Save Sheet Shortcuts in Lion

Matt Gemmell on the new keyboard shortcut for the “Don’t Save” button in the standard sheet that appears when you close a document with unsaved changes — it used to be Command-D, but now it’s Command-Delete:

Since the user will probably associate Command-S with saving (it triggers the Save menu command, after all), it makes sense to also assign that shortcut to the Save button within the sheet. However, that creates a problem: the previously-standard Command-D shortcut for “Don’t Save” puts two opposing commands on adjacent keys (since S and D are adjacent on a QWERTY keyboard).

It would be unacceptable to invite the inevitable physical slips this would case, so “Don’t Save” is now triggered by Command-Backspace (which is an excellent shortcut, since not saving means your document’s contents will be deleted, in a sense, and hitting Command-Backspace is slightly more difficult than hitting Command-D).

He’s right that Command-Delete is safer for a destructive shortcut, but there’s another reason for the change. In previous versions of Mac OS X, choosing Save in this sheet would then open a second sheet, the standard Save dialog box. In Lion, this confirmation sheet has been combined with the Save dialog box. And in the standard Save sheet, the shortcut Command-D has always been a shortcut for changing the Save destination to your desktop. That’s still the case. So it’s not that Command-D no longer works in this sheet, it’s that it now means “change the location to the desktop”.

Thursday, 21 July 2011