Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Organizing Files and Folders
Organizing Files and Folders
Knowing how to save, locate, and organize computer fi les makes you more productive
when you are working with a computer. A fi le , often referred to as a document, is a
collection of data that has a name and is stored on a computer. After you create a fi le, you
can open it, edit its contents, print it, and save it again—usually using the same program
you used to create it. You organize fi les by storing them in folders. You need to organize
fi les so that you can fi nd them easily and work effi ciently.
A computer can store folders and fi les on different types of disks, ranging from
removable media—such as USB drives (also called USB fl ash drives), compact discs (CDs), and
digital video discs (DVDs)—to hard disks , or fi xed disks, which are permanently stored
on a computer. Hard disks are the most popular type of computer storage because they
provide an economical way to store many gigabytes of data.
A computer distinguishes one drive from another by assigning each a drive letter. The
hard disk is usually assigned to drive C. The remaining drives can have any other letters,
but are usually assigned in the order that the drives were installed on the computer—so
your USB drive might be drive D or drive G.
Understanding the Need for Organizing Files and Folders
Windows 7 stores thousands of fi les in many folders on the hard disk of your computer.
These are system fi les that Windows 7 needs to display the desktop, use drives, and
perform other operating system tasks. To ensure system stability and to fi nd fi les quickly,
Windows 7 organizes the folders and fi les in a hierarchy, or fi le system . At the top of the
hierarchy, Windows 7 stores folders and fi les that it needs when you turn on the computer.
This location is called the root directory , and is usually drive C (the hard disk). The term
root refers to a popular metaphor for visualizing a fi le system—an upside-down tree, which
refl ects the fi le hierarchy that Windows 7 uses. In Figure 1, the tree trunk corresponds to
the root directory, the branches to the folders, and the leaves to the fi les.
Figure 1
Windows fi le hierarchy
drive C
root
directory
top level of the hard
disk is for system
files and folders only
some folders are also
reserved for Windows
and programs
system
file
Jan bills
taxes
My Documents
Windows
system
file
Financials
Feb bills
Program
Files
System
system
file
Vacation
system
file
program
file
Creative
novel
chapter 1
program
file
novel
chapter 2
destinations
to-do list
subfolder in Windows folder
budget
files stored in a subfolder
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