Saving interim files - not?

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2020-02-03 20:30:20

I'm old school: "Save often, save again." I admit I've used Photoshop for most of my career and I am still learning Pixelmator Pro. Habitually, I save interim files of all my work so that, if a mistake happens, I can quickly go back to the right "level" and fix the mistake. I have been doing that in Pixelmator Pro, and I finish up by saving/exporting as a .jpg because most of my work ends up on the web. However, even though I consistently rename and save X-1.pxd, X-2.pxd, X-3.pxd, etc., as I work on a project, somehow the earlier files just disappear. For awhile I thought they were somehow being saved as part of the finished piece - that's what the Help section indicates - but, today, I discover: No. Gone. Nowhere on my machine do any of those early files exist and the finished .pxd file is only the last stage before export: flattened and resized (just the way I want it exported) but missing ALL the earlier steps. Why did I bother to save all the earlier steps? How can I guarantee that all the earlier steps ARE saved? I WANT all my work stages, not just the final one. Thank you for whatever insight the community can provide.
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2020-02-04 07:18:10

Hi Sheryl.

File > Rename will just change the name of the existing file. You'll still just have the one file.
File > Duplicate will create a new copy that you can give a new name to.

Apple also provides some file version history using the Time Machine function but, if you want to take complete control of what changes are in what backup, I'd recommend using File > Duplicate.

Hope this helps.

- Stef.
P.S. Speaking of old school, Apple changed its approach to file management a couple of years ago. Apps should now do their best to make sure that a saved file is up to date so: if you open a file, make a small change, export then close without intending to save, macOS apps (including Pixelmator Pro) will *still* save your changes on the way out. The advantage is that you are less likely to lose work through power failure, forgetting to save, and other disasters. The disadvantage is that if you don't know that macOS apps work in this way, it can create other problems. This is only tangentially related to your question but I thought it was important enough to add.
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2020-02-04 16:35:04

File > Revert To > Browse All Versions should have all previous versions of your file. It saves a version every time you press Command-S and some more versions at regular intervals/with more significant changes. As for renaming and duplicating files, Stef is totally spot on – Duplicate would be the menu command for you, in this case.
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2020-02-04 17:49:59

Thank you, that helps immensely. I didn't know about the change in the Apple file management either, so thank you for that too. I suddenly understand "The Case of the Missing Files" a whole lot better now! I've never cared for "the computer knows better than you" attitude in program design, but at least I can take precautions now.