2/16/229:00 am 16 Tips For Using Mac File Save Dialogs When you save a file, the dialog that appears allows you to choose the name and location of the new file. There's a lot of hidden functionality in the File Save dialog that you can use to improve your productivity. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let's look at some tips for using the Files Save Dialogue. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 1000 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So when you first create a new document in just about any app on your Mac, like here in Pages, then you would normally go to Save the document. You would go to File, Save or Command S. Then you get what is called the File Save, or Save File, dialogue. This is where you decide where the file is going to live and what name its going to have. So here are some tips for using this. Now you might want to jump right away to this button here. Don't worry. I'm going to get to that soon enough. But here are some things you can do with this compact version of the dialogue. One is, of course, that you can name the file. But notice how by default only the part before the file extension is selected. But if you want to select the entire name you can. A quick Command A is Select All in just about any app and it works right here. So Command A and now you have the entire thing selected. It's really handy in situations where you want to change the extension. Like if the app insists on using dot jpeg and you want to use dot jpg you can easily do it with Command A and then type the whole thing out. Now notice right below the name you've got Tags. You can assign tags right here to the file. So you don't have to wait for it to get into the Finder, maybe work on the file for a bit and then go to work with Tags. You can add existing tags here. You can use Show All to bring up a list of all of them or you can just type new tags right there. So if you like tagging your files you can do it right here from the start. Notice here you can choose Where. Now without pressing this button here, I am getting to it, you can select from several different places. You will see a lot of things you normally see, like the Top Level, Other Drives. You can see places like iCloud Drive. You can even see recent places here at the bottom which means 90% of the time you might find exactly what you want right here. But if you want to customize this notice you'll also find Favorites. Where are these favorites from? Well, they're from the Finder. If I bring up a Finder window there are my Favorites. Those will match here but minus some things. Stuff like Recents won't be included and Applications, of course, isn't a place to save files. But if I were to add something else like this folder right there and then I'll go and start this again. I'll just cancel. Do Command S to Save and then if I look here I'll see that is listed there now. Now you can also use Drag and Drop here to indicate any location you want. So the idea is to bring up a Finder window like this. Now if I want to go into this Folder I can Drag and Drop it right here, actually anywhere here, and you could see it will change the location to that folder. So if you happen to have that visible right there in the Finder it's easy to set the Where to any folder. Now how about some keyboard shortcuts. If I were to press Return right here it would Save. I can do Command S to Save. I can type something and then I can press Return to save. If I want to cancel I have two keyboard shortcuts. I can use the Escape key or I could do Command period for cancel. All right finally lets look at the extended version of this. By clicking here now I've got a proper saved dialogue with a lot more functionality. First you actually have the sidebar here on the left just like in the Finder. You'll find all these same things over here. So you could easily go to Favorites and anything else that's listed. Different drives and all of that. Now if you would rather not see that and save some space, or maybe you don't see it and want to turn it on, you can do that right here. Now notice also there are some buttons here to make this even more like a regular Finder window. In a Finder window like this we can switch between List View and do Icon View. We can do Columns. Well, you can do the same thing here. You've got those three types of views right there. You also even have the groupings right here. If you're in List View you can even sort by name and such. So let's go up a level here to Projects and I can Sort By Name, I can Sort By Size, I can Sort By Kind. I can do all that stuff just like this was a regular Finder window. Now you can also use the keyboard shortcuts for this. Notice here it doesn't show keyboard shortcuts for Icon List or Column View. But in the Finder you certainly have those. Command 1, Command 2, Command 3. So if you use them here it will just work. Those aren't the only keyboard shortcuts you can use from the Finder. In the Finder you've got the Go Menu and you have some standard things like Shift Command O for documents. Shift Command D for Desktop and all the rest here. You could use these right here as well. So Shift Command D takes me to the Desktop. Shift Command O takes me to Documents. Note that the Drag and Drop I showed you earlier in the compact version of this also works here. So I could easily Drag and Drop and folder right here and you could see it goes to that location. Another thing you could do is you could do Search. So instead of trying to navigate your way to a particular folder you can just search for it. So you could do Project Alpha and say I want to search this Mac and sure enough there are a couple locations with that name. I could just save it right in here. No Navigation needed. Just searching for it. Now this is the tip that I probably use the most. When you click on a file notice that the file names here are grayed out. You can't actually do anything with them here. You're trying to save a new file. Not do anything to old files. But if you were to click on an old file look what happens to the File Name. It takes the file name and uses it for this file. But it doesn't do that for the extension. So I use this all the time when I have a folder with files and I want to have similar file names for them. But they are going to be