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Step-By-Step Tutorial: Windows Basics For The First Time User
Saving Without Losing.

By Patricia Ouellette

In the many years I have been teaching people to use computers, saving a simple document has been a major drama. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have heard, "I know I saved it, but it just disappeared on me." Or "Help! Please, I am desperate. I just completed my assignment and it has vanished on me."

There are three things to keep in mind when you save your documents, pictures, sound files or anything for that matter.
  1. Name your file – be sure the name you give your file is something you can identify it with. With the latest versions of Windows you can have long file names. File name such as these are legal names in Windows:

      a. article study John-3-16.doc
      b. pic001Daisy.jpg
      c. soundofmusic_J_Andrews.mp3

    You can use – or _ in your file names, numbers and letters, however you can’t use ? or * or $ or any other symbols. / or \ indicates changes in directories or folders so be sure not to use them in file names. If you have to use a date, use – or an underline. You can also use spaces in file names in Windows, however remember some programs and browsers do not identify spaces in file names. Keep this in mind when you are naming your file.

  2. Do your filing as you go – By filing your documents and files as you save them you will ensure that you will be able to find them again. Use the Save popup Windows browse options to direct Windows to the location where you wish to save your files. You are able to create new folders in the save popup window when you click on ‘Save As’ under File on your Task Bar.

    Try to keep your files in appropriate folders for easy locating at a later date. Setting up a filing system on your computer is no different than setting up a filing system in a filing cabinet. In fact your hard drive is basically a filing cabinet of the digital kind. By doing your filing as you go, you will never lose a file again.

  3. Make it a habit to use ‘Save As’ rather than ‘Save’ – By using ‘Save As’ every time you save a file on your computer you will have the opportunity to rename and verify the location in which you are saving your file. By clicking save, you can’t always make the changes you may wish to make.

    I personally am one who will modify an existing document to create a new one to save time and typing. If you pull up an existing document, let’s say a letter to a customer service department, which you can modify slightly to send to another customer service department. Yet you need to keep the original one on file. If you click on ‘save’ after the modifications, you have just saved the new letter over the original and the original is now lost for good. By using ‘Save As,’ you have the opportunity to rename the letter and save it to another folder and in so doing keeping the original copy you may still need intact.

    Using ‘Save As’ may take 2 seconds longer to save a document but it will save you a lot of stress and frustration in the long run. Forming good habits is the best way to save us time and stress.

  4. Save regularly while working on your document – Saving your file at regular intervals while you are working is a very wise habit to get into. This will also save you a lot of heartache if anything happens to your system while you are working, eg a brownout, power surge, freeze up, illegal shutdown, illegal operation (fault).

    It is a great idea to get into the habit of saving your document or file as soon as you set it up and before you start typing or working on the file. That way if you get called away and someone else comes along, or any of a number of scenarios which can happen, you will be sure to have the document there ready and waiting for you when you come back and have to start again. Again, use ‘Save As’ rather than ‘save.’ It is a great habit to get into.

Saving A File

Please note that these directions may seem a little confusing as you read them, however I can reassure you that as you follow these directions they will make sense.
  1. Select File on your task bar at the top of the window you are working in.

  2. Scroll down and single left click on SAVE AS. A Save Popup Window should appear in the middle of your screen.

  3. In Windows, the first time you select ‘Save’ the popup Window will have the My Documents directory open ready. This is the most appropriate place to start your filing system. Note: Every other time you come to the Save Popup Window the last folder entered will be open until your system has been restarted.

  4. Towards the top of the save popup window you will see a drop down menu with My Documents or the last folder used.

      a. If My Documents is showing, simply double left click on the folder of your choice in the main section of the window (a list of folders and files should be showing) or create a new folder if needed. (Look below for instructions on creating a new folder).

      b. If the last folder you had opened is not My Documents, you can go back to it by clicking on the small down arrow to the right of the text and select My Documents to go back to the main directory. Or you can go back or up the directory tree by clicking on the icon with the yellow folder with the ^ arrow.

      c. To create a new folder in the save popup window click on the icon with the yellow folder with the star. A new folder will appear at the bottom of the list in the main section of the save popup window. The text ‘New Folder’ will be highlighted ready for you to type in the new name. Do not click anywhere until you have typed in the name for your new folder. The name will lock in if you click once in a blank space within the same window. Double Left clicking on the new folder will open it ready for your file to be placed there.

  5. Once you have selected where you wish to save your file, you need to name the file. At the bottom of the save popup window you will see ‘File Name’ and a text box. Type in your designed file name. In some programs you will notice that the first few words in your document will be showing as the file name. Simply click on the text or highlight it and type in your desired name.

  6. Now all you need to do is click once on the Save button in the bottom right corner and you’re done.
In Conclusion…

Saving files in all applications is basically the same. Once you have the basics you will find it easy to save your files, do your filing and be able to locate all your files on your system.
Trish Ouellette is a wife and step-mother of seven glorious children and three grand children. Trish and her husband Jim, run two large Internet ministries, which keep her busy designing websites, fixing, upgrading and building computers and teaching computer and Internet technology. She is an active member and Sunday school teacher in her church. Trish also works part time in an aged care facility and is a Social Science – aged care student. With every minute of her spare time she explores her talents in writing and art, which is available to view on her personal website Christ Driven Brush & Pen http://christdriven.evangel-list.com. You may write to Trish through the Letters page of this magazine.
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