Windows 95/98: File Management

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1 Windows 95/98: File Management Windows Is This Document Right for You? This document is designed for Windows 95/98 users who have developed the skills taught in Windows 95/98: Getting Started (dws07). You may also have additional experience; perhaps you have worked with an application, such as a word-processor, in Windows 95/98. Now you are ready to learn how to manage the files you are creating. In this document and the accompanying class, you will learn basic file management concepts, strategies for organizing your files, and the skills to use some of the tools Windows 95/98 provides to manage your files. Among other things, you will learn how to move files from one location to another, delete files, and create shortcuts that make getting to files easier. Note: We encourage users who are already proficient in Windows 95 to review the Windows 98: Features document (dws15) to learn more about the differences between Windows 95 and Windows 98. Since Windows 95 and Windows 98 are very similar, most information in this document applies to both. Information specific to Windows 98 is presented in a gray box. Some Definitions: Files, Folders, and Drives Your computer's filing system has three basic divisions: files, folders, and drives. Everything saved on your computer is stored as a file, whether it is a letter you wrote to a friend or the wordprocessing program you used to write it. The letter you write might be a Word document, for example, or a text file. Microsoft Word, on the other hand, is an "executable" file -- that is, a file that "executes" a series of commands to do some work for you; you run this executable file so that you can, in turn, create or edit document files. Other examples of files include database files and various types of system files. You can store a file in a folder and, in turn, store that folder inside another folder. Using different folders helps you and the computer keep track of information. For example, you might save the letter to your friend in a folder named "Joe" inside another folder called "Friends." Your computer also stores files in folders. For example, all the files the computer uses to run Windows 95/98 are usually stored in a folder called "Windows." When the computer needs one of those files, it follows a "path" to the folder, and then to the file. Files and folders are stored on drives. Drives are basically like filing cabinets. Each drive is assigned a letter name. Your hard drive (the drive inside your computer) is also known as the C:\ drive. If you have a floppy disk drive, it is usually known as the A:\ drive. If you use files stored on a CD-ROM, the drive where you put the CD is assigned another letter. If you attach to a network, you can assign the network drive still another letter. (Assigning letters to drives is also called mapping. ) Organizing Your Files & Folders What's the best strategy for organizing your files? The strategy that lets you spend more time doing your work and less time desperately seeking the file you need. When deciding how to organize your files and folders, consider the following points: Look at the types of files you create, or think you will create. How will you use the information? Do your files fall into major categories? Those major categories are your main folder names. Create meaningful, logical names for files and folders.

2 Windows 95/98: File Management Page 2 To make it easier to find the electronic copy of a printed document, consider putting the actual filename and folder location in the document footer. If different people work on one project, consider the following: - Make project or subject folders available to those who need them (do not bury them in an individual's file collection). - Establish file-naming conventions that everyone can follow. Make sure your naming conventions are easy to remember, meaningful, logical, and that they allow for growth in the number of files - If you generate large numbers of files, consider using a combination of letters and numbers in the file names. - In addition to project folders, each person may need a folder to store files that only he or she uses. If you work on a network, consider saving a file to the network drive in these cases: - If you are using a file to which other people need access. It will make it easier for them to get to the file. - If you do not always work at the same computer on the network. It will make it easier for you to get to the file if you sit at one computer one day and another computer the next. - If you need to conserve file space on your own computer. Evaluate your file system periodically, and make adjustments as needed to make it easier to use. File System Example An example of a file system shared by two people should make this easier to follow. Alisha and Betsy store their files on one computer. Here is how the filing system might look: To store their personal files, Betsy and Alisha each have a folder. Alisha's folder has three folders inside it: Career, Classes, and Family. Alisha and Betsy are working together on a student body election campaign. For the files about the campaign, they have a folder called Election. In that folder, they have several other folders, including Press and Promises. As you can imagine, Betsy and Alisha have still more folders inside the ones shown. This file system may not work for you, but you can get an idea of how to put one together. Basic File Management Tools Windows 95/98 gives you two file management options, My Computer and Explorer. Let s look at the similarities and differences between them, starting with My Computer. My Computer Double-click on My Computer to open it. The first window you see displays your local drives, as well as the Printers and Control Panel folders. Double-click on a drive to see the files and folders stored on it, and double-click on folders and files to open them, just as you would in File Manager. The File and Edit Menus Now, take a look at the menu bar. The menus are very similar to the ones you find in most applications: File, Edit, View, and Help. (In Windows 98, you ll also see Go and Favorites.) Depending on what you have selected, the File menu provides options to Open files, use the Windows Explorer tool (Explore), Delete files, or Rename them. Other items on the File menu that you might encounter are listed below: Send To: Send a copy of the file to a drive or program you select from the list that appears. Format: Be careful of this command! You will usually use it to erase all files on a floppy disk to prepare it for use with your computer. It is safe to choose the command and take a look at the options in the Format dialog box. To erase all files on a disk, choose Quick; to erase all files and check the disk for errors, choose Full; to copy system files to a floppy without erasing any other files on it,

