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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition by David Pogue

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The Save and Open Dialog Boxes

When you choose File Save, you're asked where you want the new document stored on your hard drive. The resulting dialog box is crystal-clear—more than ever, it's a miniature Finder. All of the skills you've picked up working at the desktop come into play here.

To give it a try, launch any included Mac OS X program that has a Save or Export command—TextEdit, for example. (Not all programs from other software companies have updated their Save dialog boxes yet.) Type a couple of words and then choose File Save. The Save sheet appears (Figure 5-13).

Tip

In Mac OS X, a quick glance at the Close button in the upper-left corner of a document window tells you whether it's been saved. When a small dot appears in the red button, it means you've made changes to the document that you haven't saved yet (time to press ⌘-S!). The dot disappears as soon as you save your work.

Sheets

In the days of antique operating systems like Mac OS 9 and Windows, the Save dialog box appeared dead center on the screen, where it commandeered your entire operation. You weren't allowed to switch to any other document until you clicked Save or Cancel to close the dialog box. Moreover, because it seemed stuck to your screen rather than to a particular document, you couldn't actually tell which document you were saving—a real problem when you quit out of a program that had three unsaved documents open.

All of this struck Mac OS X's designers as user-hostile and unnecessarily rigid.

In most ...

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