How to Get “Save As” Shortcut in MacOS Mojave

Nov 13, 2018 - 31 Comments

Get Save As Shortcut back in Mac OS

The Mac “Save As” keyboard shortcut allows you to quickly save a new version of an active document without re-writing the currently active document, which is perfect for many productivity situations where you’d want to save a current file as a different file type for compatibility reasons or as a backup version, or as a different copy in a new location, or any number of reasons.

“Save As” used to be a default option in the Mac OS “File” menu but now it’s hidden by default. Not to worry, with a simple keyboard app shortcut you can regain the uber convenient “Save As” option in the File menu along with the Command + Shift + S keystroke combo, just like what many longtime Mac users are accustomed to using.

How to Get a “Save As” Shortcut Keystroke & File Menu Item in Mac OS

  1. Open the  Apple menu and choose “System Preferences”
  2. Select “Keyboard” and then choose the “Shortcuts” tab
  3. Select “App Shortcuts” then press the + plus button to create a new shortcut for All Applications
  4. How to get Save As keystroke back in Mac OS

  5. Set the following for the keyboard shortcut:
    • Application: All Applications
    • Menu Title: “Save As…”
    • Keyboard Shortcut: click into the field, then press COMMAND SHIFT S

    How to get Save As keystroke back in Mac OS

  6. Click “Add” to finish adding the Save As keyboard shortcut to the Mac
  7. Close out of System Preferences when finished
  8. Enabled Save As keystroke option in Mac

Assuming you followed the instructions correctly, Save As will now appear by default in the ‘File’ menu of apps, and be available instantly as the Command Shift S keyboard shortcut.

Save As is now visible by default in the File menu again for Mac and available as keystroke

You can test this out yourself by going to any app that supports file saving and you’ll find the File menu now includes the “Save As” option by default, along with the keyboard shortcut.

Get Save As Shortcut back in Mac OS

Is Save As not working? It’s likely a typo. Note how “Save As…” is written, with As followed by three periods and not an ellipsis, so type out ‘Save As…’ exactly as shown, along with precise capitalization.

Save As on Mac with Command Shift S vs Command Shift Option S

For what it’s worth, modern MacOS versions including Mojave do have the Save As option available by default but it’s hidden from the File menu unless you press the Option key modifiers to make it visible, where it replaces the Duplicate option as those keys are held down.

Thus the modern Mac OS default keyboard shortcut for Save As is the finger twisting combo of Command + Option + Shift + S.

All we’re doing in this particular App Shortcut is to remap that complex keystroke into the familiar and easier to manage Command Shift S keystroke, which was the default in Mac OS for much of Mac history.

This change may not be for everyone, but if you’re a fan of using Save As, you’ll undoubtedly appreciate knowing that you can get this great File saving feature back with a simple effort, and regain the handy keystroke too.

This guide is obviously geared towards modern Mac OS releases like Mojave or High Sierra, but if you have an older version of system software on another Mac, you can still go about enabling Save As in earlier Mac OS X versions too, even in Lion with an Export trick by remapping Export to the same keystroke combo. Versions prior to that will need no modification as the default for Save As was Command Shift S.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

31 Comments

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  1. Goateed Geek says:

    Great tip Paul I’ve been thinking about this for a couple days. Are you a mind reader now? ;-)

  2. Old Coot says:

    I liked that. I wondered where Apple hid it. What about when you open up Preview. A window opens whereas a few OS’s ago they never did. I would like to get rid of it.

  3. Prescott says:

    This remains one of the dumbest changes Apple has made. Always one of the first things I do after a clean install or OS update. Right up there with turning off Flick Panning in Photoshop.

    With every new OS I get more and more sick of Apple’s “courage.” Great to chip away and get our system back.

  4. Jeffrey Martin says:

    Please, please, please include a “Print” button on this type of article. It’s far to detailed for an old brain like mine to read and remember while following each step. And also, please set it up so that only the actual article is printed.
    Thanks for your understanding.

    • Martin says:

      Jeffrey

      If you are using Safari on a Mac then click on the ‘Show Reader View’ icon on the left hand side of the address bar. That will show the article alone.

      Then Print.

  5. Robert S Smith says:

    Is there keyboard shortcut for shutting down the computer?

    • Patrick says:

      You can create a keyboard shortcut, though you would have to use it under Finder.app.

      System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts > +

      Application: Finder.app
      Menu Title: Shut Down…
      Keyboard Shortcut: whatever you want to use

  6. Tom D says:

    These instructions were to allow me to add “Save As…” to the File Menu using Command-Shift-S, however on my File Menu that was already used for “Duplicate” which is basically the same thing, so in order to get “Save As…” on the menu I used Command-Shift-R and then “Save As…” showed up in the File Menu. Glad to see this back.

  7. Randy McGehee says:

    Tried this “save as” add several times. It adds it but when pressing the “shift, command, S” key it does not work and it does not appear in the file menu. This system is running Mojave. If I press the “Shift, command, option, S” key it does work. But I cannot get it to change the shortcut and work.