3 Windows 95/98: File Management Page 3 choose Copy system files only. Don t select the Format command in conjunction with a drive other than your floppy disk drive (A:\), though you never want to format your hard drive! Copy Disk: Not recommended. This command only appears if you select the A:\ drive and will copy the contents of one floppy disk to another. If you decide to use this option, be sure to check your disk for viruses and errors first. Create Shortcut: Creates a shortcut to a file, folder, or drive and so you can move it to a convenient location. We ll talk more about shortcuts in a few minutes. Map Drive: The Map Drive button on the toolbar can make getting to a particular folder easier. If you are connected to a network and access a folder repeatedly, you may want to map the folder as a drive; that is, assign that folder a drive letter (such as G:\). Then, when you select the drive, you go directly to the folder. Another option, of course, is to create a shortcut to the folder. Find: This works the same way as the Find command on the Start menu. Properties: Different tabbed cards appear depending on what you select before the Properties command. If you select a file or folder before selecting Properties, the General tab displays these attributes: Hidden: The file does not display in the folder window (to show all files, go to the View menu, choose Options, then View, and finally, Show All Files). System: The file is part of your computer's operating system. Read-Only: The file can be read, but not changed. Archive: The file is marked to tell back-up programs whether the file has been changed; back-up programs will make a new copy of the file only if changes have been made since the last back-up. Version: If the file is an executable (program) file, such as winword.exe, this tab provides information such as the version number of the program (Word 6.0 or Word 7, for example). As you might expect, you can use the Edit menu to cut, copy, and paste folders and files, and best of all, to undo these actions. The View Menu You can choose an option from the View menu to display files and folders as Large Icons, Small Icons, as a List of files, or to show all the file Details. These options are also available on the toolbar (they are the last four buttons in Windows 95, and the last button as a drop-down menu in Windows 98). If you choose the Details option, for each file you will see columns providing information on the file such as name, size, type of file, and the date it was last modified. (Windows 95 will also display file attributes.) Sometimes you will not be able to read all the file details because the fields are not wide enough. You can adjust the size of the fields easily. Simply move your pointer arrow over the line that divides one heading from another and it turns into a double-headed arrow. When you see this arrow, you can change the field size by clicking and dragging. Another way to change the size of a field is to double-click on the divider. The field becomes as large as the longest item in it. (By the way, this little trick works in other programs that use field headings, such as Excel.) You might also notice that each field title works as a button. You can click on a field name such as Size and Windows will automatically organize the files in order of increasing size. Click again, and it will reverse the order of the files. Note that Windows will not tell you the size of a folder; it considers folders to be only containers and will not display the size of the files contained in the folder. (To see how much information is contained in a folder, select the folder and then choose Properties from the File menu.)

4 Windows 95/98: File Management Page 4 Another important tool on the View menu is the toolbar. Select View, then select Toolbar. A check mark next to the menu item Toolbar indicates that the feature is on. The toolbar gives you buttons which perform many of the commands listed in the File and Edit menus; the buttons save you the step of going to the drop-down menus. Click on the folder icon in the toolbar to move up one level in the hierarchy of folders and drives. You can also use the drop-down menu to move to a different folder or drive or to display the contents of the desktop folder. To learn what other buttons do, rest your pointer arrow on top of a button and a definition appears. Windows 98 makes some slight adjustments to the View menu and the Toolbar. Using these options, you can change the appearance of individual windows to look and function like web pages--or not. Toolbars: As with the Windows 95 toolbar, you may navigate and send commands graphically. In Windows 98, you ll notice that the Toolbar is turned on by default in your windows. The typical Up one level, Properties, View, Cut/Copy/Paste and Delete icons are available. Standard buttons: Windows 98 calls the buttons that appear on the toolbar the "standard buttons." These include the buttons that appear on the Windows 95 toolbar with the addition of control buttons from Internet Explorer 4.0. Address Bar: This shows the path of your folder's location (for example, C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office). Links: Checking this provides the choice to toggle between the address and linked items like your favorite bookmarks and the channel bar (an element of the Active Desktop). Text Labels: This command adds titles to the Standard Buttons. View as Web page: Checking this item prompts the appearance of a Web border on the left side of the folder which displays the properties (e.g., name, type, date modified, and size) of any item you select within the window. My Computer and the C:\ drive will always be set to this view. The Explorer Bar: This shows a menu on the left margin. You have the choice to show search engines, favorites, history (even divided by day!), or channels. (A "channel" is a Web site that delivers content from the Internet to your computer, like subscribing to a favorite Web site. You don t need to subscribe to a site to view it as a channel, though. Viewing web sites through your channels also displays a map of the site to help you navigate.) You may notice that there is a menu item to Arrange the icons in your window as well as a Windows 95 called Options. This menu item lets you decide whether you d like to open a separate window every time you open a folder, or whether you d like to keep your desktop neat and tidy by having only one window open at a time. Windows 98 calls this menu item Folder Options; we ll cover these options a little later in the section called Windows 98: Customizing Folder Viewing Options. Explorer You can get to Windows Explorer by going to the Start menu, selecting Programs and then Windows Explorer. Explorer has much in common with My Computer. It uses the same toolbar, and has the same menu options, with the addition of Tools. The window is divided into two panes, with containers (folders and drives) on the left and their contents (folders and files) on the right. (You can adjust the size of the panes by dragging the dividing line left or right.) To display the contents of a folder in the right pane, double click on it. You ll see plus signs (+ ) next to some folders; click on the + to reveal other folders nested inside. With the folder hierarchy displayed, the folder now has a minus sign beside it. To collapse the folders again, click on the minus sign. With Explorer, you don t have the option to display a separate window each time you open a folder. You can work around this limitation. To explore multiple folders in different windows, first select all the folders you

