Macintosh: How do I force files to open with a particular program?

March 21, 2011 / Updated: March 21, 2011 / Lena Shore


How do I set my Macintosh to open an eps file with Illustrator, but then open a jpg in Photoshop, all by default — instead of everything opening in @#$! Preview? This is probably a stupid question, but it’s driving me crazy.


Nope. This isn’t a stupid question. It’s just not obvious. But it is easy to do!

  1. Select/Highlight any jpg file.
  2. Get info on the file by doing one of the following:
    • Right clicking and choosing “Get Info”
    • Press the Command + I keys
    • Going to File –> Get Info
  3. Look for the “Open With” section and select Photoshop from the dropdown menu. If it isn’t there, you can select “other” and browse your Applications folder.
  4. Click the “Change All” button. (That set the change to universal, instead of just for that file.)

From now on, every time you open a jpg, it will use Photoshop as the default program. Follow the same instructions for eps files — just choose Illustrator as your default program instead.


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Lena Shore

Lena is a full-time freelancer and nerd that specializes in web development, graphic design, and illustration. She enjoys building things, learning new things, pursuing creative endeavors, and giving free advice.


  1. tim on February 15, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Yeah! thanks!

  2. Paulyboy on August 31, 2012 at 11:43 am

    i’m so glad someone has answered that, that was driving me crazy to.

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