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Keeping Track of Your Files and Settings in Microsoft Office Home and Student

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Understanding where and how Office stores your files helps when it's time to find that one file you can't live without. In this chapter Woody Leonhard and Ed Bott explain how Office does this and provide best practices for naming and organizing your files for best results.
This chapter is from the book

In this chapter

  • Getting Organized (and Staying That Way) 56
  • Where Should You Keep Your Files? 56
  • Creating New Files 58
  • Naming Documents 62
  • Using and Customizing Common Dialog Boxes 64
  • Using Alternative File Formats 67
  • Storing Extra Details About Your Documents 68
  • Searching for Office Files 75
  • Working with Multiple Files 76
  • Setting Up Automatic Backup and Recovery Options 77
  • Troubleshooting 79
  • Extra Credit: Find Files Faster with Desktop Search Tools 79

Getting Organized (and Staying That Way)

You're about to start working on a new report or presentation. What's the best way to get started? How do you avoid reinventing the wheel when you want to begin a new project? Where should you save your file? How do you find that file tomorrow, or next week, or next month? How do you protect yourself from the inconvenience (to put it mildly) of losing a document you've worked on for hours, days, or weeks?

Those are the questions we tackle in this chapter. Relax—we're not going to force you to change the way you handle your homework or your projects. It helps if you can stick to a sensible file-naming strategy, and you'll have best results if you have a clear understanding of where and how Office stores files. Whether you file every scrap of paper that goes across your desk or just throw everything into a shoebox, Office has a set of tools for you to use, as well as a rich trove of ready-made templates that others have already created. At the end of this chapter, we introduce you to an amazing search tool that can help you pick out any Office document, even if all you can remember is a word or phrase it contained.

For the most part, this chapter is concerned only with the three Office programs that use individual files to store your work: Word, for document files; Excel, for workbooks; and PowerPoint, for presentations. As we explain in Part V, OneNote's storage system doesn't rely on individual files, so it's not relevant in this chapter.

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