5 Windows 95/98: File Management Page 5 want to explore (remember, <Shift>-click to select folders right next to each other, and <Ctrl>-click to select folders that are not next door to one another). Next, right click on one of the folders, and choose Explore. An Explorer window for each of the folders pops up. More on File Management Moving Files Within a Drive Create a new folder (go to File, select New, and choose Folder) on your hard drive. Now move one of your files (preferably one that s not too important) into that folder by selecting the file, then clicking and dragging it into the folder (the folder will turn blue). Drop the file into the folder by releasing your mouse button. The file has now disappeared from its original location, but you can find it by opening the folder your file will be inside. You have successfully moved this file. Copying Files Between Drives Now try the same exercise, but this time instead of moving the file to a folder within your hard drive, create the folder on a floppy disk or network drive. When you have dropped the file into the folder, you will notice that a copy of the file now exists in both locations. When working with files between two drives, the computer, by default, creates a copy of the file. Right-Clicking to Move and Copy Files What if you'd like to control whether Windows moves the file or copies it for you? This time, select the file you'd like to move by clicking with the left mouse button, then click and drag it using the right mouse button. When you take your finger off the mouse, a menu will appear with three options: Move here, Copy here, and Create Shortcut. The boldface option is the usual default (if you're moving within a drive, it is Move here; working between drives, it is Copy here). You can select whether you'd like to move or copy using either the left or right mouse button. Copying, Cutting and Pasting Files Finally, you can cut and paste files using the Edit menu. Select the file you want to work with, then use the Edit menu to select either Copy (to copy the file) or Cut (to move the file). Then select the location to which you'd like to move the file and return to the Edit menu, selecting Paste. Note that in this case, the computer will not automatically create a copy of the file for you when working between drives. You will also notice that when you use the Cut command, the file you have just cut remains in the window but looks grayed-out. Windows will not actually delete the file from its original location until you use the Paste command. This is a sort of insurance policy in case of power outage or other dastardly occurrences that would cause you to lose the file. This is very different from the way the Cut command works in applications such as Excel and Word. Deleting Files Pick up a file from your hard drive you don t need and click and drag it onto the Recycle Bin on your desktop. You can retrieve it from the Recycle Bin by double-clicking on the Recycle Bin icon and selecting the file you erased. Then simply drag it out of the Recycle Bin and place it where it belongs or use the Restore command from the File menu. But be warned: if you drag a file from a network or floppy disk drive into the Recycle Bin, you will permanently delete the file. To permanently erase all files in the Recycle Bin, rightclick on the Recycle Bin and choose Empty Recycle Bin, or select individual items, right-click, and choose Delete. Creating A Shortcut To make opening a file or starting a program more convenient, you can create a "shortcut" an icon that represents the original and put it on the desktop. First, find the original by using My Computer or the Explorer. Then try one of these two options: Right-click on the file, choose Create Shortcut, and then drag the shortcut to the location you want. Right-click and drag the file to the desktop; when you release the mouse button, choose Create Shortcut from the menu that appears.

