Today I Learned about the -a flag in MacOS’s open command-line application. It lets you specify the name of an app in /Applications (without the .app ending), and then opens it!

(well, today I rediscovered it, buried in my command history 😄)

$ open -a Preview

The open command will exit immediately. If you want it to remain running until the other application exits, use -W. To pass command-line arguments to the application, stick --args at the end and append your flags. It also has some interesting stdin stdout stderr piping options.

This makes it easier to define an alias for opening up a browser with certain flags that you always use!

$ alias testbrowser=open -a Google\ Chrome\ Canary --args --disable-web-security

Now you’d be able to run testbrowser at the command line and have Chrome Canary open up with the --disable-web-security flag.