Default Apps Across Platforms in Parallels

I found something neat when I updated my Parallels install at work today – SmartSelect. For someone like me, already unable to function without Parallels’ Coherence mode, this is just a further step in this app’s takeover of the way I work. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, it’s a pretty simple concept (that was probably a bit harder in execution.) You can choose to open any file with any app – on your Mac, or on the virtual machine.
A quick screenshot from my computer, and there you see it.

open with dialogue

Parallels will automatically start your VM, run the app, and open the file. It doesn’t need to be running, either.

Why so nice?

-Comparing webpages in IE, Firefox for Mac and Windows, Safari for Mac and Windows, Opera, whatever.
-That stubborn app that doesn’t have a Mac version? Default its file types to open in Parallels, and Parallels will automatically detect the request and start the app.
-Any Adobe CreativeSuite app. There is no need at all for a Windows and a Mac version of that expensive license, and you still don’t have to wait for massive .psd documents to copy to the Parallels VM. Or even better, for those who don’t want to run it in Rosetta.
-Applescripts in Windows file trees. Dave’s AppleScripts for iTunes, anyone?

That’s four reasons for my 40$ upgrade, but here’s another: I need to know whether I can do this with my Ubuntu VM too.


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