Resolved TextEdit trashing work on Save-As

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by doubledee, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. doubledee, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014

    doubledee macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #1
    Getting settled into my new MBP w Mountain Lion and discovering some bizarre behavior.

    This is sorta hard to describe because I'm not sure of the sequence of events!!

    Over the last few weeks, I noticed that when I went into a template - that I created using TextEdit - and saved it as something else, that later when I went into my template that it had a finished document stored in it?!


    (I just assumed that I "fat fingered" the Save As...)

    Well, just now I was working on a VERY COMPLEX query, and I saved it as "+Query_IncomingPM_Seperate To and Bcc.txt"

    After I go that query working, I used that same document, made some modifications, and then did a Save-As and saved the modified document as "+Query_TrashPM.txt"

    The problem is that when I went back to the old "+Query_IncomingPM_Seperate To and Bcc.txt" document it now looks just like my current "+Query_TrashPM.txt" document!!!

    (It is almsot as if Document-2 is a "clone" of Document-1 and when I save Document-2 it saves the new content in both places?!)


    WTF?!!!!!! :mad:


    Fortunately, it seems that Mountain Lion has a "restore" feature built into TextEdit, but being that this is a query where if one character is off I'm screwed, now I need to go spend the next 15 minutes re-reading and testing this query!!!


    What in the **** is going on???????????????

    Steaming mad,


    Debbie
     
  2. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #2
    It doesn't work like it used to, save as makes no difference, you are altering the original whether or not you save as when done.
    If you want to use a file as a template, open up the file, use the duplicate command, work on the duplicate.
    And perhaps make the original read only - not sure if that will work and let you open it though.
    Or, just copy the original "template" at the file copy level, and work on that copy.
     
  3. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #3
    Not sure that I follow you...


    Um, since the being of computers, the workflow has *always* went like this...

    If you open "my-file.whatever", edit it, and then choose "Save" in any application, then you just wrote over your original work!

    If you open "my-file.whatever", edit it, and then choose "Save As" in any application, then the application saves the original file as a *new* file and leaves the original untouched.


    Whether you are on Windows or a Mac or Linux or Unix or whatever, that is *always* the convention used.


    So what in God's name did they do to TextEdit?!


    I never had these issues in Snow Leopard, and I'm not sure I understand what you were saying in your post above.


    I cannot comprehend opening a file, editing it, and then erasing your original work when you are saving the file under a new name?! If that is the convention used, you would *never* be able to have more than one version of any document unless you created a "New" document and copied and pasted old content into the newly created file!!

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  4. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    The workflow is now different,
    with Autosave, Versions and the ability to duplicate and save a version,
    which all first appeared in Lion.

    You would open up a template, choose to duplicate it, then work on the duplicate.
    You don't need to copy and paste your text (or other data) into a new file manually.

    You may want to give this a read,
    most of it is still correct for Mountain Lion and Mavericks:-
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4753

    Note that its not just Apple apps which do this, but third party ones as well depending on the developer.

    If you don't like it go to:-
    System Preferences > General
    Then check the "Ask to keep changes when closing documents" box.

    Though there are still some things which may not work as they used to pre Lion.
     
  5. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #5
    Debbie, the "workflow since the beginning of computing" just changed :D

    I think "lock"would give you what you want, thanks for the reference dark dragoon I hadn't explored that feature.

    So Debbie, create your template, lock it, then in future open it, duplicate, get editing on the duplicate. Prevents that nasty "save" instead of "save as" I'm sure we've all accidentally done from time to time. :eek:
     
  6. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #6
    I don't think you guys are understanding me... :(

    Let me try again with a more specific example.

    I created a file called "TEMPLATE_AT40-The80s_Playlist.txt" which contains the following...
    Code:
    American Top 40 - The 80's
    (m/d/2014)
    
    
    CHART DATE: mmmm d, 198y
    
    #40
    

    Here is my workflow for as long as I can remember...

    Every Sunday when the show starts, I would open this "template" file, chose FILE > SAVE AS, and save it to something like "AT40-The80s_1982-01-07.txt"

    Then I would have my original "TEMPLATE_AT40-The80s_Playlist.txt" file, and a new file called "AT40-The80s_1982-01-07.txt"

    With "AT40-The80s_1982-01-07.txt" open, I would then paste in that week's songs, and update the heading info and save things.

