Computer Appreciation 104: Files, folders, save and create new files, and keyboard – with pictures

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Learn about files and folders, how to save and create new files and what the keys on a keyboard are used for in Microsoft Word 2007. Faruk Ahmed explains.

In our previous tutorial, we learnt the basics of Microsoft Word 2007 in which we studied how to start and close Microsoft Word, what the program looks like and the kind of works you can do with it.

In today’s tutorial, we will learn new things so as files and folders, then learn how to save a Word 2007 file, create a new one, and then study the keyboard. In MS Word, you will be typing most of the time, hence the need for you to be familiar with the keyboard.

Files and folders

A file in Microsoft Word is just like the real life one where we keep important documents. You type texts, create arts or drawings inside a file which span a single or several page(s). Normally, when you check the title bar, the name you see before the program’s name is the name of file. See the diagram below.

Examples of computer files
Examples of computer files

On the other hand, a folder is a windows application that is used to keep and organise files. It is good practice to keep similar files in the same folder. In real life, you can view a folder just like a file cabinet. As you are already aware, a file cabinet can hold more than one file.

Examples of computer folders
Examples of computer folders

Before you become more conversant with creating and organising files and folders, for now, just save all of your Words documents inside the big Documents (My Document) folder that comes preinstalled in most Windows operating systems.

How to save a file

I know one of the questions that might be on your lips right now is “How do I save a file?”

Once you open a Microsoft Word 2007 application, a blank file is usually opened for you where you can type, create tables, make word arts and even insert drawings. But this file is usually not saved with any name. They usually have arbitrary names like ‘Document1’, ‘Document2’, ‘Document3’, etc.

An unsaved document has file names like Document1, Document2, Document3, etc.
An unsaved document has file names like Document1, Document2, Document3, etc.

Whatever you type or create in an unsaved document, if you should close the Word application and reopen it, you would not find it. It is just like you leaving your money openly on a main road. The probability of you finding the money when you return from an errand tends to zero.

So now, to answer your question on how to save a file, follow the procedures below:

  • Click on Office Button at the top-left corner of the Word application.
Saving a document - Click on Office Button and then Save As
Saving a document – Click on Office Button and then Save As
  • From the drop-down menu that displays, click on Save As to display the Save As dialog box.
  • If the Document folder is not already displayed, locate and click on it from the left pane of the Save As dialog box.
Saving a document - Enter filename and click on Save button
Saving a document – Enter filename and click on Save button
  • Type in any name for the file in the File name In my example, I typed ‘Practice 101’ (without the apostrophes). You can name yours any name. Once you are done typing the name, click on the Save button.

That is all you need to save a file in Microsoft Word 2007. Now, when you check the title bar, you will see the name of the file appears beside the name of the application. In my example, it now shows ‘Practice 101 – Microsoft Word’.

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After saving a document, the filename appears on the titlebar
After saving a document, the filename appears on the titlebar

There is one more thing you need to know, after giving your file a name, you would need to be saving your work regularly once you add or remove items from the file. You can do this by clicking on the Office Button and then click on Save.

Once you do this, the new items you added or removed will be reflected in the file itself.

[Shortcuts for Save As in Microsoft Word is F12, while that of Save is Ctrl + S. ]

How to create a new file

There are occasions when you want to create a file that deals with another form of your work which you wouldn’t want to add to the current one you are working on. So, how do you create a new file? Follow the steps below:

  • Click on the Office Button to display its menu.
  • From the drop-down menu click on New.
Creating a new file - Click on Office Button and then New
Creating a new file – Click on Office Button and then New
  • From the dialog box that displays, select the Blank document icon if it is not selected yet and then click on Create button at the bottom right. This will create a new file for you.
Creating a new file - Click on Blank document and then Create
Creating a new file – Click on Blank document and then Create

[The shortcut for creating a new file is Ctrl + N.]

The keyboard

A computer keyboard is one of the devices that send in data into the computer. There are two forms of keyboards: the hardware type and the software on-screen keyboard.

Most computer systems, especially laptops, come with their physical keyboards intact. But you can also attach an external keyboard if the one on your system is faulty or not comfortable enough.

But in a case whereby one of the keys of the keyboard is faulty or you want to type a foreign language whose keys are not imprinted on your keyboard (e.g. Arabic or Japanese), or you do not have a keyboard attached to your computer at all, do not panic, there is an on-screen keyboard you can use to key in information into the computer.

How to bring out the on-screen keyboard

To bring out the on-screen keyboard,

  • Click on the Start button
  • Place the mouse pointer on All Programs
Click Start button and place mouse on All Programs
Click Start button and place mouse on All Programs
  • Navigate to Accessories
Click on Accessories to open its files
Click on Accessories to open its files
  • And then to Ease of Access
Click on Ease of Access, and then On Screen Keyboard
Click on Ease of Access, and then On Screen Keyboard
  • From there, click on on-screen keyboard. You win then see the onscreen keyboard like the one displayed below

Functions of the keyboard’s keys

I have explained the various keys found on a keyboard below:

A computer keyboard and its keys. Source: Ebay; labeling: Memorila
A computer keyboard and its keys. Source: Ebay; labeling: Memorila
  • Escape key

The Escape (Esc) key is used to cancel an operation. Let’s say a drop-down menu or a dialog box pops up which you do not want, by pressing the Esc key, the menu or box will disappear.

