Simple user-level questions about saving files

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Joined: Jun 2 2009
Posts: 28

One thing that really, and I mean REALLY bugs me about Leopard is that many of the apps I frequently use (namely those in the MS Office suite and Photoshop, among others) don't allow you choose just any old directory when you save a file.

The typical "Save as..." dialogue box allows you to select a name, maybe has a drop-down with some formatting options, and has a drop-down menu that contains a few folders you use frequently (Documents, Pictures, Desktop, and perhaps a few others.)

This is MADDENING. I like to keep my files very organized, so what I usually end up doing is saving to the desktop and then dragging the file someplace else when I'm done working on it. Come on, guys...even WinXP, the worst operating system in the history of the world (with the exception maybe of MacOS 8.1) can do this.

So, I have three questions:

1. Is there a way to use Tiger-style boxes that allow you to navigate and save to any directory and create folders?

2. If not, is there at least way to add different folders to this list? Folders that aren't always there (like desktop, docs, etc. are) seem to appear in different apps' boxes when I retrieve something from them using File>Open within that app, but I rarely open files that way and they disappear after a while anyway.

3. Does anyone know whether Apple is planning to go back to the more complex boxes in Snow Leopard? Their decision to fix Stacks (which was pretty much useless before) makes me think maybe they are taking a more intelligent approach to file management in the UI.

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themike's picture
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Joined: Jul 21 2004
Posts: 455
If you click on that little a

If you click on that little arrow next to the file name in the "save as" dialog, you'll get a Tiger-style window with a few more options. Not the most intuitive, I know.

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Joined: Jun 2 2009
Posts: 28
Good to know! I'll have to t

Good to know! I'll have to try that out when I get home from work. Not intuitive at all. I've been using Leo for almost a year and have somehow failed to notice the little arrow to which you're referring. Kind of makes me wish a little animated paperclip had popped up and told me about it.

No, not really. Ironic, though...eh?

themike's picture
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Joined: Jul 21 2004
Posts: 455
I had to google to find the a

I had to google to find the answer. I've been using Leopard for maybe 2 months, and that was something I noticed right away.
Its not something anybody has ever bothered mentioning, and I'm not really sure why they even made the change.

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Joined: Jun 2 2009
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Maybe the intention for the c

Maybe the intention for the change was to make things easier for less-experienced users or something. I don't know. We saw the introduction of "official" Documents, Pictures, and other folders (I think) in Tiger, which is sort of along the same lines: the OS making suggestions about how you should organize your stuff my making these folders easily accessible in the Win-explorer-like sidebars and making them the defaults for saving, etc. In Leopard the suggestion just gets a little stronger; the OS makes it less convenient to save to other folders from within apps.

I used to just make folders like that myself and often organized stuff on different volumes. I have to admit it was a little annoying to feel like I was being pushed to use the official folders all the time, and though I've more or less adjusted to it, it still bugs me sometimes (especially when my boot volume starts getting full.)

My first inclination is to call these sorts of things "dumbing down" of the UI. They basically are, but disparaging them like that isn't really fair, I guess. It's just good business practice. Apple is trying to lure Win users who aren't used to even knowing where most of their stuff is (let alone deciding where to put it) by making things a bit more comfortable and easy for them. That's my theory, anyway.