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How to Save As on Mac

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Back in Mac OS X Lion, Apple took the decision to change the way saves work on Mac. Where once you’d find Save As, this was replaced by Duplicate which created versions of the same document. It does many of the same things, but can be more confusing to use for those who prefer the tried and tested method offered by Save As.

Thankfully the latter has not actually been removed, and can be reinstated either through key combinations or by creating a custom keyboard shortcut. In this article we show how to quickly enable the Save As option on your Mac.

For more helpful key combinations read our Keyboard shortcuts for Mac users guide.

Use the Option key

Accessing the Save As option is surprisingly simple, and can be done without making any changes at all to your Mac. To find the feature, open an app in which you want to use the Save As function.

For this example we’re in Pages, but the same should remain true for whichever particular app you’re using.

Click on File in the menu bar at the top of the page. You’ll see that Save As doesn’t appear, but there is the Duplicate option instead.

How to Save As on Mac: Option key

Now, with the dropdown menu open, press and hold the Option key.

How to Save As on Mac: Option key

As if by magic, the Duplicate command should now disappear and be replaced with Save As. Keep holding down the Option key, and click on Save As to create your new document.

Use the keyboard shortcut combination

If you prefer to use shortcuts on your keyboard, then Save As is still a standard feature. Just hold down the combination of Shift + Option + Command + S to trigger the mode, and then name your document as you see fit.

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Create a custom menu shortcut

While the above are fine for occasional use, if you want to add the Save As option back into your menus on a permanent basis then there is a way to make this so. Strangely it involves creating a keyboard shortcut, but the results are displayed in the File dropdown menus of most apps.

To set up a new shortcut go to System Preferences > Keyboard then click on the Shortcuts section in the bar across the top of the window.

How to Save As on Mac: Custom menu shortcut

In the lefthand column you’ll see a list, at the bottom of which should be App Shortcuts. Click this.

Click the + button that now appears under the main panes, and a dialog box will open where you can enter the details required to create the shortcut.

In the Menu Title box enter the exact following text (without italics) Save As… being sure to capitalise the letters as shown and having three full stops after the second word.

How to Save As on Mac: Custom menu shortcut

In the Keyboard Shortcut box, press and hold the standard combination for Save As, which is Shift + Option + Command + S.

Now click Add and the shortcut will appear when you access the File menu of most apps. We say most, because for some reason it seems to be omitted from Pages, Numbers and Keynote on the various machines we used in testing.

Word, Safari, Mail, Scrivener and others all had it appear immediately. If this changes then we’ll update the tutorial, so check back to see if this is the case. For now, though, you should have the tools to get Save As back on your Mac once more.

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