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Mar 26, 2012

Apple, Bring Back "Save As" in OS X Mountain Lion

Apple has a mission with OS X Mountain Lion, whether it likes it or not. It has to bring back some of the features that made people fall in love with the Mac. And that also includes one fundamental function in computing called “Save As.”

We published a feature piece on OS X Lion last year highlighting a surprising change in the operating system – the removal of "Save As" from a number of first-party applications, including Preview, and TextEdit.

As it was expected, Apple fans quickly took to the comments to explain how this omission thwarted their workflow.

Everyone had an example of how they used Preview to quickly save a photo with a different name, or how they employed TextEdit to quickly edit documents, then save to a specific location, with a specific name.

In OS X Lion, then the just-released Mac OS, they could no longer do this. Worst of all, Apple never gave anyone any warning that Save As would be removed. The upgrade to the new OS was (and still is) $29.99.

One of the last comments we received should really strike a chord in Cupertino. And not in a pleasant manner either.

reader Namban writes…:

Finally moved to Lion last night.

A Mac Lombard was my first computer and I have owned nothing but Macs since and have advised many, many people to switch to them. Today, I apologized publicly for that.

Mac was a wonderful thing for many years, but that was when "think different" meant something. Now, Mac stands for, "don't think- we'll do it for you". I work with images and Lion has completely destroyed my workflow. No more "save as", really?

So far the replacement, "save a version" has destroyed an original photo and caused what could be done with a click to need several files and many clicks to accomplish.

Finder no longer tells me how many files are selected, or how much space is available on the drive. That is important to me. So far, I've run into a bunch of stuff like that, little irritants with the potential to do real damage, like losing files. Sure, I can learn new workflows, but the point is Apple has veered off in a direction I don't like and won't get better.

If I have to learn new stuff, might as well do it going in a positive direction. Blending Mac OS with iOS will just result in a sugary little toy that looks cute in a coffee shop, but is incapable of doing any actual work. It's been a fun ride, Mac, but the bus is filling up with Bozos and it's time to hop off. I upgraded to Lion because I was about to buy an iPad, but those bucks will go to a new laptop running a Linux distro instead.

While Namban's approach may seem rushed, there are numerous Mac users out there who feel the same. Many of them can be found in the same thread in which Namban wrote his own thoughts on the matter.

With the upcoming arrival of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion this summer, Apple has a chance to correct this mistake by re-including Save As in the File options.

Mountain Lion is shaping up to become a truly amazing operating system by stitching core features from iOS with the best of desktop computing.

It would be great to see “Save As” re-enabled in the next developer preview of OS X 10.8. This way Apple would also ensure that customers like Namban don’t jump ship before Mountain Lion is released to the public.

A screenshot taken in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Developer Preview 1 ("Save As" missing)


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