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Computer Files and File Management. Why Is It Important to Manage Files?. Stop wasting time looking for saved files Can find files more quickly Helpful in keeping file storage space clean and organized Enables one to free-up space when more space is needed

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Computer Files and File Management

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why is it important to manage files
Why Is It Important to Manage Files?
  • Stop wasting time looking for saved files
  • Can find files more quickly
  • Helpful in keeping file storage space clean and organized
  • Enables one to free-up space when more space is needed
  • Protects against getting a computer virus
  • Allows the instructor to find your assignments
  • Indicator of a proficient computer user
file storage space at the university
File Storage Space at the University
  • Every student has file storage space on the university mainframe computer
    • This space can be accessed from any computer lab on campus
    • You can also access this space from any computer hooked up to the Internet anyplace in the world (more later).
  • If you access this space from a campus computer lab, this space is known as the “k” drive
the www folder on the drive
The “www” Folder on the Drive
  • In this class you will save all your assignments to a specific folder/directory
    • The name of this directory/folder is “www”.
folders directories
  • What would you think of someone who filed papers in a filing cabinet but didn’t use any file folders?
    • All the papers were just stuck in drawers!
  • That would be pretty stupid!!!!
folders directories7
  • You should create folders/directories on you storage media (hard drive, USB drive, K drive, etc.)
  • This will help you manage your files.
    • I have folders for each class, research projects, personal files, professional organizations, etc.

Note: the word folders is commonly used today; in the earlier days of computing, folders were called directories. These terms are used interchangeably in this class.

creating folders
Creating Folders
  • Many software programs give you the option of creating a new folder when you save the project on which you are working.
  • Or, there are a couple of programs that come with your computer that allow you to create, move, rename and manipulate folders.
file management programs
File Management Programs
  • Windows Explorer
    • Start
      • Programs
        • Accessories
          • Windows Explorer
  • My Computer
    • Start
      • My Computer
windows explorer
Windows Explorer

The Search function is a powerful tool for finding files that you might have “lost.”

  • A screen shot of Windows Explorer

Double Clicking on the top of any column will arrange the files alphabetically, by size, etc.

Click here, then click Details to get detailed information about the files.

microsoft hides file extensions
Microsoft Hides File Extensions!!
  • Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, has hidden the file extensions.
  • So, in Windows Explorer or My Computers, you have to turn this option back on. Go to
    • Tools
      • Folder Options
        • View
          • And uncheck “hide file extensions of known types”
creating new folders
Creating New Folders
  • In Windows Explorer click on File, then New, then Folder, then give a name to the new folder
file naming conventions
File Naming Conventions
  • Originally, because of the limitations of computer operating systems, file names were limited to 8 characters (or less), followed by a period, and a 2-3 character extension.
    • Smith.wps
    • Hawkins.db
  • No spaces were allowed in file names
file names
File Names
  • Walker3.doc


File Name

file naming today
File Naming Today
  • Today a file name can have up to 256 letters with a 3-4 character extension.
  • Spaces are allowed in file names (more later).
  • There is a commonly used scheme found in using file extensions.
    • Software programs often assign commonly agreed upon letters as file extensions
file extensions
File Extensions
  • In managing files, it is very, very helpful to know common file extension
  • By looking at the extension you can tell if the file is a sound file, word processing file, spreadsheet, movie, etc.
    • The first test will have several questions where you match a file extension with the type of file it is
word processing file extensions
Word Processing File Extensions
  • .doc – Microsoft Word Document
  • .docx – Microsoft Word Document (2007)
  • .wpd – Wordperfect Document
  • .wps – Microsoft Works Word Processing Document
  • .txt – a “plain jane” file stripped of most formatting
  • .rtf – another text file but some formatting remains
  • .dot – A Microsoft Word template (or dotx for Word 2007)
powerpoint file extensions
PowerPoint File Extensions
  • .ppt – an editable PowerPoint presentation
  • .pptx – an editable 2007 PowerPoint presentation
  • .pps – a PowerPoint self running show (.ppsx for 2007)
  • .pot – a PowerPoint template (predesigned master slides for a presentation)
  • .thmx – a PowerPoint theme (replaces .pot)
video movie file extensions
Video/Movie File Extensions
  • .avi – audio video interleave
  • .wmv – Windows Media Video
  • .rm – real media
image file extensions
Image File Extensions
  • .jpg (can also be jpeg) – typically a photograph, an actual image (JPEG stands for Joint Photographic experts Group)
  • .gif – an image that is often a drawing or clip art instead of an actual picture (but it can be a picture)
    • Animated graphics on the web are gif files
    • GIF stands for Graphical Interchange Format
more image extensions
More Image Extensions
  • .wmf – Windows Meta File, a vector based image, typically drawings or clip art
  • .psd – a file created in Photoshop
sound files
Sound Files
  • .wav – a popular sound file format, works well with PowerPoint
  • .ra – real audio, a streaming audio file format
  • .Mp3 – works only with PowerPoint 2003
  • .mid – a really old sound format
other file extensions
Other File Extensions
  • .xls – A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet
  • .xlsx – A 2007 Microsoft Excel spreadsheet
  • .mdb – A Microsoft Access database file
  • .mdbx - A 2007Microsoft Access database file
  • .pdf – An Adobe Acrobat file that can be read on any computer (PDF stands for Portable Document Format)
  • .bak – backup, some programs and people rename a file with a .bak extension prior to them working on it.
  • .exe – an executable file, this is what installs programs on your computer
  • .zip – a file that has been compressed. It must be decompressed in order to be used.
approved practices in naming files
Approved Practices in Naming Files
  • In this class we strongly suggest:
    • Using all lower case letters in file names
      • In other words don’t use both uppercase and lowercase letters in a file name.
        • This is because URLs to find web files are case sensitive. If you get in the habit of using lower case file names, you will just prevent problems in developing web pages in the future.
approved practices in naming files27
Approved Practices in Naming Files
  • Don’t have spaces in file names. Use the _ instead.
    • Older web browsers can’t handle file names with spaces in them.
    • organic_beef_production.pptx not

