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Computer Literacy for the Mac

Opening and saving files


From:

Computer Literacy for the Mac

with Garrick Chow

Video: Opening and saving files

Just about anytime you work with an application in which you are creating, editing, or otherwise modifying some kind of content, you'll be producing and saving your work as files. For example, when you type up a report in a word processor, the report is saved as an individual file, which you can then reopen in the application to continue working on it. Or if you're editing a video you shot of a great school recital, you're saving that video project as a file too. So it's important to understand the basic concepts involved in opening and saving files. For this example, I'm going to open an application in my Applications folder called TextEdit.
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  1. 2m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the assessment files
      1m 7s
    3. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 9m 51s
    1. What's a computer?
      1m 49s
    2. What's inside a computer?
      2m 46s
    3. Laptop vs. desktop computers
      1m 59s
    4. Special considerations when using a laptop
      3m 17s
  3. 20m 58s
    1. Understanding the operating system
      3m 3s
    2. Understanding files, folders, and directories
      4m 49s
    3. Understanding your home folder (your user folder)
      5m 21s
    4. Using your desktop
      3m 11s
    5. Taking out the trash (recycle bin)
      2m 21s
    6. The right click
      2m 13s
  4. 24m 8s
    1. Understanding applications
      4m 24s
    2. Opening and saving files
      4m 10s
    3. Choosing the right tool
      4m 44s
    4. How to learn any application
      3m 53s
    5. Five things that work in all applications
      6m 57s
  5. 36m 22s
    1. Understanding computer ports
      2m 59s
    2. Setting up a printer
      3m 7s
    3. Printing your documents
      4m 30s
    4. Setting up a scanner
      2m 27s
    5. Scanning a document
      6m 15s
    6. Setting up a projector or second monitor
      5m 56s
    7. Using a projector
      3m 43s
    8. Portable storage devices
      3m 53s
    9. Pairing with Bluetooth devices
      3m 32s
  6. 17m 27s
    1. Understanding networks and internet access
      2m 58s
    2. Connecting to wired network
      2m 36s
    3. Connecting to wireless networks
      4m 4s
    4. Working in a networked environment
      6m 15s
    5. Staying protected from viruses
      1m 34s
  7. 19m 31s
    1. Understanding email servers and clients
      2m 11s
    2. Setting up your email application
      4m 15s
    3. Receiving and reading email
      2m 21s
    4. Composing new email messages
      5m 52s
    5. Reply vs. Reply All
      2m 11s
    6. Dealing with spam
      2m 41s
  8. 8m 24s
    1. Understanding search engines
      1m 24s
    2. Conducting basic searches
      3m 51s
    3. Conducting advanced searches
      3m 9s
  9. 24m 21s
    1. Using word processors
      4m 22s
    2. Formatting text
      7m 7s
    3. Using spreadsheets
      3m 36s
    4. Creating a simple data table
      7m 37s
    5. Formatting a data table
      1m 39s
  10. 18m 53s
    1. Importing images from a digital camera
      4m 46s
    2. Storing and organizing digital images
      5m 11s
    3. Basic image manipulation
      4m 10s
    4. Tagging images
      2m 32s
    5. Sharing images
      2m 14s
  11. 10m 52s
    1. Common obstacles in sharing files
      1m 37s
    2. Creating PDFs for document sharing
      5m 35s
    3. Compressing files
      3m 40s
  12. 1m 3s
    1. What's next?
      1m 3s

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Computer Literacy for the Mac
3h 14m Beginner Aug 06, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Computer Literacy for the Mac, author Garrick Chow walks through the skills necessary to use Mac computers comfortably, while improving learning, productivity, and performance. This course focuses on the Apple Mac OS X operating system and offers a thorough introduction to computers, networks, and computer peripherals such as printers, digital cameras, and more. In addition, basic procedures with software applications, the Internet, and email are covered. Exercise file accompany the course.

This course also includes chapter-level assessments for use as instructional aides. To download the assessments, click the following link: Computer Literacy Assessments. The file contains an assessment movie, chapter-level assessments, and answer keys.

