Saving Files

How and where are you going store all your files?

For many reasons I suggest you follow the lead Apple has provided and put everything in your Home folder into the appropriate folders provided. Photos in the Pictures folder, music in the Music folder, movies in the Movies folder and all others in the Documents folder. In the Documents folder you can create other folders to further organize the files you create. Highlight (single-click) the Documents folder and choose "New Folder" from the File menu, give the folder an appropriate name and click return.

As tempting as it may seem the Library folder should NOT be used for storage. This folder contains files that are necessary for the system and applications to run properly. It is best to stay out of this folder unless you know what you are doing.

Think of this organization like you would a file cabinet. The cabinet is your Home folder, the drawers are music, pictures, documents etc. In each drawer you have folders that you label to further organize your stuff.

This system has a number of benefits. First you will know where to begin looking for a file you have created and more importantly, backing up all your stuff is much simpler when it is all in a central location.

If you use iPhoto, iMovie or iTunes you must use the appropriate folders. For those programs to function with such ease, they rely on finding and saving files to certain locations. This can be modified with aliases but one must have a full understanding of the concept before attempting.


When you choose to Save (or Save As) a file you will be shown a dialog box similar to the one below. Here you can choose a name to save the file as, where to save it and the type (format) of file to save it as.


Once you have chosen a name for the file you need to decide where to save it. If you click on the Where pop-up menu, the button which says Documents, you will get a list similar to the one to the left. You can choose from any of the folders shown or, if you need to find a folder not listed, click on the button with the single arrow and open a window (below) in which you can manuever though your entire hard drive to locate the folder you are after or you can create a new folder by clicking on the New Folder button.

You can also choose whether or not the filename should include the extension (the 3 letters after the period). This extension indicates the program which created the document and will open it if double-clicked ( .cwk indicates that this document was created with Appleworks). Macs can recognize the creator without the extension as a part of the filename but Windows machines cannot.

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2005-2009 Jeff Overton -

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