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A few releases of macOS (Mac OS X) ago, many native apps (such as Preview, TextEdit, etc) changed their closing dialog options from "Don't Save", "Cancel", and Save"…

"Don't Save" dialog

…to "Revert Changes", "Cancel", and "Save".

"Revert Changes" dialog

The former set of options is still available in most third-party apps, as shown in the first screenshot above.

"Don't Save" and "Revert Changes" do the same thing, but the former set of options can be activated from the keyboard via commandd, esc, and return, whereas the latter has no shortcut for "Revert Changes" (as far as I can tell).

Call me picky, but this renders the native apps nearly worthless.

Has anyone yet found a way to activate "Revert Changes" from the keyboard, rather than having to use the trackpad to click the button?

I've tried mashing various key-combinations into the keyboard. I've tried tabbing and option-tabbing. I've tried creating a keyboard shortcut for all apps in Syst Prefs. I wonder if there's something to enter into Terminal? And I'm not interested in changing the tab key to focus on all interactive elements. Thank you.

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Your screenshot doesn't seem to show it, but for me [Revert Changes] has a blue outline...

enter image description here

...which means it can be activated with the Space Bar.

I literally just figured this out (even relative experts can learn something new every day!), but apparently it's been a feature of macOS for quite some time.

(BTW, to change which button is outlined (and therefore which button is activated by the Space Bar), use the Tab key.

  • I've just checked again (now on High Sierra), and I don't have a blue focus outline in this dialog, even after hitting tab, shift-tab, or option-tab. – jtheletter Mar 18 '18 at 19:57
  • What's your setting under Syst Prefs / Keyboard / Shortcuts / Keyboard / Full Access? Text boxes & lists only, or All controls? Mine is the former. – jtheletter Mar 18 '18 at 19:59
  • Well that's frustrating. I'm on El Capitan, so I can't make for-certain suggestions (Apple does have a habit of making things less user-friendly each time the OS is "upgraded"), but maybe try hitting Tab while in the save dialog to see if that activates the blue outline? – 100 Watt Walrus Mar 18 '18 at 20:02
  • My El Capitan System Prefs don't have quite the path you describe, but here's what I have: (oops looks like comments can't have images. Imgur to the rescue) imgur.com/a/KM0gg – 100 Watt Walrus Mar 18 '18 at 20:04
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    Well, that settles that. :) I understand your preference. Wish I had another solution. – 100 Watt Walrus Mar 18 '18 at 20:11

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