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WINDOWS EXPLORER BASICS Prof. Yitzchak Rosenthal Starting Windows Explorer To start windows explorer choose the following from the "start" menu start | All Programs | Accessories | Windows Explorer You can also "right click" on the start menu button and choose "Explore" Windows Explorer

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windows explorer basics

WINDOWS EXPLORER BASICS

Prof. Yitzchak Rosenthal

starting windows explorer
Starting Windows Explorer
  • To start windows explorer choose the following from the "start" menustart | All Programs | Accessories | Windows Explorer
  • You can also "right click" on the start menu button and choose "Explore"
drives folders and files
Drives, folders and files
  • Windows Explorer displays a hierarchy comprised of the following items under the "My Computer" icon:
    • disk drives
    • folders
    • files
disk drives
Disk Drives
  • Information on a computer is stored on one or more disk drives
  • Each disk drive has a unique name that is comprised of a single letter followed by a colon. For example:
    • A:
    • C:
    • D:
    • F:
    • etc.
  • Drive letter names are case-insensitive (i.e. a: and A: are the same thing)
standard drives
standard drives
  • On most Microsoft Windows computers:
    • A: is generally the floppy disk drive
    • C: is generally a hard drive on the computer
    • other letters refer to
      • additional hard drives on the computer
      • a CD-ROM, DVD or other type of drive on the computer
      • a "networked" drive that is on another computer but is accessible from the current computer
descriptive names
Descriptive Names
  • In addition to the drive letter, Windows Explorer also displays descriptive names for drives
  • These names are NOT used much. You will usually use drive letters to identify a particular drive.
  • In the screenshot at the right, the following descriptive names are used:
    • “3 ½ inch floppy” for A: (This is a description that Windows “made up”)
    • "Local Disk" for C: (This is also a description that Windows “made up”)
    • "DISE_BACKUP" for D: (This is a “volume name”. Volume names are assigned to a drive by the administrator of the machine. Each floppy disk, CDROM disc or DVD disc may have its own volume name that is displayed when the media is inserted into the drive. If a drive or disc was not given a volume name then windows “makes up” its own descriptive name to display in windows explorer.)
hierarchy
Hierarchy
  • A disk drive contains many folders and files
  • Each folder can contain both :
    • files
    • other folders
viewing the folder hierarchy
The left hand pane shows the folder hierarchy. The currently selected folder is highlighted.by Windows Explorer

The right hand pane shows the contents of the folder which is currently selected in the left hand pane. As you can see, the contents of a folder is other folders and files. If you click on a different folder on the left you will see the contents of that folder on the right.

Viewing the folder hierarchy

These folders and files are stored in the folder that is selected in the left hand pane (i.e. NTFSDOS3)

The currently selected folder

expand collapse view
Expand/Collapse View
  • Expand or collapse the view of the hierarchy by clicking on the + or – sign icons next to folder names.
  • Double click on a folder or drive to expand AND select it at the same time

Double-Click a collapsed folder or drive to expand AND select it.

Click on “–” to collapse

Click on “+” to expand

hierarchy example
Hierarchy - example

(excerpt from picture on earlier slide)

  • The level of indentation indicates the position of a folder in the hierarchy
  • From the snapshot we can get the following information:
    • these folders are contained in the toplevel of the hierarchy on the D: drive
      • otherStuff
      • PQIMAGE
    • these folders are stored in the "otherStuff" folder:
      • NTFS98RO
      • NTFSDOS3
      • Personal
      • SAVE
    • these files & folders are stored in the NTFSDOS3 folder
      • files (to see files, refer to earlier slide) : ntfsdos.exe, ntfshlp.vxd, readme.txt
      • folders: lowLevel
    • these folders are contained in the "Personal" folder
      • homework
      • letters
opening files
Opening Files
  • To open a file, double click on it.
  • This will start the program that uses this file.

Double-click on the “readme.txt” file to start the “notepad” program that is used to create/modify it.

