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File management

File organisation is very important and learning how files are currently organised on your computer can save you time when you are looking for specific files.

As your hard drive acts like a digital filing cabinet, your computer files are the digital equivalent of paper documents. Computer files are organised in computer folders. Each folder can also contain any number of sub-folders.

Your operating system will have a tool built in to browse through your files and folders and keep them organised. In Windows, this will usually be done via an icon called 'My Computer'; in Ubuntu Linux it will be called 'File Browser'; in MAC OS X you would use the 'Finder'. The most common method for moving and organising your files and folders is known as 'drag and drop'. This means you use your mouse to select a file and then drag it into a folder.

You can also open a file directly from the file browser by double clicking on it. This will first open the required application; for example, Microsoft Word or Open Office, and then the file will open in that application. The computer selects the correct application via the file extension, which is the three letter abbreviation that comes after a full stop in the file name; for example, if the file is called 'mystory.doc', then '.doc' is the file extension, which tells your operating system that this file needs Microsoft Word to open. For more information on file management: