Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Working with Folders and Files
The main part of a filename can have up to 255 characters—this gives you plenty of
room to name your file accurately enough so that you’ll know the contents of the file just
by looking at the filename. You can use spaces and certain punctuation symbols in your
filenames. Like folder names, however, filenames cannot contain the symbols \ / ? : * “ < > |
because these characters have special meaning in Windows XP.
A filename might display an extension —three or more characters following a dot—
that identifies the file’s type and indicates the program in which the file was created. For
example, in the filename Car Sales.doc, the extension “doc” identifies the file as one cre-
ated by Microsoft Word, a word-processing program. You might also have a file called
Car Sales.xls—the “xls” extension identifies the file as one created in Microsoft Excel, a
spreadsheet program. Though the main parts of these filenames are identical, their exten-
sions distinguish them as different files. You usually do not need to add extensions to
your filenames because the program that you use to create the file adds the file extension
automatically. Also, although Windows XP keeps track of extensions, not all computers
are set to display them.
Be sure to give your files and folders meaningful names that will help you remember
their purpose and contents. You can easily rename a file or folder by using the Rename
command on the file’s shortcut menu.
Shannon recommends that you rename the Agenda file in the Playground folder to give
it a more descriptive filename—that file could contain the agenda for any meeting. The
Agenda file was originally created to store a list of topics to discuss at a meeting of the
Salinas neighborhood association. You’ll rename the file “Salinas Meeting Agenda.”
To rename the Agenda file:
1. Click Tutorial in the Other Places menu, and then double-click the Playground folder.
2. In the Playground window, right-click the Agenda file, and then click Rename on the short-
cut menu. The filename is highlighted and a box appears around it.
3. Type Salinas Meeting Agenda , and then press the Enter key. The file now appears with
the new name.
Trouble? If you make a mistake while typing and you haven’t pressed the Enter key yet,
press the Backspace key until you delete the mistake, and then complete Step 3. If you’ve
already pressed the Enter key, repeat Steps 1 through 3 to rename the file again.
Trouble? If your computer is set to display file extensions, a message might appear ask-
ing if you are sure you want to change the file extension. Click the No button, right-click
the Agenda file, click Rename on the shortcut menu, type “Salinas Meeting Agenda.doc”,
and then press the Enter key.
All the files that originally appeared in the Tutorial folder are now stored in appropriate
subfolders. Shannon mentions that you can streamline the organization of the Tutorial
folder by deleting the files you no longer need.
Deleting Files and Folders
You should periodically delete files and folders you no longer need so that your main fold-
ers and disks don’t get cluttered. In My Computer or Windows Explorer, you delete a file or
folder by deleting its icon. Be careful when you delete a folder, because you also delete all
the files it contains. When you delete a file from a hard disk, Windows XP removes the file-
name from the folder, but stores the file contents in the Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin is an
area on your hard disk that holds deleted files until you remove them permanently; an icon
on the desktop allows you easy access to the Recycle Bin. If you change your mind and
 
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