different types of files. An image, a video, a project, a Pages document, and all of that. In this case I've got an image here in this Project folder and I want to name this Pages document the same thing. So instead of having to type the name out I can just click. It really helps a lot especially when the file names get to be particularly long. Now what if you wanted to do that in the Folder name. Like say this folder didn't have a file in it already. Well, there's no way to do that because selecting a folder, of course, it's going to go down into that folder. But you can Control Click, right click, or two finger click on a trackpad on a folder and get a Context Menu. One of the things the Context Menu can change is Rename. You can actually rename a folder right here while you're in the middle of saving a document. That's kind of neat in itself. But you can also do this to actually do Command C, grab the name, and then go into your File Name here and Paste it. Again, this is much more useful when there's a long file name that you could easily mistype than when it's a short easy one. Now there's also a button down here that we shouldn't ignore called New Folder. You can actually use this to create a new folder right here in this Save Dialogue. So you don't necessarily need to go and setup a folder in advance. If this is the first file that you're going to be putting in a folder you go to Save it, go to the right location, create a new folder right in here with that button and then name the folder and put the file inside. By the way, the keyboard shortcut in the Finder for New Folder is Shift Command N and it works here as well. Now another thing you can do here is use the very useful Shift Command G function. This allows you to navigate using the keyboard. You can type the path to anywhere that you want. So if you like doing this and you like navigating around using the path you can do it. It's also, of course, going to have your recents in here. So if it's a recent folder it's going to be easy to use the keyboard with Shift Command G and go down to a folder, select it, and now you're at that location. Now a lot of times when you use Shift Command G to type the names of folders you start off with either a slash starting at the top level of the drive or a tilde starting in your Home folder. Well guess what? Since you can't really use those characters in file names anyway if you just start using those it automatically assumes you want Shift Command G. So I'll just hit slash and you could see I go right into it. It's the same thing if I do tilde. Finally another keyboard shortcut thing is you can use the very useful Command Up to go up a level. Of course you can always click here and then go up a level inside of the folder hierarchy right there but I find it very useful when you're down here just to use Command Up to go up a level and then you can use all of the other keyboard navigation to go wherever you want. Plus the letters work as well. So if I'm here at the top and I want to jump down to the first folder with S I can just type s and it jumps down there. Really useful when it's a super long list of folders. Of course you also have Back and Forward buttons here which you don't use most of the time. But if you're kind of navigating around trying to search around for the place to put this file you may find it useful sometimes to go back especially if you're just jumping around, Shift Command D to go to Desktop and then go to Documents and then you go into here and now you just want to go back through that again to where you were originally. So here's a tip about the File Save Dialogue that doesn't use the dialogue at all. You can skip it entirely. But how do you do that and still give the file a name? Well, if you click up here with a new file it brings up the information about the File Name and the Location. I can go in here and I can name the file whatever I want and then pick a location right from here and it's Saved. No need to ever use the Saved Dialogue at all. Here if I look at the Desktop there it is. Here's one last tip. Of course once you've saved the first time saving again doesn't bring that dialogue up at all because you're just saving the current version of the file. But if you want to save it somewhere else you could go to File, Save As. This brings up the same dialogue and will now save the current version of the file somewhere else as a completely new file, leaving the old one alone. But sometimes you're working in an app and there is no Save As. Just Save. You figure out you could just use Duplicate to do basically the same thing. But maybe if you're used to doing Save As or it seems like the better word flow, you can usually get it even if apps don't have it here, by simply holding the Option Key down. That will change Duplicate File to Save As. If you ever want to use Save As and it's not available in the File Menu just hold the Option key down to find it. Hope you found all these tips useful. Thanks for watching. Related Subjects: Finder (285 videos) Related Video Tutorials: 200 Mac Tips And Tricks ― 10 Mac Tips From MacMost’s Patreon Supporters Comments: 4 Responses to “16 Tips For Using Mac File Save Dialogs” Robert Guibord 2 years ago Hi Gary, I was especially interested in what you were saying at 8:10 about using Shift-Command-G and how you can just type "/" or "~" to get to the top level or the home directory respectively. But I can't figure out how to implement that tip. Where were you in the system when you said "I'll just hit slash . . . and I go right into it"? Thank you for your teaching and tips. Robert Guibord Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Robert: You have to be using the Save dialog, like I am in this video. Those shortcuts aren't in the Finder. Alan Churchill 2 years ago The thing about being a long-time Mac user is that we tend to assume we are "experts" at knowing how to use the Mac. But, after watching your many videos, I realize that I am an "expert" at doing what I already know and am missing many alternative methods. So, now, you have reduced me back to being a beginner. I am loving all the "new" things I am finding via your videos. Thanks. Alan Churchill Robert Guibord 2 years ago Hi Gary, Thanks for your clarifying answer to my question above. Now I get it. Comments Closed.