We have a situation where a user would be working on a shared document. If they edit that document they may want to save it in a shared state, or fork the document. The question is how to word it.

I've heard the convention for the web is Save New, but this is questionable. This is a web app and I am not sure Save As in intuitive in this context as there is no real traditional file system available to the user.

Are there any studies on this topic? Is Save As the right convention for the web? Is there a better way this could be handled?

We definitely need a distinction between saving the shared version and saving a fork.

  • Is this a technical audience where you could use the phrasing "Fork"? – Austin French May 21 '13 at 19:45
  • no, unfortunately 'Fork' wont work. – Fresheyeball May 21 '13 at 20:13
  • @AthomSfere - you could provided there is no overzealous, foul-mouthed autocorrection. Seriously, what about "Save a personal copy"? – Deer Hunter May 21 '13 at 20:16
  • I don't know that I've ever seen "save new" but I have seen "save a copy" on the web pretty frequently – Perchik May 16 '14 at 20:43
  • I've seen and used the following "Save a Copy" "Duplicate" "Clone" – nightning May 16 '14 at 23:39

To most people, there is no clear distinction between a web-app, website, or application in terms of how they understand interfaces and instructions.

"Save As" has been used in the most common applications for decades, and I have yet to see anyone confused by it. The situation that you describe is exactly one where "Save As" would be appropriate, and so use "Save As".

With issues like this, it's always worth doing some user testing, which doesn't have to be formal and time consuming. You can do some quick and dirty testing with a few people to get an idea of whether or not this is an issue.

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"Save As" will probably be fine.

May I offer up "Save duplicate" or "Save a copy" since multiple users are touching the document. This may better send the message that this new save will be a branch and not affect the original.

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