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Chapter 10. Organizing Your Files > Where Should You Keep Your Stuff?

Where Should You Keep Your Stuff?

Windows XP strongly encourages you to keep your files organized by designating a single location, the My Documents folder, to store all your document files. When you use the Open or Save menus in just about any application, including Notepad, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and so on, Windows displays the contents of the My Documents folder by default. Although you can save files elsewhere, this is the best place to do so. By developing the habit of using the My Documents folder, you always know where to find your files. In addition, when you back up your personal files, Windows automatically copies all the files stored here without requiring any extra effort on your part.

Note

If you set up multiple user accounts in Windows XP, the My Documents icon appears in the same place for each user; however, it opens a unique folder that holds that user’s personal documents. Magic? Not really. The My Documents icon is a system shortcut that points to a different location for every user. When you click this icon, Windows checks your logon name, finds the set of folders that contain your personal files (called your profile), and then opens the Documents folder stored there. If you log off and someone else logs on with his or her user account and clicks the My Documents icon, Windows repeats this process, finding the Documents folder that belongs to that person’s account. If you search through Windows Explorer, you’ll discover that the actual folder is named Documents, although its system shortcut appears as My Documents in the My Computer window.



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