Saving means to send the work you’ve just created to a hard drive, flash drive, or disc for safekeeping. Unless you specifically save your work, your computer thinks that you’ve just been fiddling around for the past four hours. You must specifically tell the computer to save your work before it will safely store it.
Thanks to Microsoft snapping leather whips, a Save command appears in nearly every Windows program no matter what programmer wrote it. Here are a few ways to save a file:
Click File on the top menu, choose Save, and save your document in your Documents folder or to your desktop for easy retrieval later. (Pressing the Alt key, followed by the letter F and the letter S, does the same thing.)
Click the Save icon (shown in the margin).
Hold down Ctrl and press S. (S stands for Save.)
If you’re saving something for the first time, Windows asks you to think up a name for your document. Type something descriptive using only letters, numbers, and spaces between the words.
Choose descriptive filenames for your work. Windows gives you 255 characters to work with. A file named Report on January 2014 Squeegee Sales is easier to locate than one named Stuff.
You can save files to any folder, CD, DVD, or even a flash drive. But files are much easier to find down the road when they stay in one of Windows’ four main folders: Documents, Music, Pictures, or Videos. (Those folders are listed on the left edge of every folder, making it easy to move files into them.)
Most programs can save files directly to a CD or DVD. Choose Save from the File menu and choose your preferred drive from the right pane’s Computer section. Put a disc (preferably one that’s not already filled) into your disc-writing drive to start the process.
A few newer programs spare you the chore of clicking the Save button: They save your work automatically as you type. Microsoft’s OneNote notetaking program and many Start screen apps save your work automatically, so they lack a Save button.
If you’re working on something important (and most things are), click the program’s Save command every few minutes. Or use the Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut. (While holding down the Ctrl key, press the S key.) Programs make you choose a name and location for a file when you first save it; subsequent saves are much speedier.