Mac OS X has some tricky ways of remembering which files were used recently.
Did you know that OS X applications
don’t actually remember the names of recent files
you’ve opened? That’s not to say
that they don’t recall what you’ve
been editing; after all,
Open Recent does work
What the application remembers is the location of the file on disk. Rename that file. Change its file extension. Move it somewhere else entirely. Just as long as it’s still on the same disk (inodes don’t transfer from disk to disk), your app should be able to find it the next time you choose Open Recent.
Just how this is implemented varies from application to application.
Starting with a file called
somefile.txt on my
Desktop, I did a little experimenting. Move, rename, and tamper with
it as I might, BBEdit continued to list it as
Drive:Users:rael:Desktop:somefile.txt. Preview noticed a
someotherfile.tiff. Microsoft Word, like BBEdit,
somefile.doc was still
somefile.doc, despite its being renamed
someotherfile.doc and moved elsewhere.
Why’s this useful? Let’s say
you’ve created a marvelous piece of poetry, saved it
to the Desktop in a hurry as your plane lands, later renamed it to
something more appropriate than
and moved it somewhere or other. Sure, Sherlock may be able to find
it if you search by content, date changed, or document type. Or you
could simply relaunch the app you believe you were using at the time,
select it from the list of recent files, and you’re
off to the races.