10 Replies Latest reply: Jul 23, 2012 5:37 AM by Kurt Lang
ewilen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

This is an old peeve about OS X.

 

Do a save as... on this page. In the save dialog box, make sure you're in a subfolder (navigate into one if necessary). Also make sure you're in icon view or list view. Now assume you don't want to save the page into this folder, but in its parent. So you navigate up a level using command-up arrow or by clicking in the drop-down menu at the top of the dialog box.

 

Now you are up a level but the selection is the subfolder you were in a moment ago.

 

If you click "save" you'll be back in the subfolder, which you don't want.

 

If you click on a different folder, you still can't click "save", or you'll be in that folder.

 

If you try to "click off" by clicking on a filename, the name of the file you're saving will be replaced by the name of that file.

 

If you have enough screen space, you can expand the dialog box until there's empty space in the file list, then click there. But this isn't always an option.

 

You may be able to go up another level, and then down again into the folder you want, which will eliminate the selection, but this is crazy.

 

What I'd really like to know is, does anyone find the italicized behavior above to be functional? If not, why does Mac OS still do this? (Note, it didn't do this prior to Mac OS X.) And is there a better approach than the ones I've given, to move up a level in the folder hierarchy when doing a save?


Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: clicking a file during "save as" changes name to that filename
    steve626 Level 4 Level 4 (1,405 points)

    ewilen wrote:

     

    This is an old peeve about OS X.

     

    Do a save as... on this page. In the save dialog box, make sure you're in a subfolder (navigate into one if necessary). Also make sure you're in icon view or list view. Now assume you don't want to save the page into this folder, but in its parent. So you navigate up a level using command-up arrow or by clicking in the drop-down menu at the top of the dialog box.

     

    Now you are up a level but the selection is the subfolder you were in a moment ago.

     

     

    I don't see this behavior -- namely the last sentence above. When I do this, that subfolder is NOT the selection, it just saves into the parent folder one level higher as one might expect. I never see the "click off" issue you mention because I don't need to "click off" ...

  • 2. Re: clicking a file during "save as" changes name to that filename
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)

    If you click "save" you'll be back in the subfolder, which you don't want.

    I was unable to duplicate that step. When I clicked Save, OS X did save the file right where I was without moving back into the child folder I had backed out of.

    If you try to "click off" by clicking on a filename, the name of the file you're saving will be replaced by the name of that file.

    Yes, you are correct (your later sentence), the Mac OS never used to do this. Not until 10.5.x I think. Many, many Windows users begged to be able to do this as it is something Windows has always allowed you to do. I think Apple was reluctant to implement this change for just the reason you note; it's a bit too easy to accidentally click on a name, not notice and click Save. Poof! Your other file by that name has just been overwritten (if it's exactly the same name, with or without an extension).

     

    I'm split down the middle on that one. I liked the safety of not being able to pick up a name from the Save or Save As dialogue box, but at the same time, it's often very handy.

  • 3. Re: clicking a file during "save as" changes name to that filename
    ewilen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Kurt, Steve, thanks for your answers. I think I see the reason for the discrepancy. The behavior doesn't happen when you use the popup menu. It does happen if you use command-up arrow to navigate to the parent folder.

     

    Again, if there aren't too many files in the parent folder, one workaround is to expand the save dialog box...but that requires you to take your hands off the keyboard. A lot of the time, I'm using command-s and would rather not pick up the mouse. And it may not even be an option, if the are a lot of files/folders in the parent folder.

     

    The "foolproof" approach, which can be done entirely at the keyboard, is to do command-up arrow twice, then navigate back down. But this is pretty clumsy and unintuitive.

     

    What bugs me about this isn't the danger of overwriting a file (somehow I've never fallen for that pitfall) but the annoyance of not being able save the file under the name provided, e.g. when saving a web page (or a PDF displayed in Safari) or doing right-click > save as (again, typically on a link to a PDF).