  8. Steve Steele says:

    I never liked that Apple replaced “Save as..” with “Duplicate”. It makes for an awkward workflow, IMO. I’m used to Oprtion + S now but they could have come up with a “Sequential Save” with user preferences for options on how to name files. But that’s what macros are for I suppose.

  9. david watts says:

    “ “Save As” used to be a default option in the Mac OS ‘File’ menu but now it’s hidden by default.” 

    When I first discovered this head scratcher of a change, a few OS’s ago, I couldn’t for the life of me understand why it had been done. I still can’t fathom what improvement it signalled. To be honest, it marked the first of an accumulating series of reasons to find more and more fault with Apple’s OS laptop-based support.

  10. no way says:

    Again OSXDaily is over complicating.

    For any application, hold option when clicking file menu and Save As appears as an option. This has been true for several OS versions, since Apple made the idiotic decision to remove Save as from the file menu.

    To Print, Command P brings up the print dialog window in any application.

    • Kumar says:

      This is about returning the simple keystroke for Save As, not needing option modifiers. As you said yourself, Apple made a ill-conceived decision to remove that keystroke and turn it into a more complex one. So why is this over complicating to return the simpler functionality for a keystroke that is obviously popular, and desirable? I want simple, this is simple.

  11. Geoff B says:

    On my iMac with latest version of High Sierra (10.13.6) and the latest version of Pages The “Shift Command S” keystroke combo is already specified by the OS to invoke “Duplicate”. Still, as mention, you can always press the option key when in Pages and “Duplicate” changes to “Save as…”.

    • At0micMac says:

      That is the intention of the article. Whenever I do this on a new install it is for the pure purpose of eliminating the “Duplicate” and using “Save As…” instead. I would imagine others find no use to the “Duplicate” and would much rather have Save As.

  12. Randall White says:

    BTW,

    I completed step without reading “Is Save As not working? It’s likely a typo…”

    I used the “ellipsis” ( opt – : ) it worked fine, both with menu and keyboard

  13. Rosa Aksentowicz says:

    Unfortunately I don’t have the MacBook … not jet, but
    this your Artikel is very useful and detailrich … I will save it As …. soon 😉
    Thanks for sharing Paul, your works are very great 👍🙏

  14. Patrick says:

    You can bring up Save As by just holding down the Option key when you call up the File menu… Why go through all this effort to make a more complicated keyboard shortcut?

    • Dennis says:

      Patrick,

      From my point of view a menu should contain everything that can be done relating to that menu entry and shortcuts should be ways to quickly access the various items under that menu entry. That way those who know and remember what the shortcuts do can use them. Anyone else can always find and use the various items via the menu. As it is, if you don’t happen to know that holding down the option key and calling up the File menu will get you to “save as” there is nothing about the system that would lead you to even suspect this is true. It’s really about user friendliness.

  15. Peter says:

    Is there any way to have the startup chime on a later imac? I have turned on verbose logon so i can at least see that it is doing something when i want to go and do another task. Why do apple have to keep fiddling?

  16. Betty Troup says:

    I’m running Mojave on a 2016 MacBook Pro. By default, the Save As… keyboard shortcut was set to Command + S and there was no default shortcut (in the File dropdown menu) for Save.

    So I went to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts where I highlighted the default shortcut for Save As… and pressed the – button to delete it. Then I replaced the Save As… shortcut with Command + Shift + S and added Command + S as a new shortcut for Save.

    I use the Apple Pages app for my word processing, but occasionally I must use Microsoft Word. I had noticed that the shortcut Command + S is used for both Save and Save As… I always wondered why this easy shortcut wasn’t used in Pages.

  17. David J. says:

    I gotta say I find it very annoying that Apple is restricting the OS more and more. With every new release, you gotta waste more time on every machine you use to fix the defaults and get it back to a usable state…

  18. Snowy says:

    just press

    Command + option + shift + s

    That invokes save as…when adding the option key you are triggering the option like when flick file and hold option and duplicate changes to save as…

    It’s same as holding option key and click a dock icon to hide an application

  19. Saveasiour says:

    Yup, I’m doing that since the beginning! :-P
    One of the two reasons (the other one being lack of Rosetta) why 10.7 was a total crap release, at least in my humble opinion. 😇

    Here’s everything you’ll need to get it back to the real old behaviour again, with almost no compromises:
    https://imgoat.com/uploads/ff8a7b5dc7/171421.png

    Don’t forget “Save…”, it is not pictured.

    Protip: Some devs don’t use three dots but the option-; dots (… vs. … <- select that to see what I'm talking about), so to be uber-sure, add Save As… as well.

  20. Saveasiour says:

    Oh, and: Duplicate should be command-d (classic behaviour), I have that added as well.

  21. Saveasiour says:

    Oh wow, I just realized the osxdaily comment section seems to make three separate dots into that one single “three-dot”-character. 🙂 Or did I make a mistake there? 🤔🙃

    So I actually meant 3x . vs. …

    ——–
    (testing, sorry for the inconvenience, but I absolutely must correct my mistakes and learn from them!)
    … … …… …. ……
    (/testing)

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