‘Save As…’ silently resurrected in OS X Mountain Lion

“One of the more bizarre changes that Apple introduced in OS X Lion was completely abandoning the ‘Save As…’ option in documents,” John Brownlee opines for Cult of mac.

“Apple’s idea, of course, was to simplify saving files so that it worked more like iOS. They wanted to help make the file system invisible, so that when you’re working on a document, it automatically saves itself,” Brownlee writes. “All of the revisions are available, allowing you to switch back to old versions if you need to reference an older “copy” of the document. There’s no reason to ‘Save As’ anything.”

Brownlee writes, “In OS X Mountain Lion, Apple’s re-introducing ‘Save as…’ [But]… it’s still hidden and unavailable from menus, but instead only accessible through a convoluted keyboard shortcute: Command-Shift-Option-S.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Save As…” in OS X Lion is File>Duplicate, then “Save” (Apple-S… oops, sorry: Command-S) that file. You get a “Save As” dialog box where you can name it, file it where you want it and everything. Just like old times! Still, we guess that being able to mash out a four-fingered keyboard command might save a millisecond here and there, so okay, whatever.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. Did it ever leave or just not called “Save As”? If you go to the versions menu up by the window title and select duplicate it let’s you revert the document back. New copy with new name and document stays original. Same thing no?

  2. As usual, MDN has a take that completely misses the point.
    Changing an ingrained behavior because “Apple thinks it’s better, inhibits productivity by making a user think about a result rather than an expectation.

    1. I agree. Their new attitude about people being too big of idiots to handle the file system might be on the money for many of their users, but they shouldn’t make their OS more difficult to use for people who WANT to control where a file is saved and when. The versioning thing is interesting, but really confusing. Where the hell are the other versions? Why should I have to go back into an app to copy a file to someone? Imagine if you had to load Photoshop every time you wanted to send a version of a file to someone. I don’t think Apple has every done anything that MDN didn’t like, unless it was related to politics.

      1. its baffling to me the changes in lion. I regret ever upgrading. They made APPLICATION SUPPORT hidden? USER LIBRARIES hidden? Wtf. These are used all the time!

    2. And, this keyboard shortcut isn’t documented anywhere. Lack of “save as” has to be a minor annoyance to many Mac switchers, most of whom are not extremely computer savvy.

    1. Agreed. Apple took a one-step procedure and made it two. Plus, then you had two documents to close.

      Apple should keep the versions system it has, but simply add the Save As… option back to the menu. This would simply duplicate the open document and drop down the Save As… dialog box. Same function, simpler implementation.

  3. MDN you’re missing the point. “Save as” is most useful when you’re working on an existing documents and would rather not save or overwrite the existing file. This is most often not known before opening the original file.

    Duplicating files on a desktop is really stupid. Save as worked fine.

    1. Luddites Unite! Make sure that you oppose anything that changes the way you do things. Just stick with the archaic way you learned way back when.

      If you already have all the versions you created, do you really need to individually save each change? Could there be a better way then the way things were done before?

      1. It’s dicklike comments like yours that make me grind my teeth. Save as wasn’t broken, there’s no need to fix it. Making a version of a file then saving it under a different name in a different folder is a roundabout way of doing the same thing.

        Why don’t you wipe your ass first with your hand, then wipe your hand with toilet paper after a shitter? Same thing right?


        1. What else could we expect from someone who takes on a name like your nom de plume. Although you haven’t mastered the simple new elegance of the OS, you remain stuck in the 1980’s with your approach and stuck in the toilet with your writing style.

          1. Simple new elegance implies doing more with less. What versioning does is do less with more. That’s not simplicity, that’s obfuscating.

            Of course you’re the master of obfuscation because for all I know your ass is where your head is supposed to be.

        2. “Why don’t you wipe your ass first with your hand, then wipe your hand with toilet paper after a shitter? Same thing right?

          +1 for b-slapping a fanboi

      2. You’re a dumb*ss. Save As… is very useful for those of us who have multiple forms which we customize as needed, or take an existing document and revise it for another client/purpose/date and do not want to write over the existing saved file.

        I don’t want to be forced to go to the Finder and copy a document just to open it every time, and Duplicate and then Save is a two-step process when a simple Save As… command (which everyone was used to) could perform the Duplicate and Save function all at once.

        1. I know how difficult it can be when you learned how to do things one way and can’t imagine another way to do the same thing. It is alright if you stay in the 1980’s and can’t keep up with the technology or methodology.

          1. You must be pretending to be this clueless. Nobody is complaining that there are changes. People are complaining because a particular change made doing a common task (for many people) more difficult and indirect.

            What on earth do the 80’s have to do with anything. Or keeping up. Neither is the issue.

            Silly troll!