     

    I've never had a need to pick up a name from the Save (As) dialog box. So for me this feature is completely anti-functional, and I really wish there was an option or hack to disable it and let "click off" just remove the folder selection. Even better, if I could remove the folder selection using a (non-kludgy) keyboard approach.

  • 4. Re: clicking a file during "save as" changes name to that filename
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)

    All right, I was able to replicate the issue using the Command key to move around. And that itself is the problem. Command is not the correct key to use to navigate the folders. Command+up just deselects the highlighted folder, which causes the OS to save the file to the parent folder since none of the child folders are selected.

     

    To navigate the folders, use the arrow keys only. The folders then remain properly highlighted so you know which one is selected.

  • 5. Re: clicking a file during "save as" changes name to that filename
    ewilen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't understand. If I want to navigate up the folder hierarchy using the keyboard, what works other than command + up arrow?

     

    And what you wrote about command + up (arrow)--that it deselects the highlighted folder--isn't what I'm seeing at all. I mean, we just said it goes up the folder hierarchy, leaving selected the subfolder from which we've just moved. Right?

     

    If I use the arrow keys, I only move around within the current folder. That's not what I want to do.

  • 6. Re: clicking a file during "save as" changes name to that filename
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)

    If I use the arrow keys, I only move around within the current folder. That's not what I want to do.

    I'm presuming your doing this from within a Save, or Save As dialogue box, not the desktop. If you're in a folder (looking at file names) press the left arrow key to move back to the parent folder; right arrow key to move into a subfolder. There's no need to hold down the Command key at any time.

     

    The only place a left arrow keystroke won't move to is your mounted drives listed at the left. Once you hit the root listing of the drive you're on, that's all the further left you can go with the keyboard.

  • 7. Re: clicking a file during "save as" changes name to that filename
    ewilen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, I'm doing this in a save/save as dialog box.

     

    Maybe you use a different default view within your save dialog box. Columns view, perhaps, although I don't think I get the arrow key behavior you describe.

     

    To make it as clear as I can, I've uploaded a Jing recording of what happens. You can view it here.

  • 8. Re: clicking a file during "save as" changes name to that filename
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)

    I apologize. You stated from the beginning to test in icon or list view. I always use column view for these dialogue boxes. Makes it much easier to move around when choosing where to save a file (from the desktop, I always use list view).

     

    After testing again using the correct criteria, it does make sense - sort of. You've backed out to the parent folder, but the child folder you backed out of is the one still highlighted. I do agree it shouldn't make any difference that it is still highlighted, you're not in it. When you press Save, the OS thinks you aren't "anywhere". The folder you backed out of is highlighted, so it still thinks that's where you want the file, but before it can do that, it has to jump back into the child folder.

     

    Or think of it this way. You're in the parent folder, but the child folder is highlighted. You click Save. The OS says, "Huh? Where do you want the file? Where I am now, or the one that's selected?" It assumes the highlighted folder and jumps there.

  • 9. Re: clicking a file during "save as" changes name to that filename
    ewilen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Actually, I think it's perfectly normal that clicking Save while I have a folder highlighted in the Save dialog box will navigate down into that folder. Mac OS has worked this way for decades. (I'm pretty sure.)

     

    And for just this reason I should be able to select a folder in the Save dialog box. Whether the folder I just "popped up from" should be selected for me when I use command-up arrow, I'm not sure, but in any case I might use Tab to move the keyboard focus into the file list, and then hitting an up/down arrow will cause a folder to be selected. Which is a problem if I change my mind and want to unselect the folder selection. In many cases, I just can't do that from the keyboard or even the mouse, at least not very easily.

     

    I think that much is pretty clearly a design bug. The "pick up name by clicking on a file" behavior is odd, and possibly dangerous, but I can see it might have its uses.

  • 10. Re: clicking a file during "save as" changes name to that filename
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)

    I would suggest using the default column view in Save or Save As dialogue boxes. It's much easier to navigate. No need to hold down any modifier keys, you can move in any direction with the arrow keys, and it will always save to the highlighted location. List and icon view are just too clumsy for this function.