organic beef production.pptx

examples of file names


Beef Cattle.xls

Photo of Dog.jpg





Examples of File Names
working on files remotely
Working on Files Remotely
  • If you are not in a campus computer lab and need to transfer a file to your “k” drive, you must use a software program known as a FTP program.
  • You can also download files from the university server using a FTP program, or if you have Internet access, you can just open a file from the “K” drive using your web browser
typical home pc file storage
Typical Home PC File Storage


Computer at Home

A drive

FTP Program

USB Drive

C Drive

K drive

  • FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol.
  • You can download a FTP program for free and install it on your computer.
ftp program
FTP Program
  • The University recommends the WinSCP program.
  • It can be downloaded from
  • When you install it, indicate that you want a Norton Interface when asked that question.
  • When you run WinSCP, a login screen will appear.
  • To login into NCSU, the Host Name
  • You will alsoneed to enter your unity ID and password.

This is the screen you will see next.

The left window shows files on the computer on which you are working

The right window shows files on the university server. Note the www folder


To move files, just “drag and drop” them from one screen to the other or highlight the file to be moved and then click on the appropriate button at the bottom of the screen.

not all files are friendly
Not all files are friendly!!
  • Some files may contain bad stuff for your computer!!
    • Viruses
    • E-mail viruses
    • Trojan horses
    • Worms
  • A virus is a small piece of software that piggybacks on real programs. It can do severe damage to yourcomputer or files or slow you machine way down.

This can’t really happen but you may feel like it if you computer picks up a virus.

e mail viruses
E-mail Viruses
  • An e-mail virus travels as an attachment to e-mail messages, and usually replicates itself by automatically mailing itself to dozens of people in the victim's e-mail address book. So even if you get e-mail with an attachment from someone you know, it could be a virus that is actually e-mailing you. Avoid opening any attached files that end in .exe, .com, .vbs, .bat, .lnk, .scr. It is generally ok to open data files such as .doc, .ppt or .xls.
trojan horses
A Trojan horse is simply a computer program. The program claims to do one thing (it may claim to be a game) but instead does damage when you run it (it may erase your hard disk). Trojan horses have no way to replicate automatically.Trojan horses
A worm is a small piece of software that uses computer networks and security holes to replicate itself. A copy of the worm scans the network for another machine that has a specific security hole. It copies itself to the new machine using the security hole, and then starts replicating from there, as well. Worms
protecting your computer
Protecting Your Computer
  • Practice Safe Computing
  • Use an Anti-Virus Program (you can’t afford not to)
    • NCSU students can download Symantec AntiVirus for free
file compression zipping
File Compression (Zipping)
  • Files can be compressed.
    • This is very handy, especially for Web users, because it lets you reduce the overall size of a file so it can be transmitted faster over slower Internet connections, or take up less space on a disk. Once you download the file, your computer uses a program (such as WinZip) to expand the file back to its original size.
file compression
File Compression
  • Winzip is popular commercial file compression program. You can download a trial copy for free.