New book: Windows 8 Plain & Simple


New book: Windows 8 Plain & Simple

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Cover for Windows 8 Plain and SimpleNOTE: This book has been updated for Windows 8.1. You can buy it here from The Microsoft Press Store.

We’re excited to announce that Nancy Muir’s Windows 8 Plain & Simple (ISBN 9780735664036) is now available for purchase!  You can find the book’s introduction in this previous post.

In today’s post, please enjoy reading an excerpt from section 10, “File Management.” 

You use an app called File Explorer to find files you’ve saved on your computer or an external drive such as a USB stick, create new folders and move or copy files among them, and delete files you no longer need. You can also back up files in a file history or external drive so you have an extra copy for safekeeping, or create compressed versions of files that are smaller and easier to store and send to others.

Using the File Explorer Ribbon

New to File Explorer in Windows 8 is a ribbon of tools you use to get things done with your files and folders. If you’ve used previous versions of Windows it’s worth taking a moment to review the contents of the new ribbon. There are tabs on the ribbon that provide different types of tools. The Home tab allows you to copy and paste items, organize and delete them, create new libraries and folders, and open or select files and folders. Use the tools on the Share tab to send files to others, or share them with others users of your computer network. Finally, the View tab lets you look at the contents of your drive in a variety of ways, showing more or less detail and sorting the contents by criteria such as Name, Size, or Date Created. There is also a File menu button on the ribbon; click this to access Favorite Places, open a new File Explorer window, clear your recent items or address bar history, or modify options for how you work with folders. Note that content-specific tabs, such as Pictures Tools, appear when you have selected certain types of content.

Using Libraries

The files and folders that contain them are organized into libraries. There are several pre-existing libraries provided for you, including Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos. You can move files and folders among libraries, and create new libraries. For example, you might want to move pictures you downloaded into the Download folder into the Pictures library, or you might create a library for your artwork or one for documents associated with business clients.

Move Folders between Libraries

1. Click the File Explorer tile on the Windows Start Screen.

2. Double-tap a library to open it.

3. Click on a folder and drag it to another library.

See Also   See the task later in this chapter, Sort Files and Folders, to learn

how to sort or group folders within libraries by criteria such as Size and Authors.

Create a New Library

1. With File Explorer open, tap the Home tab and click Libraries.

2. Click New Item, Library.

3. Enter a name for the library and press Enter. 

Tip  Assign unique and descriptive names to libraries so you can easily find the folders and files within them. 

Try This Use libraries for broader topics; you can create folders within the Documents library for narrower topics to keep libraries to a manageable number. For example, create a library for house related items and populate it with folders for Budget, Renovations, Mortgage, and Insurance. Create folders within the Documents library for narrower topics, such as Gardening Tips, Association Minutes, or Holiday Address Lists. 

Navigating File Explorer

File Explorer offers several ways to move among the libraries and folders on a drive. You can move up to a higher level @@md for example from a sub-folder to a folder or a folder to a library of folders @@md or move back or forward to a previously viewed item. You can also view recently viewed items.

Navigate among Libraries

1. Click the File Explorer tile in the Start Screen.

2. Click the Pictures library.

3. Click the Sample Pictures folder.

4. Click the Up arrow to the left of the address bar to go up one level in the file/folder hierarchy.

5. Click the Back arrow to display the Sample Pictures folder contents again.

6. Click the arrow to the right of the Forward button to display a list of items you’ve recently viewed in File Explorer.

Tip  With a folder open in File Explorer you can click Properties on the Home tab and then click Properties on the drop-down menu. The window that appears

will give you information about the folder, such as how many files and sub-folders it contains, when it was created, and whether the folder is shared with others.

Finding Files and Folders

File Explorer organizes your files in folders and libraries. Because a file may be tucked into a folder or subfolder, you may have to hunt for it. One approach is to methodically move from library to folder to file through a logical hierarchy until you find the file. Another approach is to search for the file; the search results will take you directly to the file no matter where it’s located.

Locate a Folder in a Library

1. With File Explorer displayed, double-click a library to display its contents.

2. Double-click the folder that contains the file.

3. If the file is contained in a sub-folder, double-click that folder to display its contents.

Tip When you double-click a folder that contains sub-folders, those sub-folders are displayed in the left hand panel of File Explorer. Any lower level folders within any of those sub-folders are displayed in the middle panel of File Explorer.

Search for Files and Folders

1. With File Explorer displayed, click in the search field.

2. Enter the name of the file; matching files are displayed as you type.

3. Double-click a file to open it.

Tip  To preview a file’s contents when you locate it, click the Preview Pane button on the View tab of the File Explorer ribbon. Click on a file in the middle pane; a preview of the document is displayed in the right pane of File Explorer. 

Tip  You can also search for files using the Search menu from the Charms. From the Start Screen move your mouse into the top or bottom right corner. Tap the Search charm and tap on Files. Enter a search term or file name in the Search field. Matching results appear as you type. 

Changing Views

There are several views you can use in File Explorer to see the items on your drive from different perspectives. You might choose to view picture files as small icons of the pictures, for example, or choose to see documents in a folder displayed in a detailed list that includes the file names, date modified, and size. The ability to display items in different layouts and grouped or sorted by certain criteria makes File Explorer an invaluable tool for finding your way through the contents of your hard or an external drive.

Use View Tab Tools

1. With File Explorer open, click the View tab. 

2. Click the Details Pane button to display details about a selected item.

3. Click the Sort by button to display a list of criteria to sort contents by.

4. Click criterion on the list to sort the contents by.

5. Click the Group by button to display a list of criteria to group content.

6. Click an item on the list to group contents.

7. Click a checkbox in the Show/hide tools to display file name extensions or show hidden items.

Tip  To hide an item such as a file or folder in File Explorer, click to select it and then use the Hide Selected Items button on the View tab to hide it from view. Use the Hidden Items checkbox to then display hidden files again. 

Tip  When you select certain items, such as picture or library, in File Explorer, Manage tabs become available on the ribbon. You can use the tools on these tabs for functions specific to the type of content. For example, if you’ve selected a picture file you can run a slide show of all pictures or rotate the picture right or left.    

Sharing Content 

Often you will want to share the documents, pictures, and other files on your drive with others. Some people may have a computer on your network at work or home, in which case you can share files with them via the network. They can then access files on the network from their own computers. The tools on the Share

tab of Window Explorer allow you to manage the sharing process. 

Share Content with Individuals

1. With File Explorer open, click the Share tab.

2. Click the Specific People option in the Share With list.

3. Click on a person’s name.

4. Click Read or Read/Write to give the sharing permission you prefer.

5. Click the Share button.

6. If you wish you can click the e-mail someone link to notify the individual that you’ve shared files and send a link.

Tip  To stop sharing with a group or individual on the File Explorer Share tab click on the group or individual on the list and then click the Stop Sharing button..    

Tip  You can also use the Send group of tools to share content by emailing, printing, or faxing a copy of your file to another person

  • hi!  umm what ive done is reformatted my windows 7  h/d  and reinstalled windows 8 when the evaluation copy expires can i still use windows 7 without losing anything or will i have to buy a new copy ?

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