Sunday, September 23, 2012

Difference between Hidden Save As and Duplicate in Preview

Investigating the Difference between Save As … and Duplicate

Many have been missing the old Save As ... option that was available in prior systems on the Mac.  It has been replaced recently in Mountain Lion system with a Duplicate, Save and Export options.  

The Save option is there but is not entirely necessary.  The system has been given the intelligence to auto-save your documents in Preview, whether you click on Save in the File menu or not.  In fact, any changes that you make to a document are saved and can be retrieved by selecting "Revert to" in the File menu.

 By clicking on Browse All Versions, we are presented with various revisions, including the original document.  We can revert back to the original or earlier versions.

Controversial Hidden Revisions

There is some controversy about this intelligence that Apple has incorporated into some of its applications. It seems that when revisions are made, they are kept (hidden) within the resulting file. Good idea if you are prone to screw things up when editing and want to go back to the original; but it also seems that this extra data that exists is added to the size of the resulting file.  In some cases, this could also be considered a problem, should someone decide to access some possible personal data or information from the hidden data.  Well, that is another post, and I am trying to get to the other hidden element, which is the Save As ... option that we all were accustomed to in previous versions.

How to Access the Old Save As ...

The Save As ... is actually still available. It can be accessed by holding down the Option key while selecting the File menu.  You will see the old option Save As ... It replaces the option of Duplicate that exists in the visible File menu.

What is the Difference between the Two Options? 

Basically, the Duplicate option, creates a copy of the current document within Preview, that allows you to change the name on the title bar above the document.  This file will be stored in the same folder as the original document, but you will be reminded to save it when the file is closed or you can click on Save from the File menu before that time.  It will be the same size of the original document.

Depending on where in the process that you duplicate your image, depends on how much reverting to previous edits can be accomplished.  If you have a duplicate of an original document and cropped that document image and then duplicated that crop, then you will not be able to revert to the original at that point.  So it appears after cropping an image file, the size of the file becomes smaller than the original, and it makes sense that the previous full size image is not saved.

In one test, I duplicated the original, and used it as my starting image. I then cropped that image and saved the results.  In this case, I was able to revert to the original image.  Strangely, the file that resulted after the crop, was also reduced in size.  So, I wondered if it could be sent to someone via Airplay and whether they would be able to retrieve my original image.  Testing this by sending the file to my husband's computer, he was NOT able to revert to the original file; however I was.  So somehow, this makes me believe that some sort of data is still attached to that resulting file that somehow marks the location of original files on my computer alone. 

When you click on the Save As ... (using the option key while selecting the File menu), the old Save As ... dialog box appears, allowing you to name the file, choose where to put the file or even create a new folder to put it in.   The resulting file becomes smaller and no ability to revert to original was available.

How To Add the Old Save As ... Back to File Menu for Applications

If you want you can add the old Save As … back into your menu by adding it to the System Preferences> Keyboard> Application Shortcuts.  You will need to select the Application Shortcuts from the left-hand side of the window, then click on the + button to add in the name of the shortcut and the keys you want to use. 

Enter the Menu Title as Save As ... (to create the ellipse or 3 dots you merely, hold down the option key and type a semicolon ";"  To enter the shortcut keys, merely select them on the keyboard and they will appear in the box.  You can also selectively choose the applications, either All or the one you wish to add this shortcut, by clicking on the pop-down menu next to the Application request box.

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