Prevent a headache later:

Each word processing program (and sometimes each version) has its own format for saving information. Converting files between formats and versions can't always be done.  Awareness of this is important if you share files with others - especially those with limited computing skills. 

Many programs will let you save your files in other formats as well as the one they use internally. A common interchangeable format is RTF which preserves font sizes and most fancy formatting. Both Microsoft Word and Word Perfect, on PC or Mac, let you "Save As" to "RTF" format. 

SO, save often as you usually would. Then when you've completed work on your file, save it the usual way and in RTF. This brief extra step may save you lots of grief later! 

HOW: Choose File, then Save As, then look for the box labelled type or format where you can choose RTF. This is an often ignored feature in the same window where you name the file and decide where to save it.

Other small management steps now that may be a big help later: 
  • Save often onto an external, CD, or thumb drive.
  • email the file as an attachment to a gmail or other account.
  • Label CD's with a subject and semester or other identifier. After a while they all look alike.
  • Give files a name that will help you to uniquely identify them, especially if you have several versions of the same document. 
  • Pay close attention to where you place the file (e.g. a particular folder on a hard drive or thumb drive).
  • Install the Google Desktop Search Utility which makes finding files truly easy.


This file last modified 2/08.
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