Saving Files on a Mac

This lesson shows the user the structure of the Mac "document library" or User Home; the differences between the "Local" and "Network" user home; and, how to save files to the folders on the network home so they are available from any computer the user logs onto at the college and their iPad (in MobilEcho).

Mac User Home or "Document Library"

Mac User Home or "Document Library"

The Mac has a similar User Home or "document library" to that of Windows 7 and consists of the following folders:

  • Desktop - Should be used minimally for storing files as placing excess files on the desktop slows down your computer.
  • Documents - MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, text documents, etc.
  • Downloads - Default location for downloads from Safari, Firefox, etc.
  • Movies - iMovie library, all video files such as MP4, MOV, WMV, etc.
  • Music - iTunes Library, GarageBand, MP3, AVI files, etc.
  • Pictures - iPhoto and Aperture libraries, all image file types (.jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .png, .bmp, .tiff, etc.)
  • Public - contains a Public dropbox that can be used for sharing documents. Rarely used today and has been mostly replaced with AirDrop

These folders may be used for organising your files and folders. It is strongly recommended that you use each of the folders for their intended purpose (e.g. save video files to the Movies folder, images to Pictures folder).

How to Save Documents

Saving documents on the Mac is very similar to the PC. There are some minor differences in the save options and navigation of the Finder when saving that will be explained below.

Saving Files in an Application

Saving Files in an Application

To save a file from any application click File > Save or File > Save As... (see above). This menu is always found at the top of the Menu bar on the Mac for the current application you are using.

Expand Save Options

Expand Save Options

By default, the Mac only shows the top level folders in the Document Library. To see all of the sub-folders, click the Triangle beside the document name to expand the Save window.

Select Save Location

Select Save Location

Once the Save menu has been expanded, you will see all of the possible locations to save the file, including the user document library (e.g. Desktop, Documents, etc. and sub-folders).

If you want to save to a network location (Network User Home or Network Drive), then click on the computer name in the sidebar as shown in the example above. If you only need to save to the local drive of the computer rather than the server, you could just choose "Desktop", "Documents", "Movies", etc. from the sidebar.

*If you are a staff member using your own laptop, then any documents saved to the Desktop or Documents folders of the local drive (User Home) will by "synced" to the server (similar to Dropbox). Files in other directories will not. This is why it is important to use the folders as designed to ensure your server drive quote isn't consumed by storing all of your music or movies in the Documents folder, which would be synced to the server.

Select Network Save Location

Select Network Save Location

When you have selected the Computer Name (My Computer) as the save option you will see the Mac HD, DVD, and Network Drives as options.

To save to either your Network Home (to store your files on the server) or another Network Drive (e.g. Staff, IWB, Reports) - click on the chosen drive image. The example above shows a student logged in and selecting the "StudentHome$" drive as their save location

Select Folder to Save to in Network Drive

Select Folder to Save to in Network Drive

Once you have clicked on the Network Drive, you then need to choose the folder or sub-folder under that drive that you would like to save your files to.

Note that the Network Home drive should only be used to store files in the Desktop or Documents folders as movies, music, and pictures will take up too much space and quickly consume your drive quota.

Example Save to "Documents" folder in Network Home

Example Save to "Documents" folder in Network Home

Name the File

Name the File

Save File

Save File