File Management Training

If you use your computer to do work, chances are your computer has accumulated a lot of files. To improve your workflow, you can organize these files into folders, archive old files, and delete ones you don’t need anymore.

Goals

Upon completion of this 1-on-1 training, you will be able to:

  • Organize Files
  • Create a Folder
  • Create a File
  • Move and copy files from one folder to another
  • Find a File
  • Archive files
  • Delete a File
  • Restore a File

Training

Organization of Documents

When you have a large number of documents on your computer, finding and working with those documents can become frustrating because it gets harder and harder to remember which document is for what project. One way to reduce this frustration is to organize your documents into folders. The folders can be named by topic, project, type of document, or anything that you want as long as it is useful to you. Once you create folders, you can put the relevant documents into the folders.

For example, if you have a project that involves preparation for an upcoming concert, you could have a folder called “Brass Concert 2007” and related documents such as program.doc, tickets.xls, seating.jpg, and flyer.ppt could be put into that folder. Now, when searching for files related to that concert, you can go to the folder “Brass Concert 2007” and all of the pertinent files are in one place waiting for you.

Create a Folder

We are going to create a folder to put some files in.

1. Click on Start > My Documents. This will open the My Documents folder.

2. Click File > New > Folder. A folder will now appear in My Documents, and its name will be highlighted so that you can name it.

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FileManagement 1

3. Type “training” and hit the Enter key to name the folder. (Tip: folders and files can be renamed later). You now have a new folder. You can double-click on the folder to open it.

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FileManagement 2

Create a File

For the purpose of training, we are going to use Microsoft Word to quickly create a file that we can manipulate in this session.

1. Open Start > All Programs > ………….. > Microsoft Office Word 2007.

2. Type the word “signature” along with some random text into a blank document.

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FileManagement 3

3. Go to Office Button > Save.

4. Navigate to My Documents, and find the training folder that you just made in the above exercise.

5. Save the file in the training folder with the name “foobar.docx” (note: you don’t have to type the “.docx” yourself, Word does that for you).

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FileManagement 4

Find a File

  • Search by Name. You may know all or part of the filename, but forget where the file is located. That’s okay, you can still find the file using the following steps.

1. Open My Documents. If you know the file is stored on a network share, open My Network Places and double-click to select the network share rather than “My Documents”.

2. Click on the Search icon

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FileManagement 5

3. Click on All files and folders

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FileManagement 6

4. Enter “f” into the “All or part of the file name:” field. Notice that “Look in:” contains “My Documents” so we will be searching for a file that has the letter “f” in the name and is in the folder My Documents (or a subfolder of My Documents). Click the Search button.

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FileManagement 7

5. The files that are displayed will contain the letter “f” somewhere in the filename. With this list, you can sort by name or other criteria to find the file that you are looking for. Once you find the file you want, you can open it from here, copy it somewhere else, or edit the file.

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FileManagement 8

  • Search by Name Using Wildcards. A wildcard is a special character that can be used to represent one or more other characters. For example, if you know the file starts with the letter “f”, you can enter “f*” to find all files that begin with the letter “f” and have one or more characters after the “f”.

1. Open My Documents

2. Click on the Search icon

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FileManagement 5

3. Click on All files and folders

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FileManagement 6

4. Enter “f*” into the “All or part of the file name:” field. Click the Search button.

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FileManagement 9

5. The files that are displayed begin with the letter “f”. With this list, you can sort by name or other criteria to find the file that you are looking for. Once you find the file you want, you can open it from here, copy it somewhere else, or edit the file.

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FileManagement 10

  • Other Ways to Search. In addition to searching by filename, we can also search based upon the following criteria:

1. A word or phrase in the file

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FileManagement 11

2. Modification date range based on current date

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FileManagement 12

3. Size based on the test file chosen

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FileManagement 13

Archiving files

If you have a number of files that you don’t frequently use anymore, but just can’t bear to part with, then it may be a good idea for you to archive them into a .zip file. Zip files are “compressed”, meaning that they take up less space on the disk than their uncompressed counterparts. Furthermore, a zip file can contain many files and folders, but it is itself only one file, which is useful if you want to email a lot of files to someone, or distribute a number of files on KATIE. Here’s how to create an archive:

1. Put all of the files and folders you want to archive into a single folder (this is optional, but it makes things easier when you need to uncompress the ZIP file).

2. Right click on the folder, and go to Send To > Compressed (zipped) folder.

3. If you get a message saying something about Compressed Folders not being the default application to handle ZIP files, click No.

4. There should now be a ZIP file in the same folder as the original folder you archived. By default, it has the same name as the folder, but you may change it to something more useful to you.

5. Since all the files in the original folder are in the archive, you may delete the original folder.

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FileManagement 14

Delete a File

You will want to remove files that you no longer need from your computer. For one thing, files that contain sensitive data should be stored on a network share rather than on your computer so they cannot be accessed by someone walking into your office. Furthermore, by storing files on the network, they are backed up daily. You may also want to remove files from your computer to reduce the amount of clutter on your computer which makes it easier to find the files that you do need.

  • If you have a particularly sensitive file to be removed from your computer, contact the Technolgoy Help Desk for assistance in completely removing all trace of the file from your computer.

You can choose to remove files on a regular basis (e.g. monthly or yearly) or after a large project has been completed and the files are no longer needed. In either case, make sure you backup your computer before you begin deleting files…just in case.

To delete the foobar.docx file that we created earlier in this training:

1. Open My Documents.

2. Double-click on the “training” folder.

3. Select the foobar.docx file.

4. Use File > Delete (or right-click Delete). The file has now been moved to the recycle bin. It has not yet been removed from your computer so it’s not too late to get it back if you deleted a file by accident.

5. To remove the file from your computer, double-click to open the Recycle Bin.

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FileManagement 15

6. Click on Empty the Recycle Bin to remove all other items.

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FileManagement 16

The same steps can be done to remove the “training” folder from your computer as well.

Restore a File

If you accidentally delete a file that you still need, you can get the file back if it’s still in your recycle bin.

1. Open the Recycle Bin.

2. Select the file or files to restore and then select Restore this item or File > Restore.

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FileManagement 17

Additional Resources

Review the Help within Windows XP

Go to Start > Help and Support, then select a relevant topic or search for the documents you need.

Consult Lynda.com

Lynda.com is a provider of web-based software training videos and resources. If you are interested in access to Lynda.com please contact the Technology Help Desk at [email protected] or 563-387-1000.

Review the Technology Help Desk web site information

Contact the Technology Help Desk

  • Call 563-387-1000
  • Email [email protected]
  • Stop by the Technology Help Desk in Preus Library