copying vs moving a file or folder
Copying vs. Moving a file or folder
  • copying vs. moving
    • Copying a file or folder:When you copy a file or folder from one location (i.e. folder) to another you create a new copy of the item being copied (i.e. file or folder). When you are done, separate copies of the item exist in the original folder and the new folder.
    • Moving a file or folder:When you move a file or folder it is moved from one location (i.e. folder) to another. When you are done, there is only one copy of the item that was moved (i.e. in the new folder).
copying with menu
Copying with menu
  • Click on folder that contains item you want to copy
  • Right-click on a file or a folder
  • Choose “copy” from context sensitive menu.
  • Select folder where you want to place a copy.
  • Right click in empty space in the right hand pane
  • choose “paste”
copying with hot keys ctrl c ctrl v
Copying with hot keys (Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V)
  • Same as with menu, but press “hot keys” instead of choosing from menus
    • Click on folder that contains item you want to copy
    • Click on a file or a folder
    • Press Ctrl-C to copy the file
    • Select folder where you want to place a copy.
    • Press Ctrl-V to paste the file
moving
Moving
  • Same procedure as copying, except:
    • When using the menu method: choose “cut” instead of “copy” from menu
    • When using the hotkey method: press Ctrl-X instead of Ctrl-C
copying moving with drag drop
Copying/Moving with drag & drop
  • How to Drag & Drop
    • Click on an item (i.e. file or folder) and drag it over the icon for a different folder.
    • Let go of the mouse button.
  • What will happen depends on if the two locations are one the same or different drives
    • SAME DRIVE
      • If the new folder is on the same drive as the original folder it will MOVE the file to the new folder (removing it from the original folder)
      • Hold down Ctrl key while you drag & drop to COPY the file instead of moving it. (Make sure to release the mouse button BEFORE you release the Ctrl key).
    • DIFFERENT DRIVES
      • If new folder is on a different drive than the original folder it will COPY the file to the new folder (leaving two copies, one in each folder)
      • Hold down Shift key while you drag & drop to MOVE the file instead of copy it. (Make sure to release the mouse button BEFORE you release the shift key).
select multiple items shift click
Select Multiple Items (Shift-Click)
  • To copy or move multiple items at the same time you must select them as a group.
  • To select multiple files or folders
      • click on the first one
      • Hold down the shift key and click on the last one (don’t let go of the shift key until you click on the 2nd item)
      • all files/folders in between will be selected
  • You can then copy or move all the selected items at once using any of the methods described above (i.e. menu, hot-key, drag&drop).
select multiple items ctrl click
Select Multiple Items (Ctrl-Click)
  • Press the Ctrl key while clicking an item to select or unselect individual items.
    • This is different from the Shift-Click technique described on previous slide since Shift-Click selects ALL the items between the first and the last.
    • You can use Shift-Click to select a whole range and then use Ctrl-Click to unselect the items you don’t want in the selection.
    • You can then copy or move all the selected items at once using any of the methods described above (i.e. menu, hot-key, drag&drop).
renaming
Renaming
  • To rename a file or folder, right-click on the name in the right pane of windows explorer and choose “rename”.
  • Then type in the new name and press ENTER.
deleting
Deleting
  • To delete a file or folder
    • right-click on the name in the right pane of windows explorer and choose “delete”. OR
    • select it by clicking on it once in the right hand pane of windows explorer then ...
    • Press the “Delete” key on the keyboard.
creating a shortcut
Creating a shortcut
  • Press the Alt key while dragging&dropping a file to create a “shortcut” to that file.
  • While you drag&drop, the cursor will show an arrow next to it
  • You can also create a shortcut by right-clicking in a blank area on the right side of Windows Explorer and choosing “new | shortcut” from the menu.
recognizing shortcuts
Recognizing Shortcuts
  • The new item will be a “shortcut”. To show it is a shortcut it will have an arrow next to its icon.
what is a shortcut
What is a shortcut
  • A shortcut is a second name for an existing file.
  • If you double-click on the shortcut you will see the original file.
  • Any changes that you make to the file by either double-clicking on the original file name or the shortcut is actually being made to the SAME underlying file. You will see the new version when you open the file through either the original name or the shortcut.
  • This is DIFFERENT than a copy. A copy creates a 2nd copy of a file. Changes to one copy will NOT affect the other copy.
changing the default view settings
Changing the default view settings
  • The contents of the right hand pane can be displayed using different views.
  • Choose the view you want from the “view” menu.
  • Each view displays the information in the right pane in a slightly different format
  • 5 possible views:
  • Thumbnails
  • Tiles
  • Icons
  • List
  • Details
  • Choose view you want.
icon view
Icon View

Icon view: Icons display in right pane.

details view
Details View

Details view: Details display in right pane (name, size, type, date modified)

details view sorting resizing columns
Details View – sorting, resizing columns
  • Sorting: Click on any column heading to sort by info from that column. Click twice to sort in opposite order. Use this to find big/small files or files that were recently modified or modified on a specific date
  • Resize Column: To make any column wider (or narrower), click on the column separator in the heading and drag it to the right or left. Double click the column separator to make the column exactly the right size.

To resize the column, click and drag (or double click) the column separator

click here to sort by size

data size units
Common Sizes

1 Byte

basic unit of size. Rough rule of thumb: one byte can store one character. Maybe more or less depending on the file format.

1 KiloByte (KB)

1024 bytes

Same as 210 bytes

sometimes is approximated as one thousand bytes

1 MegaByte (MB)

1024 KB

Same as 1,048,576 bytes

Same as 220bytes

sometimes is approximated as one million bytes

1 GigaByte (GB)

1024 MB

1,073,741,824 bytes

230 bytes

sometimes is approximated as one billion bytes

Large Sizes

1 TeraByte (TB)

1024 GB

1,099,511,627,776 bytes

240 bytes

sometimes is approximated as one trillion bytes

1 PetaByte (PB)

1024 TB

1,125,899,906,842,620 bytes

250 bytes

sometimes is approximated as one quadrillion bytes

1 Exabyte (EB)

1024 PB

9,223,372,036,854,780,000 bytes

260 bytes

sometimes is approximated as one quintillion bytes

Data Size Units
saving view settings
Saving View Settings
  • If you change the view settings then by default they will only apply to the current folder.
  • To save the view settings for all folders do the following:
    • Choose the following menu choice
      • tools | folder options
    • Press the "view" tab
    • Press the "apply to all folders" button
other topics
Other Topics
  • Other view settings
  • filename extensions
  • file names
    • full path
    • relative path
  • compressed folders (i.e. .zip files)
fixed drives vs removable media drives
Fixed drives vs Removable Media drives
  • There are two types of drives
    • Fixed Drives
      • for example a hard drive
    • Removable media drives
      • for example a floppy disk drive, CDROM drive or DVD drive
disk drives and media
Disk Drives and Media
  • Examples of Disk Drives
    • Hard Disk drive (fixed drive)
    • Floppy disk drive (removable media drive)
    • CDROM drive (removable media drive)
    • DVD drive (removable media drive)
  • Examples of Disk Drive Media
    • floppy disk
    • CDROM disc
    • DVD disc
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