Ask OS X Daily: How Do I Force Open a File?
Reader Mathew Prairen asks a common question about opening files that has a remarkably simple answer:
“I have a few image files from my PC that Preview refuses to open, is there any way I can force Preview to open these images?”
If you want to force open any file with virtually any program, simply hold down the Command+Option keys while dragging the file onto the applications icon.
Whatever the application is will attempt to open whatever the file is. In some situations this will work just fine, forcing many image editors to open other image files generally works, as does text files into text editors, but attempting to force an image editor to load your perl script probably won’t work. Basically there is no guarantee the program will like the file you are forcing it to open, but it will try anyway, and this can lead to some unusual results or the display of nonsensical characters, or even an error message indicating from the application that the file type is invalid. Due to this, if you’re going to attempt to force an application to open a file, try to stick within the general genre of that which the originating file came from.
Updated: 1/29/2012 – this is confirmed to work with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion