A Hack to Get Back “Save As”

I miss Save As. A lot.

A common workflow for me was to open a previously saved document and use it as my template for a new document. I would make changes to it and then save it a as a new document. To Save As meant you took the document you were working on and saved it as a new document in its current state while discarding those changes from the original and leaving that original document as it was. I used Save As all the time.

But in Lion, the ability to Save As is gone. Sadly, Command+Shift+S gets you nothing.

In place of “Save As”, we now have “Duplicate”.1

Duplicating means the document you’re currently using gets, well, duplicated. A new document window pops up and out of the original and now you have two. The new one gets named something like “my document copy” and now you have two documents open.

If you Duplicate your file after you’ve already begun making edits to it then you’ll have the option to: (a) revert the original document back to it’s pre-edited state once you’ve duplicated it; (b) keep the current document as it is and duplicate it as well; (c) cancel.

Duplicate File Options

For the most part, Duplicate and Revert is the new Save As.

In the end you mostly get the same result as what we used to with Save As, but this duplicating and reverting business always feels cumbersome to me. Moreover, it’s a little bit scary — it still catches me off guard and forces me to stop and think for a few seconds about what it is I’m doing. I used to just hit Command+Shift+S and have my new document based on the first in no time.

And to add insult to injury, as a keyboard junkie it’s not just the removing of “Save As” that saddens me. It is also the removal of a very handy keyboard shortcut that I used many times a day: Command+Shift+S

And so, by harnessing the power of Keyboard Maestro, I set up Command+Shift+S as a “Save As Hack”.

  • I set the macro to only run in Pages, Numbers, Byword, and TextEdit. These are the apps I use on a daily or near-daily basis.
  • With a keyboard shortcut of Command+Shift+S, the macro will select “Duplicate” from the File menu, choose “Duplicate and Revert” for the original document, close the original document, and then open up a Save dialog box for the new document.

Download the macro

In essence, it’s an automated hack to get Save As and its keyboard shortcut back.

You can download the macro here.


  1. The Save As menu option isn’t gone completely from the system, just only for apps that utilize new document features in Lion such as versioning and auto save. For apps I use the most often, Duplicate has replaced Save As in Pages, Numbers, TextEdit, Byword. However, for apps which have not updated for the new Lion features (such as Adobe CS3), the Save As menu item is still present.
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