Using The New Save A Version Feature

In Lion when you try to save a document you no longer have the option to “Save” or “Save As” that was available in Snow Leopard and previous operating systems. The first time you save a document you will be allowed to name and save it. After that, your only option will be to “Save A Version”.

Save A Version Option

This feature works independently and you do not have to have Time Machine set up for Versions to work.

Successive versions of any document are automatically saved periodically. Depending on your job or lifestyle you can probably imagine times when you make changes only to discover you need to revert back to an earlier version because…… well, fill in the blanks.

All you have to do is select “Revert to Saved” from the File Menu,

Revert To Saved Option

and much like Time Machine, you will be given a menu of all the saved versions of your document.

Revert To Version Options

The page on the left is the current version. The ones on the right are the various saved versions. I can click on any of the earlier versions and get the time it was saved and then choose it by clicking the restore button or I can click on a different earlier version and keep checking until I find the one I need – at which point I click the restore button.

Note: You can always save as you go if that is your habit. Simply click the “Save A Version” button at any time.

This entry was posted in Beginner Mac Tips, Lion Tips, Mac Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Using The New Save A Version Feature

  1. razzle says:

    but what if I DO want to “save as” to change the document to a different format for example or the document size or the name. if i’ve got one document and i make changes to it. I want to keep the original un-edited AND a new version. “Save as” is for that. and Ifind this save a version thing so frustrating! from a .psd to a jpg. for exmple. Do I have to duplicate it then save the duplicated version that first time to something else? I find it super annoying. I duplicated a .psd first then opened it wanting to save it as something so i caould change the format to a jpg. and I have no idea how to do it b/c “save as” is no longer an option. (what i’d do is :duplicate again, then save the duplicate as the jpg, but i already duplicated it just so i could do this!) Is there an easier way to change the format of a file? I’m sure there must be, and I’m just ignorant…

  2. macnancy says:

    Hi Razzle,

    I do SO feel your pain. The absence of the “save as” option drives me nuts. I go through what you describe every time I write a review or a column for The Mac Observer. I have to create a screen shot which saves as a tiff, then duplicate it so I can save it as a jpg for posting. I know why they took “save as” away, but I don’t think they helped anything and I am hoping the next version of the OS will give it back to us. Meanwhile, our only option is to duplicate.

  3. dlkajfkldjf says:

    but where is it saved? how can i access it? i can’t find any of the documents

    • macnancy says:

      You can’t access saved documents as if they are saved in a folder. Read through the blog entry again and you will see that you access saved documents by choosing “Revert to Saved” from the File Menu while you have the current version of the document open. When you do that, you will get every version that has been saved and you can choose to make any one of them the current version, thus going backwards. It will probably be clearer if you walk through the process.

  4. I find this change terribly annoying too. How do you change the name of a document if you want an updated name and version??!!

    • macnancy says:

      There is only one way. Open your document, select duplicate from the file menu. Once you have your duplicated file open, you can save that and give it any name you want to. You can also use this method to save as a different format. You close the original file and it will not be changed.

  5. drwolf says:

    While there may be ways to mimic Save As with the new Versions format, there is an even worse issue at play here. Some shared drives on our network do not support versions. This has caused havoc when a duplicate is saved to an offending shared drive, then I open it, edit it, choose Save a version and a dialog box pops up. If you don’t pay attention and you reply incorrectly then “poof”… All your work is gone. That was never an issue with Save As. Not sure how this is making things easier on the user.

    • macnancy says:

      Agree. Haven’t heard of this problem before. There have been many, many complaints about the versions format. I hope the next version of the OS offers options. I do get tired of all those duplicates I have to make. You may have to make duplicates of your duplicates to protect your stuff considering your network.

  6. Not to mention the fact that it’s up to individual apps to implement the Revert feature. For example with Sublime Text I can “Save a Version” but there’s no way to restore previous versions. I have to close the file in SL, open it in TextEdit, Revert, then re-open in SL. This is nuts.

    • macnancy says:

      I think Mountain Lion will solve our problem. I have great faith!! So many people are unhappy with this feature and Apple listens to unhappy customers.

  7. chmch says:

    What is the point of this change? If I understood the thinking I might be able to understand how to make it work. It looks to me like a classic case of fixing something that was working beautifully.

    • macnancy says:

      Far be for me to speak for Apple, but I assume the reason for the change was to allow users to reclaim an older version of a document because they might not like the changes they made. I don’t think this has proved to be a popular change with many users so we will see what happens with Mountain Lion.

  8. I found it annoying initially too. But, only now, I knew that Mac actually does versioning of documents that is a great feature, IMO. Of course, the naming could be better, and there could be another option too, to just save (without creating a version).

  9. Nancy Craig says:

    Thanks for the info! Is there a way to delete an old version of a document?

    • macnancy says:

      The only way I can think of is to make a duplicate of the version you want to keep, rename it, and then delete the original under the original name. I am happy to report that Mountain Lion, which was released this week, has a rename feature. I haven’t played with it a lot because I am working under a deadline on a project, but I think it will solve this problem. So far I am loving Mountain Lion.

  10. Bree says:

    very helpful. thank you

  11. Tim says:

    My iMac 24 is too old to upgrade to Mountain Lion. So am I stuck with “save a version”?

  12. John says:

    This is the stupidest change I’ve ever seen from Apple. Why do the bit-twiddlers always have to mess with stuff that has worked just fine for decades? Do they think it is it their duty to change stuff just for the hell of it, just to piss off their customers? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Life is difficult enough without software weenies doing their utmost to create more problems for their customer base. If I didn’t know better, I’d think they work for Microsoft……….

  13. explifenow says:

    Thanks for blogging this helpful information.

  14. Brijet says:

    This save a version file can be found in the download folder, under Finder. From there you can save it where you want and rename it without duplicating it. Just remember to delete it from your download folder once you save it.

  15. ByeByeApple says:

    No “save as”? Why? I do not need Apple to dictate my workflow. The Apple machines I have now are my last. Going back to Linux forever. Apple has gone the way of Microsoft.

    • macnancy says:

      You are being ridiculous. Complaining about a feature in an operating system that has been completely updated twice means either you can’t read (Lion), or you want to whine. The Save As feature was back in Mountain Lion and remains in place.

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