As Command Gone with Lion and New Apps
by Alan Zisman (c)
published in Low
11 August 2011
One of the most-heard critiques of Windows Vista was that Microsoft
made seemingly random and unnecessary changes to the user interface,
such as changing the name of much-used features like the control panel
used to uninstall programs. The result: Users accustomed to finding an
item in the same place for a decade had to hunt for it until they got
accustomed to the new name.
Of course, Apple would never do something like that.
Except when it does. In the OS X 10.5 Leopard version of Preview, for
instance, you could drag a PDF page from the sidebar in one open window
to the sidebar of another, quickly and easily creating a multipage PDF
document. Very handy.
But in OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, that no longer worked - until you
learned the trick: In Leopard, you dropped the page below the sidebar
icon for the page you wanted it to follow. In Snow Leopard, you have to
drop the icon on top of a page - the inserted page would appear
previous to ("on top of") the existing page.
With the release of OS X 10.7 Lion, there are more interface changes.
Probably the most noticeable - certainly for users with notebook
trackpads - is what Apple refers to as natural scrolling. With Lion, as
on an iOS device, you move your fingers upwards on the trackpad to
scroll down a page - the opposite of the previous behavior.
But there are other, perhaps less
For instance, if you are using any of the Apple utilities bundled with
Lion, you may have noticed that there is no longer a Save As
item in the File menu of
programs like TextEdit or Preview. There is, however, a new item: Duplicate
often mystified new computer users, but it has been an interface
standard since the early years of Macs, Windows, and other menuing and
windowing user interfaces. Here's how it works (feel free to skip this
section if you're comfortable with Save
- The first time you save a document, clicking on
both Save and Save As does the same thing -
you're asked to set the file name, its location, and (optionally) a
file type if the application supports multiple file types.
- In subsequent saves, clicking Save just re-saves the document
using the information you previously set, without reopening the Save dialogue box.
- Clicking Save As,
however, always opens the Save
dialogue box, giving you the opportunity to make a new copy of the
document with different choices.
Got it? Many of us find this very handy; I can use Save
As in Preview to save a JPG
graphic file in PDF format or in in a new location (still as a JPG
image). I can open an HTML file in a web page editor and Save As
a backup file before
opening the original version again to make changes - giving me the
original version as well as the edited version. (I did all of these
things this morning).
But Save As
is no longer
present in Apple's Lion apps!
(Even though I'm running Lion, Save
remains in older applications that have not yet been updated
for Lion - so much for the Mac's fabled consistent user interface!
Presumably, as new versions of these applications are released, Save As
will become less common).
Here's how to get the same functionality:
Open a document - in my case, I've got an image file open in Preview.
As I described above, I'd like to use Preview to save the file in PDF
format. (Alternatively, I might want to save in a new location, create
a copy with a different name, etc. And yes, I know I use the Print
dialogue or the Finder to do
all these things - though this wouldn't be the case, for instance, for
saving in a different file format with, say, TextEdit).
Click on Preview's File menu. No Save
item! Instead, click Duplicate
Magically, your image is now open in two Preview windows, one for the
original, one for the new duplicate.
For the new, duplicated file, if you click File, you'll see Save
. If you click this, you'll get
a standard Save
letting you do all the things you previously could do with the Save As
dialogue - change the name,
select a different location, make a new folder, change the file format.
If you don't save the duplicate and then try to close the window,
you'll be prompted to save it, to not save it (which closes the
window), or to cancel the close operation.
While you get a Save
item for the duplicated document, the original document window gives
you (along with that Duplicate
menu item) a Save a Version
menu item. Clicking that looks as if it doesn't do anything - but Lion
has a systemwide Versions
feature, which works sort of like Time
, letting you go back to earlier versions of a document.
Like many other Lion features, this only works with applications
updated to take advantage of it (which is the case with Apple's Preview
and TextEdit applications).
Long time Save As
users will probably grumble
- this does take one more mouse click, the one that creates a duplicate
prior to getting what would have been the Save As
dialogue box. I think I see
why Apple did this, though. Duplicating the document gives a physical
indication to the user that the action will create two versions of the
document - something that wasn't the case with the old Save As
Moreover, when using Save As
the original version is no longer open. In many cases, it may be useful
to be able to work on both versions of the document or simply to
compare the changed version to the original.
Changing long-held habits is always hard. I'm still not used to Lion's
so-called "natural" scrolling, for instance. And it's harder to get
used to using Duplicate
most of my applications continue to have Save As
But that's the Apple way!
Postscript (April 2012): Reader
Kelly Turek wrote:
Loved your article on the Save As. Nice to know other people grumble
about it too. Is there a way to make Command-shift-S a
hotkey/shortcut/whatever mac calls it for "duplicate"? I managed to
make Command-shift-F a shortcut for "foonotes" so i KNOW it can be
done, but it was long ago and I have since lost that knowledge.
Because that would make my life so much easier.
I just did it - here's how:
1) Open System Preferences, then the Keyboard item, and go to the
Keyboard Shortcuts tab
2) Click on Application Shortcuts (in the list on the left) and change
the setting on the bottom to (x) All Controls. Click the [+] to Add a
3) In the dialogue box that pops up, in Menu Title: type Duplicate. In
Keyboard Shortcut, type your desired keystrokes... click Add.
I just tested it in Preview and it works fine... It should work with
other applications which use the new Lion commands as well.
Thanks for writing!