Wednesday, May 1, 2019

TextEdit Deletes Original File Even When You Cancel

Chris Hamady:

Unbelievable...why in heaven’s name does Apple allow TextEdit to modify files EVEN IF the user CANCELS the save command. This video was just made on Yosemite, but I’ve also confirmed that TextEdit on Mojave does this as well:  … Notice html changes to rtf.

I’m interested in your take on this. Should any app on Mac OS have the ability to change a file format/type without a user saving the change?

CM Harrington:

This whole thing is probably an extension of autosave… and why it takes forever to close a file without changes you’ve made even if you have autosave off (I think it’s deleting all the SQLite rows).

Ben Szymanski:

It’s really hard to trust the system auto save functionality with these UX oversights. It was rough in Lion and it’s gotten maybe(?) marginally better since then.

I think it’s gotten worse with Preview.

Howard Oakley:

The real bug is in older macOS, where that second dialog doesn’t do what it claims. But the whole behaviour is unnecessary: TextEdit is going out of its way to delete your original HTML document when there’s no need at all. It does that because whoever implemented this behaviour didn’t understand macOS (or iOS for that matter).


For many years, Apple used TextEdit as exemplary code for macOS developers to see how it’s done. The last time it did this was seven years ago, in early 2012, since when I can only presume that TextEdit has gone steadily downhill and is now too embarrassing to release in source form. Like so many other standard tools in macOS, TextEdit is another festering sore on the rump of Apple’s engineering indolence.


1 Comment RSS · Twitter

They're preparing that Marzipan rewrite of TextEdit as we speak. I kid, I kid...

Leave a Comment