    When I would open up the template, it still contained...
    Code:
    American Top 40 - The 80's
    (m/d/2014)
    
    
    CHART DATE: mmmm d, 198y
    
    #40
    

    And when I opened up "AT40-The80s_1982-01-07.txt", it would have...
    Code:
    CHART DATE: January 16, 1982
    
    LW#3: LET'S GROOVE - EARTH, WIND & FIRE
    LW#2: WAITING FOR A GIRL LIKE YOU - FOREIGNER
    LW#1: PHYSICAL - OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN
    40: ALL OUR TOMORROWS - EDDIE SCHWARTZ
    39: KEY LARGO - BERTIE HIGGINS
    38: WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND - LOVERBOY
    37: LOVE IN THE FIRST DEGREE - ALABAMA
    36: MORE THAN JUST THE TWO OF US - SNEAKER
    ...
    
    

    But in the last month it seems like there are at least some times when I do this where when I go back into the template it contains the latest week's songs??

    Like I said, at first I thought I was just accidentally pasting the current weeks songs into the template and forgetting to rename it when I did File >Save As.

    But I'm much more careful than that!!


    It almost seems like now when I do the File > Save-As, that it creates a new file called "AT40-The80s_1982-01-07.txt", however that new file was created as an ALIAS of the original "template" file, and so when I make updates to the new file, it saves the changes to both the new file AND the original file?!

    (If you understand how an alias works, you'll see what I mean.)


    Attached is a screenshot of TextEdit's File > Save-As...


    This has nothing to do with "Duplicate".

    I am still using New, Save, and Save-As like I have since there were computer GUI operating systems!!!

    Follow me now???

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     

    Attached Files:

  7. jhiesey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    #7
    It shouldn't be behaving like an alias, that's for sure, and it doesn't for me on 10.9.1 Mavericks (I just tried something like your example to be sure).

    The thing is, on every system except recent macs, it used to work to open a template, edit it, and then click Save As, which would save an edited copy to a new file without modifying the original template. This, however doesn't work anymore.

    The key is that, as you edit an open file file, it is CONSTANTLY saved even if you do not click save.

    If you in fact clicked Save As before you started making any changes, then I really don't know what's going on (it works for me). However, if you changed the template first, deliberately not clicking Save, which once worked in almost any application, and then clicked Save As, keep in mind that the changes had already been saved to the original template before you even clicked Save As.

    I don't know if this answers your question, but I know this behavior can be somewhat confusing if you are not expecting it.
     
  8. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #8
    First, which OS version is this happening on?

    Also, exactly which TextEdit version (open TextEdit's "About TextEdit" menu-item).


    Second, instead of doing an initial "Save as", you could have set up the template file as a "Stationery pad". To do this:
    1. Get Info on the file, in Finder.
    2. Locate the "Stationery pad" checkbox.
    3. Turn it on.

    I'm pretty sure that a stationery pad will still work in OS versions of 10.7 (Lion) and higher. It certainly works in Mountain Lion, because I just tried it. I haven't tried others.


    Third:
    I understand how aliases work, and what you describe is not how aliases work.

    What you describe is how the auto-save and versioning in Lion and later works. You may be able to disable certain aspects of it by checking:
    System Preferences > General > "Ask to keep changes when closing documents"

    At the very least, you should go look at what the state of this checkbox is. If it's unchecked, then you definitely have auto-save and versions active.

    Also see this:
    http://osxdaily.com/2012/07/11/disable-auto-save-and-versions-in-mac-os-x/


    What you described is exactly what auto-save and versions does:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4753

    An alias is something entirely different. It may superficially seem to be the same as what you described, but it's not. I can explain further, but if you understand Posix symlinks, that's how aliases work, although the specific details of the mechanism are completely different.

    What you describe could be accomplished using a Posix hard link, but I'm pretty sure TextEdit won't preserve a multi-linked file when it saves, so I don't see that as a possibility.
     
  9. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #9
    Well, THERES your problem :D since Apple changed how it works "since there were computer GUI operating systems"

    "Save as" saves what you have currently done as a new file but it does not undo any changes in the original file you made prior to selecting "save as".

    Try it very carefully.
    Open your 'template'
    type something in, lets say "i just typed something in".
    Now select save as <some filename>
    Now close text edit.
    Now start it and open up the original file and the new one "some filename".

    You'll notice they both have "i just typed something in" in them.

