Save your files

There are a few types of files that you may want to save on your computer, like photos, music and documents.

Here is information about what "files" are, how to save them, and some best practices for making sure that you can later find them.

What are "files" and why are they important?

"Files" are packages that save and contain your stuff.

For example, if you are working on writing a document and want to save it so that you can look at it later, you can save that file to your computer and then open it later to continue working on it. Similarly, a song file is something that has been created and saved so that you can open it and listen to it.

When you see a file, you can tell what kind of stuff it contains by looking at the end of its name. For example, many pictures end with ".jpg" or ".png". The endings are called file name extensions.

Here are some examples of files you may be familiar with and some popular name extensions that describe them:

Photos = .jpg, .png, .tiff, .gif

Music = .mp3, .mp4

Libre Office Documents = .odf

Microsoft Word Documents = .doc

Photoshop = .psd

It is important to learn a little bit about files and the extension names before you start to save your own files so that you make sure to save yours correctly.

When you save your files, it is like saving them into a particular language that only your computer knows how to read. So, each file extension name tells your computer in which "language" you are saving your files. Some apps only know how to work with certain files.

Another common type of file is called PDF (.pdf). These documents usually are not easily editable, but can be seen on almost any kind of device, and are very popular.

How do I save a file?

Each app has its own way of saving a file, but you can usually save files one of two ways:

Saving with the file menu:

  1. Click once on your app's File menu (usually in the top left hand corner) and click once on the Save option within it.

  2. Name your new file. It is a good idea to name your file something that will help you identify and remember it. For example, if your file is a photo of you and your friends, you may want to name it something like "friend photo Cassandra and Eddy" so that you can search for and find it later.

  3. Choose where to save your file. We have made a few folders that might help you remember where your files are later: Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos and Downloads. To save your file to a folder, click on it and make sure that it is highlighted in blue. You can also save your files to a custom folder that you create (learn how to create a custom folder below).

  4. Click Save and your newly named file will be saved to the folder that you have chosen. The Save button is usually on the bottom right-hand corner of the window.

Saving with keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Most apps allow you to press Ctrl+s to save your files. This is a keyboard shortcut, and may be different in different apps, but it usually works.

It is a great idea to save your documents or things you are working on frequently!

If there is a power outage or interruption, you will lose everything you are working on unless you save it.

Remember to save important documents every 2 - 5 minutes just to make sure you don't lose any of your hard work!

If you are updating a file instead of trying to save a new one, you will not be asked to name the file when you try to save it. Your computer will just update the original file with any changes you have made. Your updated file will appear in its original location.

How do I keep the original version too?

In order to keep both the original file and also an edited version, you will need to use the "Save As" option.

  1. Go to the File menu at the top left corner of your screen. Click on the Save As option.

  2. Enter in a new name for your file. By renaming the photo, your computer understands that you want to create a new file with its own name, not replace the original one. You may want to name the new file something similar to the original file, like "copy of friend photo Cassandra and Eddy" or "friend photo Cassandra and Eddy 2".

  3. Choose the location where you want to later find your file. We have created a few folders to help you organize your files: Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos and Downloads. You may also want to create custom folders to help you further organize your files. Learn how to make a custom folder below.

How do I create a folder to store my files?

Creating a folder to keep your files is different than creating a folder to keep your apps. You can see the folders where your files are saved by clicking on the "Documents" icon from the desktop.

To create a folder to store your files:

  1. Click on the Documents icon from the desktop. You will see some folders that we have already created: Home, Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos and Downloads.

  2. Where do you want to keep your folder? You can put it inside of another folder, or in the main "Home" folder by clicking on the the location of your choice. Make sure the location you click on turns blue.

  3. Click on the Add Folder icon on the bottom right-hand corner of the window. If you don't see it, click on the folder where you want to add the new folder (e.g. Home, Pictures, or Music) twice. You should then see the Add Folder button.

  4. Name the folder something that will help you remember what kind of files you are going to put inside of it, or to whom the files will belong.

You may want to add a folder inside of another folder to help keep your files really organized.

For example, you may want to create a folder within "Pictures" called "Friend Photos". If you have a lot of friends, you may even want to create more folders inside of that folder, one for each of your friends (something like "Pictures with Cassandra", "Pictures with Celia" and "Pictures with Abel").