Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Saving files within an application, part of Mac OS X El Capitan Essential Training.
- Lots of applications on your computer involve composing and editing a file of some sort. When you create a new document or edit an existing one, you have to be able to save that document in order to keep your changes. So I'd like to take a few minutes to talk about the essentials of saving files, the obvious stuff and the not so obvious stuff. One thing you should know is that saving files works slightly differently in applications made by Apple compared to applications that are not made by Apple. It's the same basic thing with some interesting differences.
So I'm going to start here in an application that's not made by Apple. I'm in Microsoft Word. So Microsoft Word may not be on your computer, it does not come with a Mac but it is a pretty common application but don't worry about that. I'm not really interested in the specifics of this application. I want to talk about the mechanics of saving a file which is pretty similar in most applications. So I'm going to start by writing some text in this document and I'll stop there because the content of this document is not important. It's the process of saving the file that is.
So now that I've typed something in this document, I'm going to go into the File menu and I see two options here: Save and Save As. Now I've just created this document, it's a brand new document that I've never saved so at this point, Save and Save As do the same thing. Now, in just a moment, we're going to see that they have two very different uses but when you first save a document for the first time, it doesn't really matter. So I'm just going to hit Save and so what you need to do here when you save a file is give it a name and choose a location on your hard drive where you want to save it.
Now, a quick note if you are using Microsoft Word, when you go to save a file, your window might look like this. If it does and you see a button that says On My Mac, you want to hit that and then you can save your file on your computer directly. So first, I'm going to give this a name, so I'm going to call this Meeting Memo and then there's this option for Where and I've got this list of different folders on my hard drive but basically this is just your Favorites.
The same as the Favorites you would see in the sidebar in a finder window. I want to dig down into a specific folder so what I want to do is hit this little arrow right here next to the file name, this window opens up and it gets bigger and now I can dig through. This is basically a finder window, so I can click on my Documents folder and I'm going to go to this No Obstacles folder inside of my Documents and that's where I want to save it. So I've given it a name and a location and then I'll hit Save, now this document has been saved and I can see the file name up here at the top of the window and everything is all set.
If I open up a finder window and I go to My Documents folder and I go to that No Obstacles folder I can see this is the file that we just created so this document is now represented by a file in a folder on my hard drive. In fact, if I quit Microsoft Word and I go into this folder, I can double-click on this file and it will launch in Microsoft Word because that's the application where it was created. So now I can make some changes but I want to draw your attention to a few things as I make some changes to this file.
I want to look at the red button, up here in the top-left. You remember our red, yellow and green buttons? Well, I'm going to make a change to this document. Let's say I want to change this from October to November and now there's a little black dot inside the red button up in the top-left corner. So that black dot in the red button tells me that I've made a change to this file that I've not yet saved. If I close this file, I would lose the change that I made. So when you make a change like this, you should save it and what I'm talking about is just updating the file that you've already created.
To do that I go into the File menu and this time, there is a difference between Save and Save As. If you hit Save on a file that already exists, you're just updating it and saving changes that you've made. So I'm going to hit that, the black dot goes away from the red button and now I know that this document is up to date. So what's the point of Save As? Well, Save As is there if you want to create a new, duplicate copy of this document. Let's say I'm going to make a new version of this document for December and I want to keep most of the text from this document.
I don't want to type it all over again. What I can do is duplicate this document and then make the changes I want in that new file. To do that, I go to the File menu. This time I choose Save As. Again, I have to give this a name and a location so I'm going to call it Meeting Memo December and I'm already in the right folder but, of course, I could go to Documents, to No Obstacles and so now I've given it a name and a location. I hit Save and now I see that new file name up at the top and if I move this finder window over so we can see it, I can see the Meeting Memo file we created before and now the new copy that we saved when we did Save As.
And, of course, this is what we are editing right now, the duplicate copy. Ok, so those are the essentials of Save and Save As when you're working in most applications that are not made by Apple. So for now, I'm going to Quit Word and this time, I'm going to open a different application so I'm going to go into Launchpad and I'm looking for an application that is made by Apple. So I'm going to use an application called TextEdit as an example. Here in Launchpad, if I go into the Other folder, I can find TextEdit here. This is an application that comes built into MAC OS X.
It's a basic application for writing text documents. It's not as robust as something like Microsoft Word but you can write simple documents in it and for what it's worth, the process of saving files here in TextEdit, is the same if you're saving files in the iWork applications like Pages, Keynote and Numbers. Ok, so here in TextEdit, I'm going to hit this New Document button to create a new document and just like we did before, I'll type in some text. So at this point, I see up at the top of the window, it says Untitled because I've never saved this file.
So, let's save it. We're going to go to the File menu as before and now I do not see Save As, I only see one option for save. We'll talk about that in a moment but really, at this point, I really just need to hit Save because I've never saved this file before. So that's what I want here, I'll hit Save and just as before, I need to give this a name and a location so I'm going to call this Memo Text, just to give it a different name and then there's something interesting here in the field where it says Where.
By default, in applications that are made by Apple, if you use iCloud, it's going to want to save it a special folder in your iCloud account. I don't want to save it there, I want to save it in a folder on my hard drive so if I open this up I have the same options we saw before or I can hit the arrow next to the file name to open it up and I can do what I did before. I'm going to go to Documents, that No Obstacles folder so I've given it a name and a location and I'll hit Save. Great! So this file has been saved over here in Finder.
I can see that file is there and if I make some changes, so maybe I change this to November, in this case, I do not see a black dot in the red button but up at the top of the window, I do see it says Edited, so it does tell me that I've made a change without saving. So from here, of course, I just go to File, I hit Save and that file is updated but what if I want to make a copy and make changes to that copy? Well, if I go into the File menu, I do not have the option for Save As but I do have the option for Duplicate and if I hit that, it gives me a completely separate window with a completely separate file.
Now I'm going to give it a name. You can see the field up here at the top of the window is blue. That means I can type in a name so I'm going to call this Memo Text November and I'll hit Return. Now what's interesting here is this file is already Saved. I can see it here in that same location. So when you give it a name after duplicating the file it's going to save it in the default location. Now what you may want to do here is click on the file name up at the top and make sure the location is correct.
If you want to, you can go to this menu and choose a different location. I'm going to choose Desktop as an example and as soon as I do that, you'll see that file moves from this folder to the Desktop. If I do that again, I'm going to go here to this menu and this time, I do not see No Obstacles listed here, I do see it listed here but if the folder that I wanted was not on this list, I would have to hit Other, then it opens a finder window then I can go to Documents to the folder I want then I'm going to hit this Move button and the file moves from this location to this location.
So, in fact, you can create a new document and you can even save the file and give it a location without ever going into the File menu. Just by clicking on the file name up here at the top, I'll call this Sample, I'll choose a location, in this case, I'll choose Desktop, I'll click outside of that little pop-up and the file is already saved on my Desktop. So you can see that the process of saving a file is a little bit different in an application made by Apple and that's pretty much it.
Generally, you can see that saving documents is pretty easy. It's just important that you choose a name for your document and you choose where you want to save it.
- Setting mouse and trackpad options and gesture controls
- Connecting to the Internet
- Organizing your Mac OS X desktop
- Browsing files and folders with the Finder
- Launching and quitting applications
- Using Split View and multitasking
- Searching for files with Spotlight
- Browsing the web with Safari
- Setting up Mail, Calendar, and Contacts
- Connecting to others with Messages and FaceTime
- Working with notifications
- Installing apps
- Sharing over a wireless network
- Backing up your Mac