          2. … starting in the late ’60s! Still learning, though at a much more leisurely pace these days.
            Most of Apple’s “new ideas” are some sort of improvement. Some huge, some rather minor. A few of Apple’s ideas just suck. I’m sorry if you can’t see this, but even Steve Jobs wasn’t perfect. He knew full well that when you stick your foot in it, it’s a good idea to step back for a bit and clean up your mess before moving on.
            Moving on …

          3. Well jackass, apparently it’s a real enough problem that Apple is willing to put save-as back.

            Save as was never broke. There was no need to change it. Lion fucked up ALOT. If you deny it you’re a sheep.

            1. “Save as was never broke. There was no need to change it. Lion fucked up ALOT. If you deny it you’re a sheep.”

              Preach the sermon to the Fanbois. It appears that Snow Leopard was the Apex and it’s all downhill for the OS is being dumbed down for the galactically stoopid.

      3. Just because you work one way doesn’t mean everyone else should. And just because a new way is created doesn’t make it per force better, no more so than just because one way was old made it better. Apple exists at the intersection of technology and liberal arts — and liberal arts is about diversity in thought and behavior. Relish in it, please; rather than bashing people who think differently.

      4. Removing “Save as…” is anything but a step forwards.

        Lion’s system means that I have to wade through many worthless incremental backups that I don’t want in order to find the one specific backup that I do want. That isn’t progress in any conceivable way.

      5. I like changes. I give stuff a try and see how it does. The versioning is one way if you always use 1 document and change IT, versioning is nice.

        I do not do that. I write “New” items based on a lot of the previous item with the previous intact as “file01” and a new document “file02”. File->Save as->enter a file name and save is faster and more importantly more logical that to file->duplicate, file->save, enter a name and save.

        What happened is that they chose the option that works fine for some (could be some, could be most) and is more cumbersome for others.

        Not everybody who prefers the previous way of working is by definition stupid or ignorant or luddite. Hiding the ~/Library is fine for me as I CAN see it on those few occasion I need it, and for some that may be untrue as they DO use it all the time. For those: Drag in in the Favorites in the Finder.

      6. “Luddites Unite! Make sure that you oppose anything that changes the way you do things. Just stick with the archaic way you learned way back when.”
        Since when is replacing the obvious with a convoluted mess a step forward.
        You are a true fanboi.

    2. I know what you’re saying. But it works the same way. Just open a document, make the changes, and then duplicate. A window pops up and gives you options. Choose to revert and duplicate. The original file is left intact and you have a new file. Just not called save as.

        1. When opening an existing file, immediately save as and save it with the new name and then simply work on the new file.

          Before versioning they worked the same. With versioning they don’t. With versioning, changes are made to the existing file and saved without you (potentially) realizing it. There is no visual cue as to what state the document is in. You’re not supposed to have to care. But when you go back later and your existing file is no longer the “existing” file you remember it to be, you’re not feeling all warm and fuzzy about Apple’s decision. The Save As model left a visual cue (the black dot inside the close dot) and did not change the document until you had been prompted as to what that would mean. To technophiles it seems silly and little and something to just get over. But to the vast majority of Apple users who came to Mac prior to Lion it is both confusing and frustrating. It has to “just work” since there weren’t any included training videos about how to behave differently, yet for most it did not “just work.” I am happy Apple is listening to the frustrations of the masses. I don’t work on AppleCare support lines, but the data they accumulate on where people are having problems does influence the direction of the company.

      1. It does work that way, but it is highly not intuitive. When duplicating it, you end up with two files open and then have to think about which one is which. With save as, you know it is a completely different file and asks you right away where to save it. Duplicate postpones the naming during save, thus further obscuring the fact that it is a new file. There are potentially better ways to do it, but e current duplicate method typically adds more steps to do the same thing.

        1. Granted I don’t care for keeping the original open I would argue that it would be difficult to distinguish old from new as the new one is named “Untitled”. Unless of course that’s what you chose to name the original file which would suggest organization is NOT a top priority with files. 😉

          I’m not saying it’s the same as save as, but it does work.

      2. You have missed the point. It DOESN’T work the same way. When you open an existing document and make changes, you make changes to the EXISTING document (which is saved as a version or versions of that existing document).

        Many of us have documents which we DO NOT want changes saved as versions. The Save As… command should do what Duplicate and then Save does — create a new file saved to the designated location.

        All in one simple step rather than multiple Windows-like steps.

    3. “Save as” essentially makes a modified duplicate of the original file too, no? If I have a file open, and then do a “Save as” in the “traditional” way I have just saved a duplicate…

      Hey! Who moved my cheese?!

        1. You do realize that you do a LOT of things in Mac OS X already because Apple decided that is the way you should do it right?

          Maybe it’s time for you to make your own OS?

          1. If there’s an underlying logical sense to the way Apple promulgates that I should execute a task, I’m all for it. But if Apple decides to abandon an accepted methodology for saving a file and replace it with a system that is clunkier and less intuitive, no. That means Apple has not thought through the process and merely brought iOS convenience over to OS X for the sake of it.

