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Saving Documents

Most programs let you save your work as documents, which you can return to later, print, send to other people, back up, and so on. Documents generally are thought of as being word-processed materials, but they can be images, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, email, web pages, digital photos, text files, or any other user-created work. Nearly all programs use Windows’ standard Save dialog box. The first time that you save a document, Windows asks you to name it and pick a folder to store it in. (Two files in the same folder can’t have the same name.)

To save a document

Choose File > Save (Figure 6.27).

Figure 6.27. The Save dialog box appears the first time you save a file or when you choose File > Save As.


To save a copy of a file under a different name or in a different folder, choose File > Save As.

Save Your Work in My Documents

Windows 98 introduced the My Documents folder (whose name you can change, by the way; right-click it and choose Rename). If you’re a stalwart still storing your documents elsewhere, consider moving them to the My Documents folder, because it:

  • Is easy to open from the Start menu and Windows Explorer task pane.

  • Is where most programs expect you to save and open files.

  • Segregates documents and programs (which are stored in \Windows\Program Files), obviating accidental document deletion when you remove or upgrade programs.

  • Makes it easier to back up your work by archiving only My Documents (and its subfolders) rather than folders scattered about your hard disk.

  • Keeps your personal files private. To share files, move them to the Shared Documents folder. (Shared Documents isn’t available if you’re on an XP Pro network domain.)

  • Has specialized personal subfolders (My Music, My Videos, and My Pictures).

If your user name is, say, John, your My Documents folder appears as John’s Documents to other logged-on users (who can’t access it without permission).

Navigate to the folder where you want to store the document.

You have several ways to navigate. Double-click folder icons in the folder box to drill down the folder hierarchy. Use the left-side buttons (the Places bar) to go to a common destination quickly. Use the top-side Save In list to pick a different drive. The toolbar also helps you navigate (Figure 6.28).

Figure 6.28. From left to right, these buttons go to the last folder visited, go up one level in the folder hierarchy, create a new folder, and change the view of the listed files and folders in the dialog box. Extra buttons in Microsoft Office and other programs let you search the web, delete files, map network drives, and more.

In the File Name box, type the name of the file.

You can use the Cut, Copy, and Paste keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V) while editing. For file-naming rules, see “Naming Files and Folders” in Chapter 5.

To save a file in a format other than the program’s default (native) format, choose a target format from the Save As Type list.

This feature lets you, say, save a Word document as text (.txt), Rich Text Format (.rtf), or HTML (.html) so that users without Word can open it in a text editor, WordPad, or a web browser.

Click Save.



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