Expanding Save and Print Dialogs

When you try to save or print a document, you sometimes end up with a very small dialog box with a limited set of options. By knowing where to look, you can expand the Save and Print dialogs to reveal more options and make it easier to save and print your document.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Expanding Save and Print Dialogs.

When you're using your Mac sometimes you may go and do a basic task, like say saving a document or printing a document, and you may notice that the resulting interface that comes up, the dialogue that comes up, is actually a lot simpler than what you expect. Maybe you've seen in one of my tutorials a dialogue that shows lots of options or you see in a magazine or a book or something like that.

For instance, here I have a new Pages document and I'm going to save. Choose File, Save or Command S and I get this very simple little box here. It allows me to set the file name, I can set Tags which you may never use, and I can select Where. I can only select from a list of recent locations or some default things like the Documents folder and the Desktop folder, that kind of thing and hit Save. That's all I can do. But typically you see saved dialogues that have a lot more options.

Well, the trick is there's this little box right here. It's a little reveal button and it reveals and expands the dialogue box to include all these other options. So now you have a little mini Finder window. I can actually navigate around in here. I can Search. I can switch to different views. I can sort. I can do all sorts of things to be able to find a location to save this document. The trick was to hit this little button here which you may not even notice. So, yeah, occasionally every once in a while I get somebody saying how do I get all these options. I don't see it when I go to save. It's this little reveal button here.

Now let's say you go to Print. So File, Print. You also get a pretty simple box here. It has a lot more than the Save does. It has a Preview here. You can even flip between pages. You can set the number of copies. All sorts of different things. It even has a little very useful Save As PDF button here. But it doesn't have as many options as you might see in other places.

The key here is not any little button on the upper right. There's no button right there. You'd think there would be. But instead there's a Show Details button. So click that and now, not only do I have all those options, but I have the ability to go into paper handling, layout, Cover Page. This is all going to vary depending upon the printer you have. But a lot more details there. I can hide them again by clicking the Hide Details button. So you can see it's different here in the Print dialogue than it is in the Save dialogue. Both have the similar two modes where you've got a simple mode and then you can reveal all the different options by going to the more complex mode. So it's useful to know to look for these things.

Now the good news is in both these cases it should remember what you last did. So, for instance, I'm going to do Command S and you can see it remembers to have the expanded dialogue. If I close it, even if I hit cancel, the next time I hit Command S you can see it's simple. So it's going to remember the last one that I did. Same thing with printing. If I hit Show Details, even if I hit cancel, the next time I print you can see it comes up with all the details there. Click Hide Details and then the next time it's going to remember that.

So after you expand these and show the details you shouldn't have to do it again. But every once in awhile you may accidentally click it or maybe you're using a different application and you have to remember that it's there to get all of the options.

Comments: 4 Responses to “Expanding Save and Print Dialogs”

    Jean-Marc Corbeil
    1 year ago

    Extremely useful tips Gary. Thank you very. much.

    1 year ago

    very useful . Although I must say , that the hidden menu is one of the few things I dislike about the Apple OS as I find it rather cumbersome to have the details dialogue not shown in the 1st place.

    1 year ago

    After clicking on the PDF box in the print menu, I have added a new folder that shows there. However, when I chose something to go there, it doesn’t; it just ends up in Documents. However, if I chose Web Receipts things will go there directly. Why is this so? Thank you.

    1 year ago

    Sharon: Hard to say without seeing exactly what you are doing. Just look over things carefully. Maybe try it again with a variety of locations.

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