Versions, autosave & resume

Comments

  
  1. Ashley Rich says:

    Versions is definitely one of the those things that takes some getting used to, hopefully this will help clear things up.

    Thanks for a good overview and comedy moment: “This is beginning to piss me off!” 🙂

  2. Extensor says:

    I love how people get set in their ways and are resistant to new ideas. 🙂
    Thanks for that tutorial!

    • PMtuts says:

      It is a known human reaction to be skeptical about everything that is new or different from what they are used to. For some that results in immediate resistance. I remember how people reacted the first weeks when they were by default forced into using natural scrolling in OS X lion. Some people immediately deactivated it. Others tried a few days and now don’t want to go back to the ‘unnatural’ way.

      • Roger says:

        1.There is also a common reaction to embrace everting that is new and modern, without thinking. Think about it…

        2.”Natural scrolling” is perfectly natural on a iPad type of thing. When scrolling is performed with a separate device, as a mouse, not necessarily so. 
        It is a good thing that the user can choose this. (Think about it…)

        • PMtuts says:

          A to 1. I have thought about it, played with it, experimented with it and I really don’t see any problem why people cannot adapt to a system where you in a way get a sort of free history palette or mini backup. I agree that autosave needs some getting used to. But one realises by the lack of feedback (the save dialog/sheet) that something has happened that we didn’t want to happen. Luckily there is a way to go back then by using versions. 

          A to 2. I can agree with you when it comes to the mouse. But I found myself recently using natural scrolling with the mouse in a windows environment. That maybe tells me that I’m not quite good up in the head. But it shows that people get used to things sooner or later. But yes.. natural scrolling is a trackpad thing. Maybe that’s why Apple has a mouse with a trackpad on top for scrolling and autohides the scroll bar. 

          • Roger says:

            The main problem is that a silly mistake can overwrite and destroy an original valuable picture, when the user just happen to close the window. Versions may not be accessible for a rescue into the future, when the hard drive has gotten full (versions over written by other versions), moving to a new computer or using archive backups. The user thinks he have the originals archived, but it is only a damaged version and when finding out reverting does not work.
            You should know this by now and I wonder if there is any use in trying to get through.

            ******This is not about adapting, it is about making mistakes.*******
            The risk is now worse than ever. The pictures may be destroyed without even saving. Just closing the window after having a peek and a test, and no warning or info about overwriting!
            You know this also and still argue about, getting used to it.

            Guess there is no point in…. Sigh.

          • PMtuts says:

            “The main problem is that a silly mistake can overwrite and destroy an original valuable picture, when the user just happen to close the window. ” 

            But isn’t that why the lock function is added to prevent you from making such mistakes? True you have to manually lock it after you know you are happy with the result and don’t want to wait for at least 1 day to auto lock it. But is it so hard to get used to a different process? 

            So I’m editing a wonderful photo. Think it is perfect as it is after a few minutes. In stead of saving it, I lock it. Done… Next time I open the file and do something to it I get a warning that prevents me from doing something I might regret later on. I get the choice to either duplicate the document and work on a duplicate or I really know what I’m doing and unlock the file. 

            Only difference from the workflow you were used to is that you lock the file in stead of save it. And that you get the warning to save your file under a different name (duplicate) right after you start editing in stead of afterwards while closing the window. The latter giving you the option to make a mistake by just blindly overwrite the previous file without being able to revert to a previous version if you use a version of OS X prior to Lion. 

          • Roger says:

             “True you have to manually lock it after you know you are happy with the result”Wrong. I have lock it before even daring to open it with Pixelmator and then agreeing to unlock it or duplicating. Just for making viewing tests. Completely unnecessary steps. Very annoying.

            You could solve this easily by adding the tiny option to have a warning that I am about to alter the original when closing the window. It is a tiny effort from your side. If you don’t want to, fine. I give up. 
            You are free going on doing it the new Apple “freedom from choice” way without me.

  3. Lollo says:

    Keyboard shortcut for BLUR TOOL in Pixelmator 2.0? 

  4. David says:

    I appreciate the 15-minute video, which I watched in its entirety. It explains it well — but still — the fact that these features needed a 15-minute explanation including excuses for unusual/undocumented/poorly-written-explanations behavior — that should say something BIG. I realize this is more of an Apple problem than a Pixelmator problem, but I still plead with the Pixelmator team to give us the old behavior back, at least as an option.

    1) On what planet can this be considered simpler than the older system? It purports to be smarter, but in fact, it takes power away from us.

