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Files & Folders

Files & Folders

 
Files
Once you have typed or created a new document or file on your computer, you will have to decide what to do with it. You could print it right away using a Print command and then Exit or Quit your program without saving it, but most of the time you will want to save your document for future use.
The computer saves its information on a disk, most often the hard disk, and the users determines where and when the file or document is saved.
computer file is a piece of arbitrary information, or resource for storing information, that is available to a computer program and is usually based on some kind of durable storage. A file is durable in the sense that it remains available for programs to use after the current program has finished.
Folders & Directories
On the disk are directories or collection of folders. These directories or folders could be compared to a filing cabinet. All files are stored in a directory. Most hard disks have many directories or folders and files can be stored in any of them.
Directories can have sub-directories and sub-sub-directories many levels down. The directory immediately below the current directory is called the child directory. The directory immediately above the current one is called the parent directory. The top of the directory structure is called the root directory.
When a user adds or installs a new program on the computer the installation process will usually create a new directory or folder to store the application’s files.
Users can create and delete directories or folders as the need arises. Older version of DOS require that the directory be emptied of files before it can be deleted. When removing a directory always check before deleting it to make sure that it doesn’t contain files you need.
You can easily move files from one folder or directory to another using menu commands, drag & dropusing the mouse or a file utility. It is important to understand your computer’s directory structure as a file can be misplaced if it is saved in the wrong directory.
One of the main problems new users have is creating a filing system. Modern operating systems address the ‘filing problem’ by automatically creating a (My) Documents folder. By saving files or documents in this folder you will always know where to look for your files. Create sub-folders within this folder for your main projects. Examples could be a separate folder for your correspondence called Letters or a folder for images called Graphics or Pictures. The main Documents folder can also be renamed to what every name you want it to be called. If you are not using Windows 9x simply create your own folder and sub-folders to save your documents in.
Saving Files or Documents
In order to save a new document or file you must first choose the Save command. Most modern software places this command in a menu which you access with the mouse button or Alt key. Each file must be given a filename so it can be found easily the next time it is needed.
Computers using DOS 6.X or older must follow the 8.3 rule: a filename can only be 1 to 8 characters long followed by a 1 to 3 character extension separated by a dot (period or full stop).
Modern operating systems allow computer users to use filenames up to 256 characters. Mac users, Windows 9X & NT/2000 and UNIX/LINUX use long file names but names using over 32 characters get unwieldy. It is better to use a directory or folder to help describe them and keep common files together.
Many modern software programs (applications) add their own extension to filenames. These extensions allow operating systems to recognize certain filenames and associate them to the program that created it.
As well as choosing a filename, users must choose a directory and/or disk to store the file in. Make sure that you are consistent and use a logical structure. Once you are sure you know where the file is going to be stored press Enter on the keyboard or press the left mouse button over the word Save or Okay to store the document on a disk, in the directory with the filename you have chosen. Some software programs will automatically save files in specific directory that is created when the program is installed (default settings). You can easily changed these settings permanently using the applications Preferences or temporarily at the point of saving the file.
Some common rules are:
• All files are saved on a disk or storage device.
• A disk is usually broken up into directories and sometimes into partitions
• A directory or folder is a way of keeping like files in a common area.
partitioned disk, though physically a single disk, is treated like separate disks and given a separate drive letter (and/or name).
It is possible to save or move files anywhere that your computer can access. This includes disk (or other storage devices) on your computer, to any directory or sub-directory on your computer or on a network that your computer is connected to. Always make sure that you have chosen the correct directory and filename before pressing Enter or choosing Save.
Printing
The promise of a paperless office has not happened though conservation is catching on and it is possible to reduce paper consumption by using your computer more effectively. Having said that many computers are attached to printers and there are many reasons to print out documents that you create on your computer. Most software programs and applications allow the user to print the information that is created in the program.
When choosing a printer consider the peripheral equipment that you will need as well as the actual printer. Peripherals include paper, ribbons or ink cartridges, toner and occasionally print heads.