Doing routine files and folders
tasks in Windows XP

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This section explains to inexperienced users how to do some routine files and folders tasks in Windows XP such as deleting a file. or renaming a file, or moving a file to another folder, or copying a file, etc. Windows XP has made doing these tasks really easy. Let's take a look.

Screenshot showing contents of an opened folder
Figure 1
Screenshot showing contents of an opened folder

The righthand side (white part) of the picture shows the different files the folder contains. Each icon represents a file. Next to each icon, the name of the file, type of file (in this case they all are Microsoft Word Document), and file size are given. The blue pane on the left side lists the different tasks that can be performed with file. Let's take a closer look of the blue pane.

Left pane of an opened folder
Figure 2
Left pane of an opened folder

Notice there are 3 segments on the left pane. The top one says "File and Folder Tasks", the middle one says "Other Places", and the bottom one says "Details". On the top right corner of each segment there are upward pointing double-arrows (called double-chevrons). Clicking on one of these will collapse (hide) that segment. Clicking on it again will expand (show) that segment.

Please note that the left blue pane shown in Figure 2 above looks like that when no file is chosen on the right pane. When one or more files are chosen on the right pane, the left pane looks slightly different as shown on Figure 5 and Figure 6 below.

Now let's select a file on the folder by clicking on it once. The file will be highlighted. See screenshot below. Let's say we want to move this file to another folder. Currently, it is in a folder called Word Documents (see the name on the Title Bar).

Screenshot showing one file in the folder selected
Figure 3
Screenshot showing one file in the folder
named india_tour_itinerary selected

Since we want to move this file to another folder, after highlighting this file we will click on "Move this file" on the left blue pane. See the above Figure 3. "Move this file" is on the top section called "Files and Folders Tasks".

As soon as we click on "Move this file", the following dialog box will come up.

Move Items dialog box
Figure 4
Move Items dialog box

In this dialog box all the folders of your computer will be listed. Navigate through them to find the folder you want your file to move to and click on it once to highlight it. (You have to click on the + sign to view a sub-folder within a folder. You can even create a New Folder by clicking on the appropriate button on this dialog box.) After you have selected the folder where you want the file to be moved (in this example, I am moving my file to a folder named Tour India Thru' Stamps), just click on the Move button. And Voila, your file is moved!

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Now let's take a closer look at the left blue pane again to see what other tasks can be performed from there.

File and folder tasks that can be done using this left pane
Figure 5
File and folder tasks that can be
done using this left pane

It is pretty obvious. Just hightlight the file in the right pane, and click one of the options listed in the left pane such Rename this file, Copy this file, Print this file, Delete this file, etc. listed under File and Folder Tasks. In all cases, a dialog box will come up. Just answer the question in the dialog box and your desired task will be performed.

For the sake of illustration, in Figure 5 above, I have collapsed the Other Places segment on the left blue pane by clicking on the upward pointing double-chevrons. Also please note that when you click on a file on the right pane, ALL relevant details of the file including file name, file type, when the file was last modified, file size, author's name etc. shows up in the bottom most segment labeled Details on the left pane. Please see Figure 5 again. This is an easy way of getting info about a file quickly.

Other Places revealed
Figure 6
Other Places revealed

To see what is in Other Places, all I had to do was to click on the downward pointing double-chevrons on the rightside of Other Places. That caused the Other Places to expand and revealed its contents. While working with a file or a folder, sometimes it may be necessary for you to visit one of these "other places". In that case, just click on one of these "other places" and you will be taken there immediately. Windows XP just made visiting other places easy for you! Once in a different place, you can just click on the Back button on the Toolbar to come back to where you were.

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