Manipulating Windows Files and Folders.

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In many instances, it is useful to be able to create and manipulate Windows files and folders. With the latest versions of Windows, there are many ways to do this. One of the nice things about the Windows interface is that most of the methods work pretty much the same way.


Accessing Windows Files and Folders. You can access and manipulate files and folders with three separate programs in Windows. It is useful to understand that all of these three programs are based on the same underlying software, so they work pretty much the same.


1. Windows Explorer. Windows Explorer can be found by clicking on the Start Button that usually appears in the bottom-left corner of the Windows screen. Look in the “Programs” section of the menu and you should find Windows Explorer.


2. My Computer. My Computer is usually found in the upper left corner of your Desktop. It is virtually identical to Windows Explorer, except that it is usually configured to give a slightly different display.


3. Open/Save Dialog Boxes. People often don’t realize that the Open and Save Dialog boxes that are used to open and save files, are actually just specialized versions of Windows Explorer or My Computer and that they can do most of the same operations.


Tasks. You will normally use these programs to create, delete, copy or move files or folders. Here is a detailed description of each operation:


1. Create New Folders. You can create new folders by selecting the “File|New” option from the menu bar. Some programs also have a button on the tool bar that allows you to create a new folder. Since some of these programs can be configured so they don’t have tool bars or menu bars, you can also create a new folder by clicking on the screen with the right mouse button. A menu will pop-up. Select the “New|Folder” option.


2. Delete Files/Folders. Folders and files can be deleted in all of these programs. You start by clicking on the folder or file you to want to delete. This will highlight it. Now hit the delete key, or select the “Files|Delete” option of the menu bar. Finally, you can drag the file to the Recycle Bin or right mouse click to bring up a menu that offers the delete option.


3. Copying or Moving Files/Folders. There are several ways to copy or move files or folders. One method is to highlight the files you want to copy and/or move and then hit the Copy or Cut buttons on the tool bar. You then switch to the destination folder and click on the Paste button. If the Cut, Copy and Paste buttons are not visible, you can find them in the “Edit” menu or by right clicking on the screen. Finally, you can open two copies of My Computer or Explorer and then drag the files between locations. If you hold down the control-key, the file will be copied, if you don’t it will be moved.