    It would be very easy to forget to do a save as. Goodness knows how many times I've done that. Even easier now since you'll also notice that text edit, for an existing file which you edited, no longer asks "did you want to save the changes" when you quit. So that may have fooled you into thinking you didnt change it.
     
  10. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #10
    That should only happen if the following checkbox is unchecked:
    System Preferences > General > "Ask to keep changes when closing documents"

    If that checkbox is checked, then the original file should NOT contain any of the changed text.

    I suggest doing an experiment both ways (checked and unchecked checkbox), quitting TextEdit between the changes, to confirm exactly what happens.
     
  11. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #11
    Let me repeat what you said above...

    Save As does indeed create a new file that is *not* aliased to the original file.

    But OS-X now is constantly saving things in the background, so if I opened my AT40 Template, added this week's playlist, and then did Save As to "some new file name.txt", then OS-X has already saved the original template in the time between when I edited it and when I chose Save As, so then I would have a new document, but my template would appeared modified when I opened it.

    Sound right?

    Only problem is that under System Preferences > General I have "Ask to keep changes when closing documents checked.

    That should disable any "autosave" features in the background, right?

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  12. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #12
    Mountain Lion 10.8.5


    1.8 (301)



    What does that do?

    Make the file "read only"?

    Or does it change the File Type to something called a "Stationery Pad"?



    To me, an "alias" is this...

    You create "File1.txt" and save it somewhere. Next, you create "Alias to File1.txt" and that is a "pointer" back to the file "File1.txt"

    So when if you update "File1.txt", then when you open "Alias to File1.txt", it as if you are looking at "File1.txt".

    And, I believe, if you instead open "Alias to File1.txt" and make changes, because the alias is a pointer back to the actual file, when you update the alias, you are really updating the original file, "File1.txt", right?



    But I already did that, and apparently it didn't actually work.


    Poking around I now see when I open "TEMPLATE_AT40-The80s_Playlist.txt" and click up in the document header, I get a drop down that shows "Browse All Versions" - which is like TImeMachine - and I can go back a week or two and find a copy of my Template which doesn't accidentally have a playlist in it.

    But that is still annoying, AND contradictory if I checked "Ask to keep changes when closing documents"


    Have you ever done that?

    Does it work?

    I guess I have to think about all of this for a bit...

    If I can find old versions and role things back, that isn't so bad, but I still think for TextEdit I am better without it.

    I use TextEdit A LOT as a "scratch pad" - especially for code and queries, and I don't want OS-X saving things without me okaying it, even if I can supposedly roll things back.

    (Try looking at an SQL query that is 30 lines long, and trying to figure out which "version" is the one you want?!)



    I've heard of SymLinks but don't understand what purpose they serve... :confused:

    (I looked at the link, but it didn't really make any sense to me?!)

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  13. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #13
    Which is why I suggest you go with the flow and use the lock and duplicate functionality.
     
  14. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #14
    Did you try it to see how it worked? I suggest doing so.


    It does neither of those.

    First, did you try it? Second, does it solve the problem?

    If it doesn't solve the problem, or even if it does, why does the mechanism matter?

    If you want to see what it doesn't do, open a "Get Info" window and notice that checking "Stationery pad" has no effect on the read/write permissions.

    If at some point you need to change the Stationery pad document, simply uncheck the checkbox; edit, save, and close the file; then recheck the checkbox.



    That's basically correct, except for one thing. In this sentence:
    So when if you update "File1.txt", then when you open "Alias to File1.txt", it as if you are looking at "File1.txt".
    there is no "as if". When you open an alias, you are opening the actual original file it points to.

    An alias file contains no editable content. When you open an alias, the pointed-to file itself, i.e. the target, is actually being opened. This is why your earlier description is wrong. That description (and some of the above) makes it seem like there's two things being edited: an original file and its alias. But that's not possible with an alias file, because an alias file contains nothing editable. You can see this by making a simple yet systematic test (a document file and an alias to it) and carefully observing what gets opened when you open the alias file. The title bar of the window will show exactly what that is. I suggest that you do this experiment to get a hands-on sense of exactly how aliases files work. Observe carefully, and don't jump to conclusions.



    Exactly what did you do? List every step. Be specific.


    When your "Save as" dialog appears, does it look like this?
    [​IMG]
    If so, do you see the checkbox at the bottom "Keep changes in original document"?
    (Note 1: If you see the checkbox, the wording may differ somewhat, because the above is from an older TextEdit version than yours.
    Note 2: The checkbox will only appear if you've changed the original file contents in some way. If there are no changes made, then there are no changes to keep in the original, so the checkbox doesn't appear.)

