Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard): More on option-clicking on file names

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Mail
September 15th, 2009 • 11:44 am

Last week, I wrote about the changes made by Apple to the feature that enables you to copy a file name in “Save As…” dialog boxes by option-clicking on it in the file list below the file name field.

It turns out that, somewhat inevitably, the changes have introduced new problems.

Take for example what happened to me this morning. I got an e-mail in Mail with a new version of a PDF file that was already sent to me last week and that I had saved on my local hard drive. Back when I got the first version, I saved it and then renamed it in the Finder using a more useful file name.

So when I got the new version today, I brought up the “Save As…” dialog box in Mail to save the attachment, I navigated to the folder where I had saved the previous version, and I option-clicked on the file name of the previous version in the file list.

Mail correctly inserted the existing file name into the new file name field, and, in accordance with the new behaviour in Snow Leopard, it didn’t include the file name’s extension (.pdf) when copying the file name to the new file name field.

The problem is that, unlike an application such as Pages or TextEdit, Mail does not have a facility for handling file extensions in its “Save As…” dialog box for saving message attachments. There is no button to check to hide or reveal the file extension. So in the file name field I now had the existing file name, without the “.pdf” extension, and I didn’t know what would happen with the file extension.

What do you think happened when I hit the “Save” button? The first sign that something was wrong was that Mail didn’t warn me that there already was a file with the same name in the same location. I wondered whether that meant that Mail had saved the new attachment with the same name as the existing one, but with “-1” added to it or something like that.

So I went and opened the folder in the Finder. Much to my surprise, I saw that what Snow Leopard’s Mail had done is that it had saved the new attachment with the same file name as the existing one, but without the “.pdf” extension!

Somehow, the Finder still new that this file was a PDF file and displayed a preview of it correctly. But this was clearly not what I wanted. After years of forcing us old-school Mac users to use file extensions, for more or less valid reasons, surely Apple is not about to introduce behaviours that do away with them altogether?

I highly doubt it. I suspect that this is simply a bug introduced by the new behaviour and linked to the unique nature of the “Save As…” dialog box in Mail for attachments, which does not have the same features as a regular “Save As…” dialog box.

So back to Bug Reporter we go…

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