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Chapter 3. Managing Files > Displaying and Selecting Files

Displaying and Selecting Files

When you want to perform some file- or folder-related tasks, you start by selecting that file or folder. You can select a single file or multiple files. For instance, if you wanted to delete a group of files, you could select the ones to delete and then give the command to delete them.


If you do not see the Make a new folder option listed, you probably have a file or folder selected in the window. Click in a blank part of the window.

For any task, the first step is to open the drive and folder where the file is stored. After you display the file or files you want to work with, you then select them by doing any of the following:

  • To select a single file, click it.

  • To select several files next to each other, click the first file of the group that you want to select and then hold down the Shift key and click the last file. The first and last files and all files in between are then selected. Figure 3.6 shows multiple files selected.

    Figure 3.6. Note that when several files are selected, Windows XP displays the number of items selected, as well as the approximate size of all the selected files, in the Details area of the Task pane.

  • To select several files that are not next to each other, hold down the Ctrl key and click each file you want to select.

  • To select all the files, click the Edit menu and then click the Select All command, or press Ctrl+A.

  • To deselect a file, click outside the file list.


When you select a single file, you can view details about the file in the Task pane. If the Details area is not displayed, click the down arrow next to the heading. If multiple files are selected, this area displays the number of files selected as well as the total file size.

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