6 Windows 95/98: File Management Page 6 When you double-click on the shortcut, you bring up the original document or program file, which may be buried deep inside folders or sub-folders. Best of all, if you later move the original to another location on one of your drives, you can still use the shortcut; Windows 95/98 will dig around to find the file and change the shortcut's settings to reflect the new location. If you later decide you don t want the shortcut anymore, you can send it to the Recycle Bin; when you get rid of the shortcut, you are not deleting the original application. Custom-Made Windows 95/98 Different Strokes for Different Folks You can set up Windows 95/98 in a unique way to correspond to your work habits and to make getting to particular applications and files easier. Arranging Your Desktop Arrange your desktop so files and folders you use frequently are close at hand by selecting the icon you want to move and clicking and dragging it to the new location. By right clicking on the desktop, choosing Arrange, and then choosing Auto Arrange, you can force Windows 95/98 to align all items. Windows 95/98 saves your desktop setup when you shut down the program properly from the Start menu, so the desktop looks the same when you next return to Windows 95/98. Modifying the Start Menu In most cases, you'll start Windows 95/98 with program shortcuts already available to you on the Start menu. You can easily add other shortcuts to the Start menu if you like. The simplest way is to select a file, then click and drag it onto the Start button. To modify the Start menu further, right-click on a blank area of the Taskbar and select Properties from the shortcut menu. Then select the Start Menu Programs tab for a wizard to step you through the process. You have three main options: To add an item to the menu, choose Add. You can then type in the name of the file, or choose Browse to find the name. Once you make your selection and OK the change, the option appears in the Start menu. To remove files from the Start menu choose Remove from the Start Menu Programs tab. To rearrange files that are already in the Start menu, choose Advanced. You ll then work in an Explorer window for the Start menu folder. Windows 98: Customizing Folder Viewing Options Selecting Settings from the Start menu and then Folder Options lets you change the way your folders display. (You can do the same thing from any window by selecting Folder Options from the View menu.) General, the first tab that appears when you enter Folder Options, allows you to choose among Web Style (Windows 98 default settings), Classic Style (Windows 95 default settings) or Custom (a blend of the two). If you select the Custom option, you'll need to click the Settings button to specify your selections. The following four options are available: The Active Desktop allows you to display Web content on the desktop. (See Windows 98 Features [dws15] for further details.) If you Customize the setting, you will be given the option to go to the Display Properties menu.. The Browsing Folders command controls whether you open folders in one window or multiple windows. The View Web Content in Folder command displays folders as Web pages. The Clicking Command sets the preference for selecting and opening using either the conventional double-click or a single-click (so files and folders look and act like Internet links). The View tab provides the option to generalize the settings of an individual folder to the settings of all your folders in Windows 98, or to reset all folder views to the default.

7 Windows 95/98: File Management Page 7 Windows 98: Greater Efficiency Windows 98 Task Scheduler To maintain your system, Windows 98 has provided the convenience of the Task Scheduler. You can find it by opening My Computer. Use it to set your computer to optimize the hard drive on a regular basis, for example. You can specify any program to run at any specific time. You can customize which functions you want your computer to perform as well as when you want them to run like after hours on the first day of the month. The presence of the symbol to the right indicates that the Task Scheduler is ready to execute your every desire at the appointed time. Where to Get More Information If you have a modem or access to the Internet, you can get up-to-the-minute information on Windows 95/98 developments by visiting Microsoft's Windows 95/98 Information Page on the World Wide Web: Appendix: When Bad Things Happen to Good Files Why and How to Back Up Bad things do happen to computer files; a file can become corrupt and unreadable, sometimes for no apparent reason. To protect yourself from losing valuable files, you should "back up" files, that is, make an additional copy on a different drive or floppy disk for safe-keeping. If you normally work with a floppy, back up your files either to a hard drive or to another disk. If you normally save files to a hard drive, back up the files to a floppy disk, another drive, or a tape. If you make frequent changes to your files, be sure to update your backup files on a regular basis. To back up your files, simply copy them to the appropriate drive using one of the copying techniques described above. Avoiding Viruses Computer viruses are spread through programs and through scripting language (macros) in documents. If you are uncertain that a file is "clean," check it for viruses before you run or open it. For example, if you download a program from the World Wide Web or get a game file from a friend, run a virus checker (like McAfee VirusScan or Norton AntiVirus) before you run the file or play the game. If you put your disk in someone else's computer, run virus checking software on your disk before you use it, and again before you put the disk in your own computer. What are the symptoms of a virus? Some viruses display annoying messages to your screen, others interfere with your work, and still others destroy files. Try to avoid getting viruses in the first place, but if you do get one, use software such as McAfee VirusScan to repair the damage and destroy the virus. Most virus software is available free of charge. You can get a copy of McAfee VirusScan from our Shareware page on the World Wide Web at: For more information, see the ATN document PC Virus Protection (dws13). This document is a publication of Academic Technology & Networks at The University of North Carolina. It may be copied for individual or non-profit use. Please send comments about this publication to CB# 3450, 402 Hanes Hall, Chapel Hill, NC, or to Author: Anne Carter and Greg Robinson. Editor: Jennifer Haytock and Melissa Bostrom. Revision date: June 10. Print date: June 14, Document dws10

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