4/28/229:00 am The Differences Between Duplicate And Save As In most apps you can choose to Duplicate the current document, or use a hidden Save As command to do something very similar. What are the differences between the two commands and what other alternatives are there? Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let's take a look at the similarities and differences between the File Duplicate and File Save As functions. 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 I often find that people are confused about the differences between using File Duplicate and File Save As. They do very similar things and they basically can be used interchangeably as long as you understand how they are similar and how they are different. So here I've got a document that I just created in TextEdit. I'm going to use TextEdit as an example but most standard Mac Apps will work the same way with their documents. Let's first Save this document here. So I'm going to go to File, Save. Notice since I haven't saved the document yet Save has three dots after it. So that means it's going to prompt me for more information before it can complete that command. In this case it doesn't know what I want to call the file since I've never saved it before. So it's going to prompt me for that. So I'm going to save it to this file folder that we can see right here and I'll just call it Test. So now I've got the file saved there and I still have it open. Now I can go and use the File Duplicate function here to create a second copy of it. But I can also use File Save As. If you hold the Option key down Duplicate changes to Save As. So the keyboard shortcut is the same just add the Option key. Years ago Save As was the standard. Duplicate replaced it but Save As was always there as the option. We do find that some third party applications may have stuck with Save As and some may actually include both here in the Menu without holding the Option key. So let's look at the similarities between the two of them. Both of them will essentially create a duplicate file of the document that you're working on. So here I'm working on Test.rtf. If I go to File, Duplicate I now have a second copy of that. It gives even a suggested name here and I could use that or I could change it to something else. Call it Test 2. You could see it creates that file there. It actually Saves it the first time. Now we have two identical versions of the file so far. If I instead used Save As it will prompt me right here in a Saved Dialogue for a new name. So I'll create the new file there, Save, and you could see I again have two identical copies of the file. Another way in which they are both similar is the version history. So here in the original I can go to File and Revert To and go to Previous Save, Browse All Versions. If I were to create a Duplicate of this then this new file here actually doesn't have any version saved even though the original one does. The same thing if I used Saved As. I create this new version of the file here and now I'm editing the new version of the file and I could see here and there are no previous saves of this new version. But if I go back to the old version here I can see there are. So how do these differ? Well one primary way in which they differ is that with Duplicate you end up with both the original version open here in one window and the new version in another window. So you've got two windows open, old version, new version. If we use Save As you save that file you only have one window open. It has the new version of the file. The old version is still there but it's no longer an open document. You would have to open it manually again to get to it. The second way in which these differ is when you choose the new name for the file. So if I go to File, Duplicate you could see it prompted me right here to put a new name right now. But I could skip that. I could just go right here to editing and it still will be Untitled. If I go to File, Save you could see it gives me three dots there meaning it's unsaved right now. The first time I go to Save it's going to prompt me for a file name. However, if I used File, Save As it immediately prompts me for a file name right here. So I have to actually save it right at the beginning and now I'm editing the new document that's already been saved. So there's no way to actually start editing the document until it has been saved. Another difference is what happens to Unsaved changes in the original document. So here I am in the original document. I will create a new line but I haven't saved yet. I haven't used Command S or File, Save. Now if I go to Duplicate I have that new line in both documents. However, you could see right at the top the original document just shows that it is edited. This change hasn't been saved. Now whether this gets saved depends on System Preferences under General. If you look here there's Asked to keep changes from closing document. So if you have that turned Off then it really doesn't matter because everything auto saves. If I close this document it will save it and any changes I made will be saved. But if I have this turned On then it's going to ask to keep changes. So now if I go to close this document it will prompt me whether or not I want to save the changes or forget about the changes since the last save. Now what about File, Save As. Well if I do Save As and get the new file name there I switched over to the new document. So what happened to the changes in the old document. Well, if I double click on it I'll see that indeed it saved them. The way that happened was a little checkbox that you can easily miss. So let's take a step back here and you could see I made that change and it says it is edited. Let me go to File, Save As and I look closely and there's a checkbox here for Keep Changes in Original Document. So if I have that checked, and it is by default, when it closes the original document to create the new one it will keep the changes. So if I turn that Off and then I save with the new name you could see I'm in the new document. It has that new line there. But if I go back to the original you could see it didn't save the changes. So, it's a way to actually make changes to a document, realize you don't want to have those changes applied to the current document, but you instead want to create a new one. That's how to do it. So if it still sounds a little confusing that's because the functionality really is that close. In most cases you can use either Duplicate or Save As to accomplish any goal that you want. But sometimes you don't need to use either one of those to accomplish a goal. For instance, if you go to File there's Rename right here and you can rename a file while it's open. Years and years ago you wouldn't want to do this. You would want to close a file, rename it in the Finder, and then open up the now renamed file. But now you could just rename the file while you're working on it even in the app. You could do the same thing with Move To. You can choose a new location for that file to be saved while the file is open. It will actually move it while you are working on it. So in some cases you may think that Save As is what you want but actually just Renaming or Moving the actual current file, not creating a copy of it, is what you want. You could also do both of those things here in the Title Bar in most apps. Click on the Title Bar you could change the name and you could actually change where it's saved even choosing Other, choose any location. Another reason to use Duplicate or Saved As is if you created a document that has a starting point, maybe for a task you do every week and you want to create a new version of that file every week. If that's the case there are other options you can use as well. Select a file and then use File, Get Info or Command i. You can change it to a stationary pad. What a stationary pad is when you open the file it immediately creates a duplicate of it. You can see it. It just names it with the word copy here. It opens up a duplicate. The original file isn't actually opened at all. So it's the equivalent of opening the file and then choosing Save As to save a new copy of it, save it, and now you're working on that new file. It prevents you from accidentally making a mistake of altering the original. On the other hand if you select a file a choose Locked, then it works in a different way. You can open the file and you're now working on the original but it says Locked at the top. You can't make changes to it. As soon as I try to make changes it's going to ask me to Duplicate the file. So you could only make changes to the Duplicate, you can never change the original as long as it is locked. Of course that's very similar to using template functionality inside of an app. For instance in Pages you can Save your own templates and open them up to create new files as well. So depending upon the app that you are using making a template to use may be the way to go rather than using a stationary pad or Locked in the File. I hope you found this useful. Thanks for watching. Related Subjects: Finder (293 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 2 Responses to “The Differences Between Duplicate And Save As” John Russell 2 years ago Thanks for the comprehensive look at these features. For me, Apple has gone way overboard in offering these options. As long as I have my wits, Save As works for me the first time I save, Command S saves my followups, and life goes on. Kerrie Redgate 2 years ago Thank you so very much, Gary! I’ve learned a lot here, as usual. I was never confident that Save As wouldn’t delete my original. And the information here on the Lock and Stationary Pad is so helpful — I had misunderstood Lock (I thought it was like securely Locking a document in Notes), and had no idea what Stationary Pad was! How would we know this stuff without you!?! Many, many thanks! Comments Closed.