  • Alphanumeric keys

These are the keys that are used to type in information in a Word 2007 document. The alpha– stands for alphabets, while the –numeric stands for numbers.

If you look critically at the alphanumeric keys, you will find the alphabet keys at the bottom and the number keys at the top.

  • Function keys:

The function keys are special keys numbering F1 to F12, used for giving instructions to the computer.

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In Microsoft Word, pressing the F1 key pops up a Word Help window which can be used to get information on how to better use Microsoft Word. F2 moves words from a particular location to another [Move or Copy]. Pressing Shift and F3 keys over a highlighted text changes its cases from lowercase, Title Case, UPPERCASE and so on.

And as you have learnt already, pressing the F12 key prompts up the Save As dialog box.

All the function keys have specific operations they call up. You can experiment with them. And if you get into trouble, just press the Esc key.

  • System commands

The system commands keys send commands to the computer. And they include Print Scr, Scroll Lock, Pause, Insert and Delete, Home and End, Page Up and Page Down.

The Page Up and Page Down keys move the screen up and down. They serve the purpose of the horizontal scroll bar we saw in the previous tutorial.

The Home and End keys move the cursor from the beginning of a line to the end of the line, respectively.

The Insert key toggles between Write Over and normal writing. This function does not have effect in some computers.

The Delete key is used to clear a text from the left side of an insertion point. Let’s say you typed “Typing is injoyable!” And after realising that ‘enjoyable’ is misspelt as ‘injoyable’, you now want to correct the mistake.

Instead of you clearing all the ‘injoyable’ word with a Backspace, place the insertion point by the left-side of ‘injoyable’ and press the Delete key once. You will see that the ‘i’ from the ‘injoyable’ word will be removed. Now, type in ‘e’ and your word will be correctly spelt.

One other key that is important among the system commands keys is the Print Scr. The Print Scr is used to capture the picture of the whole screen of the computer into its memory, just like what a Screen Grab does on a phone. All you now need to do is to paste the image wherever you want to use it.

  • Numerical keypads

The numerical keypads contain keys numbering 0-9, arithmetic operations keys (/, *, +, -), Enter key and the Num Lock key. The Num Lock key switches the numerical keys from numbers to the other keys beneath the numbers to Home, End and Navigational Keys.

The numerical keypads are primarily used to enter numbers.

  • Navigational keys

The navigational keys (also called Cursor keys) are used to move the blinking cursor left, right, up or down. These keys can also be used to move a selected object around the page.

  • Spacebar, Enter and Backspace keys

The Spacebar is a special key of Microsoft Word that is used to create spaces between written texts. If for example you want to type “I am Happy”, you will need to press the Spacebar once after “I”, and then after “am” so as to create spaces between the three words.

The Enter and Backspace keys are also special keys that are used in Microsoft Word. The Enter key moves the blinking cursor to a new line, creating another insertion point. The Backspace on the other hand is used to clean a written text from the right to the left.

  • Other special keys
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The other special keys of Microsoft Word include Tab, Caps lock, Shift, Ctrl, Windows key, Alt as shown in the diagram above.

The Tab key is used to move to above seven spaces between one text and another. It performs almost the same function as a spacebar, only a great scale. If you would want wide spaces between some texts, the Tab key will prove handy.

Caps lock is used to toggle between capital letters (uppercases) and small letters (lowercases). In most keyboards, once you press the keyboard, a light goes on signaling the UPPERCASE mode has been turned on. Pressing the Caps lock again toggles off the light and signal the lowercase mode.

The Shift key is used to type letters residing above an expressly written key. For instance, if you check the top of the number keys in the alphanumeric section of the keyboard, you will see other symbols over them. Examples of the symbols are !, @, #, $, & and *.

If you to type ‘&’, all you will need to do is press the Shift key and number 7 together and you will see ‘&’ appearing on the screen.

Another use of the Shift key is that it temporarily toggles between UPPERCASES and lowercases. If the Caps lock light is on, and then you hold the Shift key and ‘G’ for example, a small letter ‘g’ will appear on the screen, and vice versa.

The Ctrl key is another very important key of Microsoft Word. Part of purposes is to send instruction to the computer. For example, pressing the Ctrl key with S saves a file, Ctrl with P prints a document, Ctrl with B makes a text bold, Ctrl + F4 closes a document, etc.

The Ctrl key can be joined with other special keys like Shift or Alt to give other special commands.

The Windows key is not majorly used in the Microsoft Word environment. But one use of it is when you press it together with D, it minimizes all open windows.

The Alt key is also used to give command to programs and the computer. For instance, Alt and F4 will close the Microsoft Word entirely.

Furthermore, when you press the Alt key once and release you see some letters on the menu items’ names popped out. If you should press that letter after pressing Alt, the menu will be opened.  E.g. Alt and F opens the Office Button menu, Alt + P opens the Page Layout menu, while Alt + W opens the View menu.

I will not want us to run more than our shadows. Hence, we will be taking a nap here today. In our next lesson, we will learn to type proper and see how to apply bold, italics, underline and other formatting tips.

Until our next meeting, if you know of some shortcuts you can implement using Ctrl, Alt, Shift or any other keys of the keyboard, please use the comment section below to show. You can also leave your questions, suggestions there.

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Faruk Ahmed

Faruk Ahmed writes about ICT and deplores it for personal and business uses. He is a fervent watcher of political events.

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