    2) Sometimes there are times I do want to open a document, make changes, export, but NOT save any of those changes. Example: open a 300dpi file and shrink down to a web thumbnail at 72dpi, export as JPG, close the file, but NOT save this! While I can use versioning to go back, that’s harder to use, and not intuitive.

    3) Where are these versions stored? I’ve already encountered one problem similar to the previous mention: I scaled down a 300dpi file to export, closed the file, [didn’t realize it autosaved it], then moved the file to my Dropbox to share with a collaborator, who opened it to find the web thumbnail version, BUT THE PREVIOUS VERSIONS DID NOT COME WITH IT! This is a fatal flaw.

    4) I have encountered issues where I wanted to go back to a certain version and versioning did not offer that version to me, and as a result I lost work.

    The old system — in which the user manages their versions manually (e.g. by duplicating files) gives the user full control over what is saved or not saved. The new version removes most of those choices with the assurance that “the OS will now take care of it for you” but it doesn’t do that. Not even close.

    Please — give us the old behavior back. The new behavior is several steps backwards, and dangerously so.

    • PMtuts says:

      Hi and thank you for your comment. I agree that versions and autosave needs some getting used to but I don’t agree with your points on that it is less intuitive. I think what you call less intuitive means actually, behaviour I’m not used to yet. 

      “that these features needed a 15-minute explanation including excuses for unusual/undocumented/poorly-written-explanations behavior — that should say something BIG.”
      – Explaining how to save files and duplicate files including manual versioning before OS X Lion to people new to computers would have taken at least 15 minutes as well. Versions and autosave is something totally new and requires you to think different from what you might have been used to. Therefore 15 minutes is not that bad.

      “1) On what planet can this be considered simpler than the older system?”- I think versions is more fool proof. How often don’t you hear that people have overwritten and existing document because they used save in stead of save as? I hear that quite often. And then there is no way to get back.”2) Sometimes there are times I do want to open a document, make changes, export, but NOT save any of those changes.”
      – If you don’t want to alter the original in any way you should make a duplicate. This duplicate is by default not saved anywhere, but you can export it as you are used to. Different from what you are used to, not difficult to get used to.

      “3) Where are these versions stored? I’ve already encountered one problem similar to the previous mention: I scaled down a 300dpi file to export, closed the file, [didn’t realize it autosaved it], then moved the file to my Dropbox”
      – I partially agree with you on this one. Unfortunately not all file systems and apps like dropbox have support for versions. Keep in mind though that sending documents including all versions cannot be done and isn’t the meaning behind versions either. When you share files with others make sure to give them duplicates of the original or exports. I agree with you that this can be cumbersome.

      “4) I have encountered issues where I wanted to go back to a certain version and versioning did not offer that version to me, and as a result I lost work.”
      – Heard of it but was never able to reproduce it nor seeing anybody actually loosing work because of versioning. The only thing I can think of is the example I give in the tutorial where layers get flattened because the original is a jpg-file. But then again.. one gets a warning up front when doing such drastic changes to your document. 

      “The old system — in which the user manages their versions manually (e.g. by duplicating files) gives the user full control over what is saved or not saved.”
      – This is still possible by using duplicate.. the new save as.

      “Please — give us the old behavior back.”
      – This request should go to Apple and or Pixelmator Team. I’m in no position to change these things.

      • David says:

        Thanks. I do appreciate your comments, some of which I agree with, and others of which I strongly still prefer the old way. (Also, while Apple might be thinking we have to swallow the new medicine whether we like it or not, this will wreak havoc with larger media applications, like video and audio apps for which auto-save is not a desirable feature because it’s too time-consuming and stalls the program. So I’m going to be in an awful situation of having to remember which apps support it and which apps don’t, and then alter my file management workflow accordingly.)

        I didn’t realize you weren’t officially with the Pixelmator team. I have mentioned this on the Pixelmator forum (the hope that we could disable this in the options) as well as submitted notes to Apple.

        Thanks for being very helpful on this.

        • PMtuts says:

          Thank you for your comment. I am doing the support and forum moderation for Pixelmator Team, but the PixelmatorTutorials.net website is not related to the team itself. Therefore any feature requests etc. should go directly to Pixelmator Team via their own website and e-mail addresses. 

          When it comes to video and audio software. This being slow when using versions totally depends on the way the app is build. Versions will only store changes to your document. Video and Audio editing software usually work with a system that stores what kind of edit is placed where and for what amount of time. So you have one big source file that is not going to change, hence versions will not save it over and over again and the app itself saves a file that only describes the edits done to the large source file. That edit-file is the only file changing often, but it is small and therefore easy to make versions of. Also realise that software like screen flow for example (popular screen capture and editing app) create project files that actually are folders where the source files and the work/edit file are stored. A lot of apples own apps work in the same way. Documents in Pages for example are actually folders where different document elements are stored as separate files. 

