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Relief for Compulsive Command-S Savers

February 27th, 2019

Raise your hand if you, or somebody you love, still presses Command-S constantly while editing text, or really, working with any content in any app on your Mac.

Those of us who have been using computers for a long time remember a day when, if you didn’t remember to save, then you might lose everything. These days most apps, including apps such as our own MarsEdit and Black Ink, support some form of autosave, making this old-fashioned habit unneccessary, yet harmless.

Some apps, such as Apple’s Notes, have gone so far as to remove the save command. This is good in the sense that it simplifies the app, but bad in the sense that users who aren’t familiar with autosave may not know their work is saved. It’s also bad for compulsive Command-S savers, because every time we press the keystroke, we’re greeted with a loud BEEP! from the computer. Thanks for nothing.

One of Red Sweater’s apps, FastScripts, offers an elegant solution for quieting the beep that occurs in Notes, or in any other app for that matter, when Command-S is not wired up to any menu item. Because FastScripts can be used to override just about any keystroke, you can configure it to run a script in Notes when Command-S is pressed. The script? It does nothing. Thanks for nothing, indeed.

To use FastScripts to quiet the beep in Notes:

  1. Download FastScripts. It’s completely free for up to 10 keyboard shortcuts.
  2. Launch FastScripts and look for the little script icon with a lightning bolt, in the upper-right corner of your Mac’s main screen:

    Screenshot of the FastScripts icon in the Mac menu bar

  3. Open Notes on your Mac.
  4. With Notes running, click the FastScripts icon and select the “FastScripts” submenu, then select “Create Notes Scripts Folder”:

    Screenshot of the FastScripts submenu  with

    This is the folder in which we’ll create and save a “Do Nothing” script for Notes.

  5. Open Apple’s Script Editor from the Utilities subfolder of your Mac’s Applications folder.
  6. Create a new script by selecting File -> New Script from the menu bar. You can leave it empty, or type something as a comment to remind you about it’s purpose:

    Screenshot of a Script Editor window with a comment inside about giving FastScripts something to run when pressing Command-S

    Save the script and move it to the “Notes” folder you just created in the Finder.

  7. Switch back to Notes, where we’ll assign a shortcut for the script.
  8. Click the FastScripts menu icon, you should see the “Do Nothing” script appear near the top of the menu. Hold the command key down while you select it. This is a shortcut to jump to FastScripts preference and start editing the shortcut for the script:

    Screenshot of the Do Nothing script in FastScripts, selected with an indication that the Command key is held down

  9. In the FastScripts Preferences window that appears, you should be editing the keyboard shortcut for “Do Nothing”. Press Command-S on the keyboard to register the new shortcut:

    Screenshot of FastScripts Preferences with the keyboard shortcut for

  10. There’s no step 10!

Ah, the sweet silence of Command-S in Notes has never … not sounded … so good?

These steps may sound laborious, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it. Creating a such a script takes only a minute or so when you’re familiar with FastScripts and the Script Editor. You can use the same technique with any other app on your Mac that behaves in an unwanted manner when you compulsively press Command-S, or (almost) any other key, for that matter!

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