How to Save Files in Windows

Saving Files in Windows using the File Menu and Save As dialog box.
In this example we are going to save, for future reference, a document/file
created in MS Word.

In most programs, to save a file you will click on "File" (on the top toolbar) and then choose "Save As". You can also save a file by clicking on the Save icon which, in most programs, looks like a little floppy disk ( ).

Always notice where you are saving the file as it helps to get in the habit of saving files of a certain type in the same place. Saving MS Word files (.doc extension) in the My Documents folder and Photographs (.jpeg extension) in the My Pictures folder will help you remember where they are.


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Saving a file for the first time:

1. Click File then " Save As" (above)

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2. The "Save As" dialog box opens (above)

3. Set the location/directory the file is to be saved in (see above).

4. Select the format for the file ( Save as type:  above).

5. Enter the a name for the file (File name: above).

6. Click "Save"

The file is saved for future viewing or amending. It can also be attached to an email.

To save a file that has already been saved ( after amending/altering it )

You only need to go to the File Menu and click "Save" or click on the "Save" icon ( " " ).

If you amend an image in an image editing program and then resave it, you may find that if you are using the image in another program it automatically updates itself.

You will also see several buttons on the left side of the "Save AS" dialog box. These are shortcuts to frequently used locations. When you click on any one of them, that location will immediately appear in the location box.

The option "Save as file type" adds a period and a three-digit extension on the end of the filename. This enables Windows to easily recognize the type of file that it has encountered. For instance, Word documents have a .doc extension and Excel documents have an .xls extension. In most cases it is best to accept the file type that is suggested in the box without any changes.

Many software programs use the "My Documents" folder as the default location for saving files. This is a convenient place to save files. If you create folders inside your My Documents folder from the "Save As" dialog box (see below), you will be more organized and able to retrieve your files more easily. You can create new folders on the fly as noted above. You can also do this by accessing My Documents from the Start button menu. Once the My Documents folder is open on the screen, click on "File." Then choose "New." Click on "Folder" and you will be presented with a new folder. The name of the new folder will be highlighted, ready for you to type in the name of your choice.


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The Save As option is also used to rename a file that has already been saved. The idea behind to choose Save As and give the file a new name. When you do this, the original file will remain with the old name, and another copy of the file (with any changes that you made to it) will be saved under the new name. This option is very useful for saving files that may be similar but not exactly the same. For instance, if you do a monthly report, you can open the July report, make changes to it, and use the Save As option to save it as an August report, leaving the July report intact.

Before you start saving files, you may want to create an organizational structure. This can be just about anything you can imagine that suits your needs. A typical organization scheme would be to create folders called Correspondence, Personal, Business, etc., or perhaps to name your folders by month with folders like January, February, March, and April. Whatever organizational scheme you choose, if you are careful in saving your files, you will be rewarded with an organized hard drive and easy access to all your files and folders.


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