Naming & Saving Files & Folders
Choosing a file name and a location to save your files is important. You want to organize your computer filing system the way you would organize a filing cabinet in your office.
Think of your computer as the filing cabinet. Your documents folder as a file drawer. The sub-folders you create inside of your documents folder as the folders in the file drawer. And your files like the paper documents you keep in the file folders.
If you organize your computer the same way it will make saving, finding and backing up your data quick and easy.
When you create a new file the first thing you want to do is choose a location on your computer to save the file and give the file a descriptive name. The first time you save a file you will be prompted to name the file and choose a location to save it. You want to pay attention when saving the file otherwise the file will be saved in a default location with a default name. That location and name will be different depending on the program you used to create the file.
Understanding Save & Save As
Save as: Will open the save as dialog box. Choose a location to save the file and give the file a name. By default the first time you save a file whether you click “save” or “save as” the save as window will open because you have not yet given the file a name or selected a location to save the file. Use the location drop down to choose a location on your computer to save the file. Use the file name field to give the file a descriptive name. You can use the save as type drop down to choose the file type. The file type will be different based on the program you used to create the file. Normally you will want to use the default file type but you may want to change it. For example if you are working in a graphics program you can choose to save the file as a bmp, gif, jpg or other graphic format. If you are working in Microsoft Word you may want to save the file as a plain text file (Txt) or in a web page format (HTML).
Each program will have its own list of file formats to choose from.
After you have made your selections, click the save button.
Save: Once you have saved the file the first time you can use the save command to update the existing file. When you click save the file will be updated with any changes you have made since the last time you saved the file without prompting you for a name or location.
Choosing a file or folder name
You want to choose a descriptive name that will allow you to easily find your files and folders later. When naming folders think about the files you will store in the folder and name the folder accordingly.
Spaces: Try to limit spaces in a file name. Some programs have trouble understanding spaces. If you want to use a space the universal character is an underbar( _)
Capitalization: Capitalization is ok most of the time but be consistent. Use it or don’t.
Using Characters in File and Folder Names
Don’t use any of the following characters in a file name. Windows will not allow you to use most of them. If you are successful in using one of the characters you may run into trouble accessing or working with the file later. \$ ; \ / & ! * | ` ' " < > ? ( ) [ ].
Be consistent: Try to be consistent when naming files and folders. Choose a format for naming files and folders and stick to the same format. When naming files it is a good idea to include a date in the file name.
Where to Save Your Files
It is a good idea to save all of the files you create in your documents folder. If you save everything in your documents folder you will be able to find your files easily. It also makes backing up your data simple. Instead of backing up multiple folders scattered across your hard drive you will have one folder to backup that contains all of your important information. The documents folder is the default location that Windows uses to save your files.
Create sub-folders within your documents folder to further organize your data. This is where the filing cabinet example comes into play. Imagine you have a filing cabinet in your office. If you were to just open the file drawers and throw papers in the drawer without putting the papers in folders and giving the folders a name the filing cabinet would be a mess. You would not be able to find your files easily. The same is true with your computer. Create additional folders within your documents folder. Some examples of folder names might be: Pictures, Videos, Music, Tax Information, Downloads, Insurance Information, Medical Information and Computer Information. Then save your files in the appropriate folder.