Learn about files management (English) - TAACTIC project
Created on June 4, 2022
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What's the file explorer ? The Windows Explorer is the file manager provided with the Microsoft Windows operating system. It allows you to, among other things, to:
- search, display and change the names of files and folders,
- manipulate files and folders (copy, move, delete),
- open data files, and launch programs
File or folder ? In a computer, there are many different documents, which are called "files". A file is a collection of information stored in digital form and filed in a folder. There are several types of file:
- text documents
- audio documents
- But also: software, internet files, databases, presentations, ...
What is file compression? The aim of compression is to save space by creating smaller files from the original ones, in order to be able to transmit them more quickly (faster downloads, easier sending by e-mail) or to store them in a smaller memory space, for archiving purposes for example. Compressing files therefore means reducing their size. Compressed" documents have specific formats. About ZIP files A ZIP file is an archive containing one or more files, which are compressed with a compression algorithm to reduce the size of the archive. ZIP is the best known and most widely used archive format. Creating a ZIP file or "zipping" means compressing files and concatenating them into a single archive. How to create a zip ? From Windows, it is thus possible to create and extract ZIP files very simply by using the File Explorer : 1. Right click on the file or folder to be compressed, 2. Select (or point to) "send to" and choose "compressed folder" on Windows. A new compressed folder with the same name is created in the same location. The original folder is not affected as this creates a new one without destroying the original. Exercise: Try to create a zip file from two documents on the computer. Extracting a ZIP file Once the file is unzipped, the document(s) it contains will be visible and accessible. 1. Locate the zipped folder from which you want to unzip (extract) files or folders. 2. Perform one of the following actions:
- To unzip a single file or folder, open the zipped folder, then drag the file or folder from the zipped folder to a new location
- To unzip the entire contents of the zipped folder, long-press (or right-click) the folder, select Extract All, and follow the instructions.
The desktop The desktop is what you see when you turn on your computer. And it almost works like a real desk ! What can you find on your desktop ? There are files, folders and applications. At the bottom of the desktop is the taskbar from which you can navigate the contents of your computer. There is also information about Wifi, the date, the battery level... There is also always a direct link to the recycle bin. Here again, it works like in a real office, where you can systematically find a bin to throw away all the documents and drafts you no longer need. The Windows Recycle Bin lists all the files and folders you have previously deleted. As long as the files are in the recycle bin, they can be recovered with the "Restore" command (accessible by right-clicking on the file to be recovered). The files are still present on the computer. "Empty the Recycle Bin" allows you to permanently delete the items and free up space on the hard disk. The icon will look different depending on whether the Recycle Bin contains files or not. On the left is the Trash icon when it is empty and on the right when it is full. Using the Recycle Bin allows you to work more efficiently (see also the section on filing and storage). Empty it regularly, as you do in real life! Exercise: Explore the recycle bin, permanently delete the third item and restore the second item.
Why and how should you store your computer? How many icons do you have on your desktop? When you are looking for a document you created a few weeks ago, how long does it take to find it? Do you sort your files regularly? How is your external hard drive organised? Do you have a backup on a cloud? Like the rooms in a home, a computer needs to be regularly tidied and organised so that browsing is pleasant and efficient, but also so that the computer is more efficient. Proceed step by step:
- Declutter: put aside what you keep and delete the rest (files, folders, software).
- Sort: keep only what is regularly useful and archive the rest.
- Tidy and organise the different areas: the desktop and the library (documents, images, videos, music).
- Getting started. It's not always an exciting task, but it saves time later
- Delete duplicate files
- Create general and thematic folders, but avoid "miscellaneous" type folders
- Create sub-folders
- Name your folders and documents correctly and always in the same way (unique name, precise and detailed but short, no special characters, include a date, etc.)
- Archive documents you no longer need (see the chapter on compression) to keep only those you use regularly
- Use a collaborative platform, such as the cloud, to make online backups
Are you a file management pro now ? Take the quizz to know..