          • David says:

            I understand what you’re saying, but sometimes it’s more complicated than that. Sometimes my save times can be 5-10 seconds because my audio project file needs to contain thousands of sample references to samples being used within a plug-in of the program. Under other circumstances (rare, but legitimate, such as when multiple computers are networked for audio), save times can be 30 seconds. Anyway, what I’m saying is that there are circumstances in which auto-saving or Lion versioning would not be acceptable. 

            Pixelmator, yes, of course, it can work (though I still find it confusing, unnecessary, and problematic).

          • crisb says:

            I completely agree with you David… I also sometimes simply want to make web versions.. I’m working on a network drive ONLY.. this kind of ‘functionality’ is definitely a backwards step. Anyone that dismisses this is sadly not experiencing things on a company or ‘large media’ way.

  5. Roger says:

    I think the video is quite deceitful, not mentioning that versions may not always be available. 

    As the hard drive gets full old versions (hidden files) will be DELETED. If you move your files, versions will likely not move with the file. Not if you archive either. BIG WARNING on relying that the computer takes care of this for you.New ideas are welcome. -If they are good, solid and well thought out. This type of autosave and versions is not. It is not safe and as most often MORE work is added to the workflow.These workarounds, with multiple duplicates, more windows to close and handle and a save function that is sometimes acting as the old “save” and some times as “save as”. -Is this really user friedly? Think about it. I really have, and for a app like Pixelmator there is no way this can make things easier for me.You could be at least be honest and explain to the viewer that versioning only works within limits and explain these limits.

    • PMtuts says:

      Hi Roger,

      I’ll have answered a lot of your questions already in your Pixelmator forum post. I’ll paste it in later on.

      I haven’t come across any reference from Apple yet that states that versions get deleted when your hard drive gets full. 
      Archiving is normally done with documents that are finished. When a finished document is finished.. then there isn’t any real need to keep the version history as you are happy with the result. Any other documents based on earlier versions are already saved as other documents (read duplicate)

      Moving files on the same disk will NOT make you lose your versions. I can promise you. Moving files to other disks does. I agree I could be more specific on that one. By default OS X will always copy the file when dragging and dropping it on another disk. Leaving the original in place. One needs to explicitly hold the CMD-key while dragging and dropping to really move a file to another disk.

      Here is my reply on this subject from the Pixelmator forums.

      “The only reference to versions possibly be lost over time I can find is this from an apple support document:http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4753

      “OS X Lion saves only the information that has changed since the last version, making efficient use of space on your hard drive. OS X Lion manages the version history of a document, keeping hourly versions for a day, daily versions for a month, and weekly versions for all previous months.”

      This possibly means that if you want to revert to a version you made some months ago on a tuesday at 4 o’clock that you only can revert to the latest version of that week which can be for example friday at 3 o’clock. But is that really the way you want to use versions?

      Note though that your first version will always be saved… that one never goes away because it is used as the basis for all other versions. If you take the first version away the whole version system collapses as each version is actually a file with only the changes from the previous version. So the first original version always needs to be available at any time for versions to work. So yes you can revert back to your original document at any time. 

      I haven’t come across anything that says that OS X deletes versions when the disk get’s full. You will nevertheless get a warning when your disk reaches a certain amount of disk space left. 

      Also note that in theory nothing has changed when you want to do versioning manually. In stead of save as.. you just choose duplicate and then save as a new document. If you don’t want your files to autosave anymore you can lock them. You can also change when a file should be locked automatically by going to the time machine preferences. You can autolock a document already when it is a day old. Should be enough since documents that are day old have hourly versions and (auto)save versions. Which means your locked file will show you the same kind of behaviour as prior to Lion. You get a warning.

      Again it is a new system that needs a new way of thinking. I’m pretty sure you know what you want to do to your document before you open it. After all you need to have a reason for opening the file. 

