Using two versions of the same application

Many people asked me if it was possible to use Magic Launch to open certain files in a different version of the same application. For instance: open certain files with Word 2004 even if Word 2008 is installed. With Magic Launch 1.4, it’s quite easy.

I’d have more to say, but I have already written it all for a new page in the integrated help book for Magic Launch. So here’s an extract:

If you open an application selection menu, use “Choose Application…”, then select an application that is not the latest version, Magic Launch lets you choose between two behaviours:

  • Use this version will remember this specific application from its on-disk location using the same mechanism as an alias.
  • Use latest version will remember this application by its bundle identifier; this will always use the latest version available.

Where a specific version of an application is used, you will see the application’s icon and name as usual, followed by the full path to this specific application.

In some cases, an application will not have a bundle identifier. For instance, this is the case of an AppleScript file saved as an application. Magic Launch will automatically remember such an application with its on-disk location.

You can force Magic Launch to remember any application by its specific location by pressing the option key while the application selection menu is open. This will replace item “Choose Application…” with “Specific Application…”.

This is a new feature of Magic Launch 1.4, but it was not impossible to do with previous versions. Magic Launch 1.3 added a shell command feature, and you can use a command like this one to open a file in a specific application:

open ## -a <path to application>

But this is rather obscure for most users. It deserved to be made simpler, and hence Magic Launch 1.4. Try it out!


  • © 2003–2017 Michel Fortin.