"Build" a Computer File Cabinet on Your PC

NOTE1 : Some of the pictures may be a little different than what you see. Ask for help if you need it! Work with a friend and help each other!


In this Task, you will...
  1. create two folders (actually sub-folders) on your PC (Windows Machine): "My Task" and "My Practice Folder."
  2. create two files and save them into the "My Task" folder.
  3. move one of the files into the "My Practice Folder."
  4. complete a writing exercise
  5. (Optional) visit related sites and practice file management and file size exercises.

When you complete this task, you will evaluate yourself. You will complete a Rubric (Self-Evaluation Form). 

Read the Rubric and the Checklist before you begin. Then return to this page.



NOTE: You will be moving from this page to your own computer as you work. To go back and forth between two documents on your PC, use your keyboard.  Hold down the key "ALT" and click the key "TAB." That will take you back and forth between two documents.
You will see two common images (icons) on your computer: shortcuts and folders.

A shortcut is an image that links (connects) to a program and opens it. You will see those on your desktop. They are different on every computer. 




A folder is represented by an image that looks like a manila folder in a file cabinet.

A folder holds files. Files are documents that are created in different programs. File names end in a dot (.) followed by extensions (letters) that tell you what program created the file. For example, a file created in Word will have a ".doc" extension. A file created in Excel, will have a ".xls" extension.

If your computer preferences are set to show extensions, you will see them after the file name, as on the left. The folder, called My Briefcase, has three files that the user is working on: an invoice in Excel, a letter in Word, and a presentation in Power Point.


Imagine a large Medical Office. It has files on many patients for several years. That office will have a room or a wall with file cabinets. Each file cabinet will have folders. Each folder will have files related to different patients.



Your Windows operating system on your PC has a "file room" with many cabinets with folders that hold files. That file room is called "Windows Explorer." 

The  Windows Explorer shortcut icon looks like the image below:

When you click in it, a window will open up, showing all of the files on your computer, as you see on your right. 

If you see big folders and icons instead of those on the right, go to VIEW and select DETAIL.

The left column shows your folders, and the right column shows sub-folders and files.

Find your "Windows Explorer" icon. You may need to look in the START->PROGRAMS and look through the list. It may also be under ACCESSORIES in the PROGRAMS list. Depending on where it is, you will left-click once or twice to open it. Practice until you can open it quickly.



We are going to create a new sub-folder in the My Documents folder (also called directory, which is like a cabinet). 

Click once on the "My Documents" folder to select it.

Go to FILE ->New -> Folder on your menu bar.

You will see a folder appear in the right column of the My Documents folder contents.

It will be shaded or highlighted. If it isn't highlighted, right-click on the "New Folder" name and select "Rename." 

Type in the folder a name: "Folder Task."

Repeat the process and name the second folder, "My Practice Folder."

You should now have two new sub-folders in your "My Documents" main folder on your computer.

NOTE: Your may not  allow you to create and save items in the "My Documents" folder. In that case,  change the location of your files. Ask where you can work on your computer.






Click on the arrow below to open a MS Word document. It will open in your MS Word program. When it does, go to FILE -> SAVE AS.

When the SAVE window opens, select DESKTOP for the location, and click "OK." That will save your document onto your desktop.

Repeat the same process with the next document.

Open Document 1(in MS Word) :letter.doc [This file is a Word template. That means that you can change it to add your words instead of those you see. Use it to write a letter to someone. Save it under a different file name.]
 Open Document 2 (in MS Word): resume.doc [This file is a Word template. That means that you can change it to add your words instead of those you see. Use the format to write your own resume. Save it under a different file name.]
Now you have two files on your desktop: "letter.doc" and "resume.doc." (Notice that on PC's, file names ideally are short, with no spaces.)

How can you move those files into the folders you created? There are several ways. We are going to apply two of them.



1) One way is to open Windows Explorer, as you did earlier.

 When the window opens, double-click on "DESKTOP."

You will see all of the desktop items appear in the right column. You should see the two files you saved: "myletter.com" and "myresume.com."

Now click on the "+" sign next to the MY DOCUMENTS folder. It will turn into a "-" sign and show all of the sub-folders it holds. You will see the two sub-folders you created: "Folder Task" and "My Practice Folder."

Click and hold the "myletter.com" file and drag it into  "Folder Task"  in the left column. You have now moved that file into another folder and sub-folder. Repeat the same process with "myresume.doc."

If you double-click the "Folder Task," you'll see the files listed there.

Click on one of the files and drag it into your other folder, "My Practice Folder." 

Now you know one way to move files from one place to another on your computer.


2) A second way of moving files is to repeat the process you completed above. However, do not drag the file into the new folder. Instead, click on the files to select them. Then go to EDIT (on your menu bar) -> COPY. Then double-click on the new folder to open it. When it is open, go to EDIT -> PASTE. Bingo! The file is now in your new folder.

To delete files or folders, click on the files or folders to select them and press the DELETE key on your keyboard.

 You can also drag them into your Waste Basket icon from your desktop.

If you want to learn a new skill, you need to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Before you continue, practice what you have learned. Work with a friend. Try different things. If you make mistakes, CONGRATULATIONS! That means you are trying!!!




Now go the the RUBRICS page and evaluate yourself! When you finish, save your work.

Congratulations! You have completed your task!

For more fun with computer files, ask for help from a friend or instructor. Visit the two sites below (double-click on the underlined words). Read the information and work some of the problems. Take your time. Become an explorer of new information in your life!

http://familyinternet.about.com/library/weekly/aa122802a.htm - managing your files.

http://familyinternet.about.com/library/weekly/aa052401a.htm - working with file sizes.


Contact the Author
Leecy Wise
Adult Education Program, Cortez, CO, 2003