March 20th, 2008 • 3:59 pm
This is really quite extraordinary. Twenty-five years ago, Apple introduced the Macintosh and the Mac OS, with a whole slew of new conventions for the design of computer applications.
One of these conventions had to do with how applications would save documents created by the user. If the user used the application to create a new document, this document would be in an unsaved state (i.e. not stored anywhere on a disk) until the user took the steps required to save it.
Applications were supposed to have two commands in their “” menu: a “ ” command and a “ ” command.
The “” command was meant to be used to save the document under a new file name in a new location, whereas the “ ” command was meant to provide a single step to save an already saved document in its new state in the same location with the same file name, i.e. to replace the currently saved version of the document with the new version.
But this “” command was also meant to work for documents that had not yet been saved by the user, i.e. that did not yet exist under any name anywhere on disk. For such documents, the “ ” document was simply supposed to behave exactly like the “ ” command, i.e. it was supposed to bring up the dialog box asking the user to specify the desired file name and location for saving.
And indeed, that is the way that it has always worked and still works in the overwhelming majority of Mac OS applications that have “” and “ ” commands.
Yet would you believe that Adobe’s CS3 applications for Mac OS X, even after all these years, still do not follow this convention?
In Photoshop CS3 or Illustrator CS3, after you create a new blank document from scratch, the “” command in the “ ” menu is disabled and the only command available is “ ” This means that you are forced to remember to use the command-shift-S keyboard shortcut in order to save this new document, because the command-S shortcut does not work at all!
It is really unbelievable. I am not a heavy CS3 user and most of the time I work with existing files instead of creating new files from scratch. So it is not something that I notice every day in my work. But still… how can Adobe justify their failure to comply with this very basic Mac convention that all other Mac OS applications have been following since the very beginning, 25 years ago?
(Microsoft is not completely outdone in that department. The two commands work as expected, but the command-shift-S keyboard shortcut does not work as expected. Instead, it is used for a styles-related command. You have to manually change the command assigned to the shortcut after installing the application.)