safari preferences, you'll find a a setting under general for default web browser. And here you can choose which ever web browser that you have installed. And there are a lot of applications which actually act as web browsers. So you probably have a lot more choices than the ones you want. But like here for instance here is Chrome and here is Firefox. You set here in Safari and then when you click on a link on an application or in email, that browser is the one that will run and open up that web page. Now, it's a similar thing for email, you run the default email application, even if that's not the one you want to use. An in there you can go to mail preferences and from preferences you can go to general and the very first one is your default email reader. And here you can choose from different ones. So for instance, if you have Microsoft Outlook installed from the newest Microsoft Office, you can choose that as your default email reader. Sometimes applications like Outlook itself may actually have the same setting in it. So you can go there instead. But it's always there in mail. How about when you connect a camera, when you connect a camera you can determine what happens. You can go into iPhoto there, even if iPhoto isn't what I want to use. Go into preferences and you'll find connecting camera opens and you'll find a couple of options. One of those being image capture. And when you are in image capture you can actually select the device on the left and set custom application for each different device. So you can do iPhoto or image capture but you also have other choices. And you can even choose the bottom one which you can't see right off the screen here, which is to choose other so you can choose any application for opening when you connect that camera or in this case a SD card. What about other files, like image files, like these JPEG files. Well you can control click on one and select open with and it will open with any application you want that one time. Hold down the option key and you'll notice open with changes to always open with. So you can not only open it with a certain application this time, but every time you double click on that file it will open with that same application. But that only affects that one file. If you want all JPEG images to open with a certain application, then do command I, or file get info, with that file select it. There are many things in here, one of them is open with and you can set which application to open with for that specific file. But say I pick something different, so I'm gonna go down here and say I'm going to do Pixelmator. It's going to be the application I open this file with. I can also hit the change all button, and then I get to this dialog here that will change the default application for all documents with extension JPEG to open with Pixelmator.So that's the way to set the default application for file type. So if you have say audio files, like MP3s, or AIFFs , you can set it to open with a specific sound editing application. You can do it with different types of images. Now, you have to pay attention to the dialog box, sometimes it will say open all .JPEG files with this. Sometimes it will say open all files created by this certain application, because there is actually more information in the file then just the file extension. So sometimes it will be smart and say everything created by this application, open it on this, instead of actually just relying on the file extension. So one last thing, if you go in the system preferences and you go to CDs and DVDs. Here you can set the default application, what happens when you insert something, like say a blank CD, what happens what type of application opens. DVD, music CD. So there is various defaults you can set here in this system preference pane as well. So if you found this useful, this Gary with MacMost Now.