Document Title Bars and Proxy Icons

There are many things you can do in the title bar of a document window. You can rename and even move a file without ever having to switch to the Finder. You can also view the folder path to see the location of the file. With the proxy icon you can attach the file to an email or open a copy in another application.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. On today's episode let's look at Document Title Bars and Proxy Icons.

So let's run TextEdit and create a new document. Now Title Bar is what you see here at the top and it has the title of the document in it. If you rollover it you can see a little down reveal triangle that you can click on and access several things about this document.

Here you can change the name or in this case set the name since I haven't yet saved this document. You can add Tags. You can specify where the document is to live; in a folder, iCloud. You can use Other to select any location that you can reach.

You can also Lock the file. Notice that that is greyed out. Also notice the icon is missing. This is because I haven't saved the file yet. Let me do that. Let me do Command S here, save the file to the desktop and now you can see I have this Proxy icon here and I have the Locked option available to me now.

So you can see I can click on the title here and change the name of the document without ever having to leave the application or close the document or go to the Finder, anything. You can see it will change here on the desktop.

I can also move it without having to leave the application or even look at a window in the Finder. I can move it to the Documents folder and you can see it disappears from the desktop and it will now appear in Documents. You can see there it is, My Document.txt and I can move it back if I want to.

I can even move to and from iCloud using this.

Now another thing you can do with the Title Bar is to Command click on the title. What that will give you is a list here of the folder that the document is in and the folder that it is in all the way up to the main level of your computer. So if I selected that it will actually open a Finder window for that folder. So this kind of gives you the idea of the path where the document is stored.

Now another thing you can do up here is use this Proxy icon here and drag it. You can drag it to another window or folder in the Finder. I've created this untitled folder here and you can see the little curved arrow with the cursor there that it will create an alias to that document. So a shortcut to it.

It can also hold down the Option key and instead of creating an alias it will have that little green plus button and that means it is going to create a copy of that document. So I've created a copy of that document, the original is still there and I'm still working with the original here.

Now that is only somewhat useful because, you know, creating the alias and copy is pretty easy to do in the Finder. But you can also use the Proxy icon to drag and drop to another application. For instance I have a Mail window open here. We're working on this document here and I want to put a copy of it and email it to somebody. I can drag the Proxy icon to the window here that I am composing a new message in and you can see it attaches it to the message.

You can also drag the Proxy icon to other applications to open up a copy of it. So I'm going to type something in here so I have something in the document. I'm going to drag the Proxy icon to Pages, which of course as you can imagine is compatible because they both are text editors, and you can see I've got this here and it is a copy. There is no Proxy icon which means I have not saved this yet. So as soon as I want to go and save it, it will save it as a separate document. So you are not actually opening the same document in multiple windows, you are opening a copy it kind of in the same way you are putting a copy of it into an email message.

One last thing I want to show you is that when you change something in the document you will see an Edited indicator up here that tells you that the file has now been edited. If I go and Command S which is Save you can see the Edited goes away and then appears again when I make another change. So you can kind of glance at your Title Bar and know whether or not something has changed.

So keep in mind that these things work for documents but not necessarily for all application windows. For instance when you are viewing something like say viewing a web page in Safari you are not going to have all these options. But when you create a document in Pages you will have these options. Also keep in mind that these are standard things for the Apple apps like Pages, Numbers, Keynote, TextEdit, etc., and a lot of other developers who follow the same design as Apple. But not all third party apps are going to have the same functionality in the Title Bar and with the Proxy icon.

Comments: 4 Responses to “Document Title Bars and Proxy Icons”

    Rip Rapacki
    8/28/14 @ 8:56 am

    I’m new to OS X 10.9. In 10.6, a document that was being edited (not saved) showed a dot in the middle of the red button in the upper left. MS Word still works that way. Why was it changed? I liked it when things were consistent between text writing programs. Thanks.

      8/28/14 @ 9:04 am

      My guess is that it was changed to make it clearer. The word “Edited” in the title bar is a lot clearer than a dot. Third-party developers are free to have their own design, so maybe that is why they stuck with the dot. Though looking at Word 2011, I don’t see a dot, but the icon in the title bar changes brightness when a document has been edited and not saved.

      John
      8/28/14 @ 9:09 am

      Things do change. Apple products now show the “edited” comment in the Title bar instead of the often overlooked tiny dot in the Close button. Keep your eye on updates to MS products – you may find the same change there some day.

      It’s a mistake to want to keep things the same from release to release. If that happened, there would be no new release except for bug fixes and security enhancements. And many people are always submitting feature requests that do change how things look and behave.

        Greg
        8/28/14 @ 2:30 pm

        New features are welcome, but as a long-time Apple user, I like the conciseness of the dot to signify an unsaved doc. I also don’t like the new “Tags” feature, preferring the older “Labels” convention. In column view, I frequently have to scroll over to see the tag “dot”, whereas Labels had the advantage of coloring the icon the color of the Label. A better way would be for Apple to allow users to keep what their are used to and like. Change for its own sake is not necessarily a good thing.

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