Topics include:
  • Working with a laptop versus a desktop computer
  • Understanding an operating system
  • Understanding five traits almost all applications share
  • Printing
  • Setting up a scanner
  • Connecting to a wired or wireless network
  • Sending and receiving email
  • Searching the Internet
  • Importing and editing images from a digital camera
  • Sharing documents and images
Subjects:
Business Operating Systems Computer Skills (Mac)
Software:
Mac OS X
Author:
Garrick Chow

Opening and saving files

Just about anytime you work with an application in which you are creating, editing, or otherwise modifying some kind of content, you'll be producing and saving your work as files. For example, when you type up a report in a word processor, the report is saved as an individual file, which you can then reopen in the application to continue working on it. Or if you're editing a video you shot of a great school recital, you're saving that video project as a file too. So it's important to understand the basic concepts involved in opening and saving files. For this example, I'm going to open an application in my Applications folder called TextEdit.

It's actually also sitting here in my doc; I could have clicked that as well. When I open this application, a new blank document has opened for me to type in. Now, in some programs, to create a new document or other project file, you need to choose File > New, which you can see generates another blank document, but I already had one open, so I'm just going to close this one. So I'll just type a few words here. Now, anytime you're actively working on a document or project, it's a good practice to save your file periodically so you don't lose your work, should the electricity go out.

To save what I've written so far, I'll choose File > Save. Because this is a brand-new document, I'm prompted to name this file, and to choose a place on my Mac to save it. So I'm going to call this Short Story. If you don't see the fully-expanded Save dialog box here, make sure you click the little triangle button, and I'm going to choose to save this on my desktop. It's already selected right now, but you can get to it by clicking Desktop under Places. Now, I'm also going to uncheck Hide Extension. Notice my file name now has .rtf at the end of it.

That .rtf is called a file extension. The purpose of including a file extension in the name of your file is to identify what kind of file this is, so if it needs to be opened by somebody else, their computer has a better chance of knowing which application to use to open it. So in this case, RTF stands for Rich Text File. It's basically a text document that can include formatting like bold, or italicized text. You may also see .txt files, which are plain text documents that don't include any formatting, and you'll also see all types of other extensions. Microsoft Word files are .doc files, Adobe Photoshop files are .psd, and so on, and so on.

Now, Macs do give you the option to check Hide extension, which was on by default there, because some people don't like seeing that part of the file name, and for the most part, Macs will be able to open files with hidden extensions with the right application, but if you have to share your file with someone, especially if they're running Windows, their computer might not know what application to use. So I always leave this option unchecked, and I suggest you do too. So I'll click Save, and now my document is saved, and you can see it's sitting right here on my desktop. Now, I'm going to close the document in TextEdit for the moment.

TextEdit is still running, but no documents are open right now. If I want to reopen the file, I have a couple of choices. I can choose File > Open, as long as TextEdit is the frontmost application, and this lets me browse in my computer to find the file wherever I saved it. This is a good choice if you're opening an older file, but let's cancel this for a moment. A faster way to open a file you were recently working on is to choose File > Open Recent, and here you can see my file is listed right here. All I have to do is select it, and it opens up, ready for me to continue working on it. The Open Recent command is fairly common across all types of applications, but what if I've already quit TextEdit? I'm going to choose TextEdit > Quit TextEdit.

So TextEdit is no longer currently running. Well, I could reopen TextEdit and then choose Open Recent again, but in this case, the file I want to open is sitting right here on my desktop. If the file you want to open is on your desktop, or in some other opened folder window, just double-click it. That simultaneously launches, in this case TextEdit, and then opens the file I double-clicked. So double-clicking the file should open the right application in most cases, especially if you followed my advice to keep the file extension visible. It is possible that the wrong application might launch in some cases, but one solution is to just quit the application you don't want and then open the correct application, then use the File > Open command to open the file instead. Okay.

So those are the basic things you should understand about opening and saving files. What I've shown you here applies to almost every application out there. You will find some applications that save your files or data automatically, and don't even offer a Save command so you can do it yourself. But those types of applications are much rarer, and you should still get into the habit of saving your files regularly while working on them.

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