VIU Aerial View

File Survival Tips

Don't lose your work -- follow this important advice:

  • Save to U: drive, not to My Documents. ALWAYS save to your network folder (aka your “U: drive”). Your U: drive will be listed as “yourusername (U:)" in the computer’s file directory. Microsoft Windows and Office programs may try to save files in the “My Documents” folder by default. Your “My Documents” folder is supposed to “roam” with you from computer to computer on campus, but various factors may interfere with the roaming capability (network service interruptions, running out of space in your account, etc.) This means that if you save a file to “My Documents” on a particular computer in a particular campus lab, you may not be able to access it on another computer and/or in another lab!!
  • Don't work on emailed files until you save them to your U: drive. Immediately after opening your attachment, go to the File menu, click the "Save As" command, save the file to a specified location on your "U: drive". If you do not specify a new location for your file to be saved in, any changes you make will be saved in a temporary folder in C:\Documents and Settings\yourusername\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5, and will be deleted when you close the document -- in other words, you will lose all the work you did since opening the Hotmail attachment.
  • Save as Rich Text Format (*.rtf) if using a word processor other than MS Word at home. Campus computer labs are equipped with Microsoft Word for word processing. Word can convert some files created by other programs: Word for Macintosh, WordPerfect versions 5.x and 6.x, and Microsoft Works version 4.0 and 6.0. However, for the most reliable way to ensure you’ll be able to work on the same file both on campus and at home, always save your files as Rich Text Format (RTF) documents (*.rtf) – for example, when you are working in your word processor (e.g. Word, WordPerfect, etc.), go to the File menu, select the “Save as” command, click on the “Save as type” drop-down list at the bottom of the “Save As” dialogue box, and select “Rich Text Format (*.rtf)”. Rich Text Format allows common formatting such as bold, italics, bulleted lists, etc., but is simple enough to be understood by many different programs. It is a good common denominator for text editing and word processing programs of varying versions.

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