    If you see the checkbox in your dialog, is it checked or unchecked?

    If it's checked, uncheck it, then complete the save. Now go back and see if the original document contains the changes or not.

    Describe your results. Be specific.


    The above image is taken from this article:
    http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/os-x-mountain-lion-how-apple-rescued-save-as

    You should also read this article:
    http://tidbits.com/article/13187

    It has the best explanation I've read of how the two System Preferences > General checkboxes work.


    I have both checkboxes checked under System Preferences > General. They work.

    I also have unchecked the "Keep changes in original document" checkbox in TextEdit's "Save as" dialog. That checkbox is sticky, and it defaults to the last value used. So once unchecked, it will appear unchecked by default in all subsequent Save as dialogs in TextEdit. This also works.


    I'm a programmer myself.

    If TextEdit fails to meet your needs, even with "Keep changes in original document" unchecked, then I suggest switching to a programmer's text editor. There are plenty to choose from, and several are free. You will have to try them to find out exactly how they work, and whether that fits your work flow. Asking for advice can only go so far; at some point you have to try it and see what happens.

    An example free editor is TextWrangler. You can look on the Mac App Store for others. Use search criteria such as:
    programming editor
    programmer editor
    developer editor



    They serve the same purpose as alias files.


    Did you study the article, or did you just give it a quick glance?

    The 2nd & 3rd paragraphs seem clear to me:

    Symbolic links operate transparently for most operations: programs that read or write to files named by a symbolic link will behave as if operating directly on the target file. ...

    A symbolic link contains a text string that is automatically interpreted and followed by the operating system as a path to another file or directory. This other file or directory is called the "target". The symbolic link is a second file that exists independently of its target. ...
    The article even mentions Mac OS alias files, which have their own article.
     
  15. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #15
    Stationery Pad is weird.

    Not for me.

    I don't want to have to rename documents.



    Right.


    Got it.


    I never knew that was there.

    It was checked. I unchecked it for TextEdit, and that seems to have solved my issues.


    BTW, I also tried this from one of your links and it didn't work...
    Code:
    defaults write com.apple.TextEdit AutosavingDelay -int 0
    


    I read them.

    Sorta makes sense now.

    DUMB ASS DESIGN!!!!!!



    So what is your opinion on how Apple screwed with the age old Save As function?

    As a rule, I do NOT like computers thinking for me!!


    Yeah, I use that for things like Apache file editing.


    I guess I didn't understand why if you move a file, the SymLink remains but is broken.

    And what is the difference between a SymLink and saw a "Shortcut" on your Windows Desktop to MS Excel?

    What do you personally use SymLinks for, if you do?

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  16. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #16
    Glad to hear it. You can now mark this thread as Resolved.

    This is answered in the Wikipedia article (paragraph 3).

    So is this. There's an entire heading for Windows, with a sub-heading for Shortcuts.


    I do use them. For the purposes outlined in the Wikipedia article (paragraph 2).
     
  17. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
  18. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #18
    I had a rude shock too when I got my new rMBP and discovered that apps were making destructive changes to the original files without my knowledge or consent. I found that checkbox in the settings and I think that has resolved it.

    Sadly in my case it was not simple additions to a textfile but destructive edits to photos. I opened the original photo in Pixelmator, then applied a crop and a severely small resize to make a web page version (on the order of 300x150 pixels). Then I exported my tiny JPEG and quit the app, intending to "Don't Save" any changes I made to the original, high-resolution photo.

    Well guess what... it saved it, and now my high-res photo has been permanently turned into a cropped 300x150 thumbnail.

    It ruined a few of my photos that way before I found the setting to turn it off. Good thing I keep backups.
     
  19. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #19
    Exactly what I was about to recommend!! :)

    Glad you saved yourself from your new Mac!!

    Fortunately in my case, the worst I suffered was having to clean up my AT40 template and maybe having to rewrite one or two queries.

    Thanks to Chown33, I now know better!!


    Debbie
     
  20. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #20
    If you click on the name in the title bar you should be able to inspect previous versions and revert.
     
  21. notjustjay, Jan 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014

    notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #21
    Aha! Thanks. I'll try that, if it's not too late.

    Edit: yup, I was able to recall a previously-saved version. Phew!
     

Share This Page