            It doesn’t make saving a file any better, just more confusing. And why would you advocate confusion over simplicity?

    4. As there is no SAVE AS really in IOS I figure Apple tried to make things more similar in OSX.

      Duplicate or make a copy on of a file prior to opening it is OKAY.
      Duplicating a file already opened to make a change is much more clearer to a new user. But for us who have used Mac much longer love to OPEN and without making changes WE can save multiple files (example photoshop) SAVES AS Jpeg, tiff, eps of the same FILE.

      For me SAVE AS is nice but i do use it more as the EXPORT FUNCTION that defines the action better. Duplicate seem logical too but more for keeping FILE FORMATS the same.

      How strange we are; us Mac users… easy to adapt to new hardware but touch the software and we cry.

      In APPLES efforts to make computing easier and similar to IOS – OSX might need to harness some of the old ways too as customers just are not ready to part with SAVE AS, however we are willing to ride our hardware of a optical drive.

    5. I actually prefer the way that Lion does it. I prefer having a duplicate document so that I can make a quick, visual comparison to the original after I’ve made changes to the new one that I’ll save with a new name. It’s very handy and I see no downside to it, particularly now that I don’t have to bother with pressing Save to safeguard a document.

  4. “Save As” is required when you are saving something to be sent to the out side world. Yes, for now, there are people still using those old Microsoft Windows PCs. So, for now, we still need “Save As”. One day, the Redmond curse will end and the planet will be free!

  5. Sweet Jesus! Thank you.

    MDN, you’re so wrong here. It’s nothing like what you describe. Those of us who live in documents — creating them, editing them, reusing them — have used “Save As” forever as a way of opening a file we want to repurpose and saving it anew.

    This is great news to me personally.

    1. I know what you’re saying. But it works the same way. Just open a document, make the changes, and then duplicate. A window pops up and gives you options. Choose to revert and duplicate. The original file is left intact and you have a new file. Just not called save as.

        1. “Do you gain the upper storey of your house by propping a ladder on the exterior of your wall, climbing up to your roof and gaining access through the skylight or go up the stairs directly up from the ground floor?”
          If you are Willard RawMoney you can ride up in your car elevator.

      1. It DOES NOT work the same way — the original file you open now has additional versions saved once you make changes. Only when you Duplicate it do you start working on a new file and thus a new set of versions.

      2. Yeah, but now you have two files open and you still have to hit save and still have to name the file. That’s at least four extra steps over hitting save as and naming your new file.

  6. I find it a bit unsettling that so many Mac users are unwilling to move forward with their OS and just try Apple’s vision. It takes very little learning and the benefits quickly outweigh any old habits.

    I’m not a friggin programmer, and I really don’t give a damn where or how a file is located as long as I can pull it up quickly. To me, it makes much more sense to go to the app I need then look at my projects with the latest at the top. That’s too cool. It beats the Hell out of digging down 8 layers and then trying to remember what I named it. The computer is an expert at file organizing, let it do it! Siri for Mac can’t get here too fast – “Siri, I need the list of our band’s next dates over the next 4 weeks as a pdf, and email it to Fred.”

    1. I almost agree, but the search doesn’t find things every time, so I find myself going back to a heirarchy file system too much to abandon it. The project model would work great if there was only one app for every file type, but too often there are mixed file types within a project that need different apps to work on. Thus, having a folder store all the different file types is the best that exists. There is likely a better way to organize projects with mixed data types, but I haven’t seen it yet.

    2. It’s great that it works for you. That doesn’t mean you’ve surveyed so many Mac users and found that they are just obstinate. My wife does work for three different organizations largely in Pages and Print Shop. Year after year. So she regularly pulls up last year’s document from Finder organization — it won’t be in any Recent Items list after that much time and other activity has passed. *I* can tell her to right click the file in Finder and Duplicate it, change the name of the duplicate and open that, or (as I have) have her open it and duplicate it from within Pages. But that’s not how Pages used to work and it’s now how Print Shop works. So she’s stuck between terminologies and methodologies. And she quite frankly has neither the time nor the inclination to change her ways because Apple decided to change theirs. And she has been a Mac user since Ready-Set-Go! came out circa 1985.

    3. “I find it a bit unsettling that so many Mac users are unwilling to move forward with their OS and just try Apple’s vision. It takes very little learning and the benefits quickly outweigh any old habits.”
      Lion has been out since last year, Junior and it is a huge step backward from Snow Leopard in many ways. The problem with Apple is that it is so effing big and moving so fast that shit is being done that should have never seen the light of day.

      Explain to me the value to me- the end user- of hiding the file system, effing up the save command. It’s just like the stoopid (dumb-assed) removal of the search window on the browser, which happens to be a ripoff of Chrome.

      Has Apple become Google or Samesung- copying other’s work?

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