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Saving and backing up your work

If you wish to keep the work you do on a computer it must be saved as a file. Files are kept in a folder that is stored on a disk. It is important that you give the file a meaningful name and save it in an appropriate folder.

Saving a document

The recommended method of saving your work is the Save As option in the File menu. All Windows programs have this functionality; for the purposes of illustration we will here concentrate on Word where your files will be saved in an existing folder called My Documents on the N:drive.

Saving a new document:

  • When ready to save the file click on the Save icon (below) on the toolbar
Save Icon
  • The Save As dialogue box (below) will open
Save window
  • At the top of the Save As dialogue box is the Save in field. This is the folder into which the file will be saved - by default this should be My Documents
  • Click in the File name box and type a name if you do not like the suggested name - use a name that will make it easy for you to remember what the file contains
  • The Save as type box shows which format in which the file will be saved - by default this is Word
  • Click on the Save button

Saving the document again:

  • Click on the Save icon (above) that is on the toolbar

Saving a document with a different name:

  • From the File menu, select Save As - the dialogue box (above) will open
  • Type the new name in the File name box
  • Click on the Save button

Saving a document in a new folder:

  • From the File menu, select Save As - the dialogue box (above) will open
  • Click on the New Folder icon (below) at the top of the dialogue box
Save Icon
  • In the dialogue box type in a name for the new folder and click the OK button
  • The Save as dialogue box will change to the new folder
  • You can rename the file if you wish
  • Click on the Save button

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Backing up Your Work

IT Services copies all new files held on the N: drive overnight to prevent loss of important information through a system failure. You should safeguard your own work by always making copies of important files to your own disks (e.g. CD or USB stick).

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Transferring files between computers

The quickest and easiest way to transfer files is to use a USB "stick", "pen" or "flash memory". A number of products are available. The advantages of these devices are that they are compact and compatible with both PCs and Macs with USB ports (fitted as standard to most modern computers).

Another alternative is to use CDs (or DVDs). You can either use CD-R which can only be written once or CD-RW which are rewriteable. IT Services recommend that you use CD- R media rather than CD-RW media. CD-R disks can be purchased cheaply in packs of 10 or more. CD-RW can be used but the price is higher.

An increasingly large number of IT Services PCs are equipped with CD/DVD-writers and the software required to write information on a CD or DVD. Further information on writing CDs or DVDs using an IT Services PC is available at:

Writing CDs and DVDs

If you want to transfer files between two computers which both have an internet connection, you can often transfer files directly from one to the other. For example, if you have a series of files in your My Documents folder at the University which you want to transfer to your computer at home, you can do this using File Transfer (FTP) or a program such as Webdrive.

For more details, see our special guide on moving files.

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Keeping an archive

CD-Rs are not only useful as a method for transferring files between computers but also as a medium on which to hold copies of important files, such as your research data or your thesis. The main advantages of a CD-R are that its contents cannot be overwritten and it is cheap to purchase. IT Services recommends the use of a writeable disk (CD-R) over a rewriteable disk (CD-RW).

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created on 2010-01-01 by Chris Limb
last updated on 2010-06-30 by Chris Limb