      # When you open a saved file to make changes to it and want to save it as a new document. Duplicate first. 
      # When you open a saved file to edit it then want to do something else to revert to your work later. Close the file to autosave or choose save as version.
      # You are happy with your work and want to save it as a permanent version that you don’t want to change accidentally. Lock the document and you’ll be given a warning every time you try to change the file. You’ll be asked to choose to work on a duplicate in stead or unlock the file.
      # Wish you didn’t make that change to that document? You can browse it’s versions. (Previously only possible with Time Machine). And not even possible before time machine. Before Time machine, overwriting a file made it impossible to go back in time. Oh shoot I shouldn’t have merged those layers… now I have to start over again.. (Most people have been in a similar situation

      )For you I can recommend to set auto lock to 1 day so you get a warning to duplicate your image which can be done by one click. That way you can do versioning yourself in a similar way as before. Also a tip to use lock right away if you don’t want to change your file again.”

      • Roger says:

        There is much I do not agree with in the above and some of it is plain wrong (I think). The thread “Annoying things in Pixelmator 2.0” with my reply is here:
        http://support.pixelmator.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7209

        • David says:

          That is absolutely right, Roger.

          Under the old system, we had complete (manual) control over versioning. Want to work on a document, make a change, export it, and not save your change? Easy. Want to work on alternate versions (A, B, C, D) of a file and send version B to a client? Easy. It’s self-managed, simple, and the way things have always been done.

          Under the new system, the OS is now deciding to handle autosaving, and (scandalously) we are told, “If you need to create a new version, you should choose duplicate before beginning” — but how many of us creative types KNOW that we’re going to create something significant that deserves a new version before beginning? (Sometimes we don’t, and asking us to remember to duplicate is a recipe for trouble.)

          Under the new system, we don’t have the assurance that older versions are accessible. Perhaps they were saved at the wrong stage, Perhaps we moved them to another computer and versions didn’t follow (this has been documented). Perhaps (rumored) the OS will discard older versions when it needs the disk space.

          THIS IS SCANDALOUS. It is enough to make me stop using Pixelmator. There are other compromises and irritations I can put up with, but I cannot tolerate ambiguity in the integrity of the very files I’m working with.

          I have no objection to this behavior being added if some users like it. All I’m asking is that the old, traditional, and WAY THAT WORKS be added back. Versioning DOES NOT WORK for me, for my workflow, and it’s inconsistent with the dozens of other creative apps I use that do not (and will never) support versioning. Versioning is poorly documented and poorly implemented (this is Apple’s fault, of course) but Pixelmator does not have to support this!!

  6. David says:

    Could I please ask one simple question about versioning? If I do a bunch of work in my Pixelmator file, then decide that I do not wish to save changes, that I’d rather have the version before I made changes to it, why can I not simply close and tell it not to save? 

    • PMtuts says:

      Closing the document will autosave it. But you can simply click and hold the mouse button on the title in the document window and choose “Revert to Last Saved Version”. This will revert your document back to what it was right after you opened it. You can now safely close the document and Pixelmator. 

      • David says:

        Hmmm. That does help. It’s just an extra step I’m not familiar with. And now I have to remember (A) in Pixelmator, remember to revert, and (B) in all other apps, just close. AAAAUUGHGHGH!!

  7. David says:

    One more unanswered question. 🙂

    If I’m working on a major Pixelmator file, and I want to take ALL its versions with me to another computer, how do I do that?

    Apple seems mum on the topic of where these versions are stored. I have already noticed that I copied one such file to Dropbox, opened it up on another computer, and versions did not come with it. 

    So how do I take ALL versions of a file with me?

    • PMtuts says:

      It is not possible to copy a file with all the versions over to another computer. You can only copy or move the current version you have open. However if you copy the file from the other computer back to your mac then you get the question to keep both files or replace the original. If you choose to replace the original, it actually adds it as a new version. 

      So in practice your versions are always stored on the mac where you created or opened the file for the first time. You can continue to work on your document on another computer, but only on the version you copy. When you copy the file back again you add it as a new version to the original file.

      One has to think of versions as an ongoing log of snapshots of the file you are working on. A bit like a history palette. This log is only stored on the mac you are currently working on. 

      To my knowledge versions are stored ‘inside the app’ you are working with. But I could be wrong about this.

      • David says:

        Frustrating. I feel a loss of control. What if I have two main computers (home and work) and want to be able to work on the same file from either computer, AND access all older versions? 

        What if I need to send a specific revision to a client (maybe it is in the middle of my versions)?

        This whole versioning thing stinks. I’m sorry to say it, and I know the blame is not yours. It took a system which wasn’t broken in the first place, and tried to impose a smarter way to do it, but has created more problems than it solves.

        Pros frequently need to work on multiple versions at a time, and each version is best managed by the user (IMHO) rather than the OS. When I work on a file that needs versions, I often like saving them with names (“filename – client likes it red” / “filename – blue experiment”). I know this is possible with versioning, but it’s more complex.

