Using Duplicate or Save As on a Mac

One of the changes that recent updates brought to many apps on the Mac is the replacement of the SAVE AS menu command with DUPLICATE. This has led to some confusion, which we hope to clear up in this post. You will see this change in Apple’s productivity apps – Pages, Keynote, and Numbers – as well as in various other Apple and third-party apps.

The SAVE AS command is used to save a new copy of a file, while leaving the original file in its original state. This is often done to save changes without losing previous versions of the file, in case it is later necessary to revert to one of those versions. When Apple introduced OS X Lion, they brought version caching with it, which automatically does the same thing. For example, to revert to a previous state of a Pages file, just choose FILE, REVERT TO → BROWSE ALL VERSIONS, and you can choose between any previously saved version of your file.

Along with this change, Apple replaced the SAVE AS command, previously found in the FILE menu, with the DUPLICATE command. Choosing FILE, DUPLICATE will create an open copy of the current file, which can then be named and saved like any other file.

While many enjoy this added functionality, this change did frustrate some who missed the old SAVE AS command. The good news for those who feel this way is that SAVE AS still exists in these programs, it is just hidden. To change the DUPLICATE command back to the SAVE AS command in these apps, simply hold the Option key while viewing the FILE menu, or use the SAVE AS keyboard shortcut: Option-Shift-⌘-S.

Jason Merrill, Mac & iOS Consultant