How to Show the Expanded Print and Save Dialogs in OS X by Default


OS X shows you small, simple Print and Save dialogs by default. You can click the arrow on the right to expand them for more options, or you can show the expanded dialogs by default with a simple command from the Terminal.

Here is the simplified version of the Save dialog, which doesn’t offer many options. It lets you pick your filename, add tags, choose a location, and finally select a format.

Clicking the arrow button next to the “Export As” field, however, will expand the dialog so that you can navigate about your Mac’s system drive, create a new folder, and show or hide the file’s extension.

Similarly, here is the simple Print dialog as shown from Safari. It offers options to change the number of copies, which pages to print, and the option to print the document as a PDF, but not much else.

Here is the expanded Print dialog, which includes further paper size, orientation, and scaling options, among others.

However the expand version of these dialogs can turn out to be very helpful for you and you might take advantage of it from time to time when you save or print. Rather than having to always expand them, you can use a simple command line trick to make the expanded versions always appear by default (or until you change them back).

To make these changes, first open the Terminal, which can be found in Applications > Utilities.

With the Terminal open, type the following command (or just copy and paste it) to change the default view on the Print dialog and hit “Enter” when you’re done.

defaults write -g PMPrintingExpandedStateForPrint -bool TRUE

It will look something like this.

To make this command take effect, you have to restart your computer. So if you want to affect this change to the save dialog as well, you should plug in the following command before you restart to save time. Don’t forget to hit “Enter” when you’re done.

defaults write -g NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -boolean TRUE

Again, in the Terminal it will look similar to the following.

Now restart your computer.

f you want to reverse this change, you want to enter each of the previous commands only use the FALSE flag at the end instead of TRUE.

For example, to revert to the old Print dialog, enter the following.

defaults write -g PMPrintingExpandedStateForPrint -bool FALSE

To revert to the old Save dialog, use this command.

defaults write -g NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -boolean FALSE

You’ll need to restart again to put the changes in effect.