        Not good.

        • PMtuts says:

          I have to unfortunately strongly disagree with your statement on losing control. In fact the tutorial shows exactly that you can still work the same way as you were used to. If you watch the tutorial you’ll see I’m creating several version by duplicating. Duplicating and saving as a new file is the same as the good old save as. You can work completely in the same way as you were used to. 

          So in your situation where you want to work on several copies of the file, you do as I showed in the video. You create a V1 document and duplicate a V2 out of it and go on until you have all the versions you want. You can have all these versions as separate files in a a folder and copy them to the other computer to continue working on them. Only addition you have now is that each version of your work has subversion. But this you don’t have to care about if you don’t want to. Just a little extra thing in case you want to go a few steps back. Like going from version 1.6 to version 1.3 for example. 

          Q “What if I need to send a specific revision to a client (maybe it is in the middle of my versions)?”
          A You browse to that version and duplicate it to a new file. Just like you would do with save as. 

          Q “Pros frequently need to work on multiple versions at a time, and each version is best managed by the user (IMHO) rather than the OS.”
          A Like I already wrote duplicate the major versions and call them V1 V2 etc. or whatever you want to use for naming. You can now work on them on the same time.

          Q “I know this is possible with versioning, but it’s more complex.”
          A You don’t have to think about versions if you don’t want to. Duplicate is the new save as. And you can just work like you were used to. 

  8. Quietwalker says:

    This podcast is the ABSOLUTE BEST AVAILABLE explanation of Versions, Autosave and Resume available — applies not only to the Pixelmator photo editing app but to many others — Pages is the first. I searched for over an hour on the Apple help pages and decided to just try searching for Versions in iTunes — and it hit. Simple, Explanatory, Descriptive. I don’t like Versions better than Save As — yet — but with help like this I think I can live with it and actually use it! Thank you, Pixelmator Staff!!!

    (Since I had a trial version of Pixelmator already downloaded, and liked it, it was a simple decision to buy the product while I was at it — my small thanks.)

    • PMtuts says:

      Thank you for your warm comments. Though only one of the tutors here is Pixelmator ‘staff, I’m pretty sure the Pixelmator Team will appreciate your kind words as well. I’m sorry I haven’t covered locking files. Which will prevent files from being accidentally overwritten.

  9. Quietwalker says:

    PMuts,
    your comments, below, are helpful — but a question arises:  If “versions” cannot be copied to another Mac, what about Time Machine? Does it backup all versions? (I know, I could figure this out myself, but I suspect you already have and I’ll take advantage of your expertise.)

    • PMtuts says:

      Hello Quietwalker,

      I have to be honest and say I have to guess here. I tried a quick search but I cannot find any answers that might be correct.

      Since versions are stored in a hidden folder on your main drive and since Time Machine is called for backup-software, my first guess is that this hidden folder is copied to the time machine drive as well and therefore you will have a backup of your versions. If your hard disk crashes you are able to restore from a time-machine backup and I would find it logical that this hidden folder gets copied back to your hard drive. And I cannot think of any technical impossibilities when it comes to restoring a deleted file from a time machine if the version history of this file got backed up in the same way.

  10. Webdesign says:

    This really is the worst thing about Pixelmator; I’ve lost some really great photos because of this non-standard behavour. 

    • PMtuts says:

      Then you’ll be happy to know that you can now turn this standard lion behaviour off in the latest pixelmator release by opening a terminal window and typing: defaults -currentHost write com.pixelmatorteam.pixelmator “disableAutosave” -bool YES

  11. Jim Byrne says:

    Pixelmator need to get rid of this versioning autosave thing; or allow me to turn it off in the preferences; it appeared without warning and destroyed lots of my images (because I didn’t know the changes were being saved automatically). I don’t want to get used it; I want to be able to open photograph to work on them without worrying that I’ll lose my original version. Sort it please. Thanks.

    • PMtuts says:

      You’ll be happy to know that you can now turn this standard lion behaviour off in the latest pixelmator release by opening a terminal window and typing: defaults -currentHost write com.pixelmatorteam.pixelmator “disableAutosave” -bool YES
      Also in version 2.0.4 (the latest release) autosave and versions is in a sense broken since it only works on Pixelmator files. Unfortunately all non-pxm files now get opened as Pixelmator files making it difficult to save back to the original format, but that’s another issue. PixelmatorTutorials.net is not associated with Pixelmator Team ltd. So this is the wrong place to file a complaint. Please write to support[at]pixelmator.com for this. 

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