Download (direct link):
Windows XP lets you lasso files and folders as well. Point slightly above the first file or folder you want; then, while holding down the mouse button, point at the last file or folder. The mouse creates an invisible lasso to surround your files. Let go of the mouse button, and the invisible lasso, er, disappears, leaving all the surrounded files highlighted.
Chapter 11: That Scary My Computer Program
A You can drag these armfuls of files in the same way that you drag a single file.
A You can also simultaneously cut or copy and paste these armfuls into new locations using any of the methods described in the “Copying or Moving a File, Folder, or Icon” section.
A You can delete these armfuls of goods, too.
A You can’t rename everything at once, though. To rename them, you have to go back to piddling around with one item at a time.
A To quickly select all the files in a folder, choose Select All from the folder’s Edit menu. (Or press Ctrl+A.) Here’s another nifty trick: To grab all but a few files, press Ctrl+A and, while still holding down Ctrl, click the ones you don’t want.
Renaming a File, Folder, or Icon
Sick of a file or folder’s name? Then change it. Just right-click on the offending icon and choose Rename from the menu that pops up.
The old filename gets highlighted and then disappears when you start typing the file or folder’s new name. Press Enter or click the desktop when you’re through, and you’re off.
Or you can click the file or folder’s name to select it, wait a second, and click the file’s name again. Windows XP highlights the old name, ready to replace it with your incoming text. (Some people click the name and press F2; Windows automatically lets you rename the file.)
A If you rename a file, only its name changes. The contents are still the same, it’s still the same size, and it’s still in the same place.
A You can’t rename groups of files. The files spit in your face if you even try.
A Renaming some folders confuses Windows, however, especially if those folders contain programs. And please don’t rename these folders: My Documents, My Pictures, or My Music.
Chapter 11: That Scary My Computer Program 220
ëSome icons, like the one for the Recycle Bin, won’t let you rename them. How do you know which icons don’t let you meddle with their names? Right-click on the icon you want to rename. If you don’t see the word Rename on the menu, you won’t be able to rename the file. Handy button, that right mouse button.
Using Legal Folder Names and Filenames
Windows is pretty picky about what you can and can’t name a file or folder. If you stick to plain old letters and numbers, you’re fine. But don’t try to stick any of the following characters in there:
: / \ * | < > ? "
If you use any of those characters, Windows XP bounces an error message to the screen, and you have to try again.
These names are illegal:
1/2 of my Homework
He's no "Gentleman"
These names are legal:
Half of my Term Paper JOB2
Two is Bigger than One A #@$%) Scoundrel
A As long as you remember the characters that you can and can’t use for naming files, you’ll probably be okay.
A Using a digital camera, scanner, or MP3 player? Don’t use any of those forbidden characters in the file’s name, or Windows will freak out when you try to import the file into the My Pictures folder.
Chapter 11: That Scary My Computer Program
A Like their predecessors, Windows XP programs brand files with their own three-letter extensions so that Windows XP knows which program created what file. Normally, Windows XP hides the extensions so that they’re not confusing. But if you happen to spot filenames like SAVVY.DOC, README.TXT, and SPONGE.BMP across the hard disk, you’ll know that the extensions have been added by the Windows XP programs WordPad, Notepad, and Paint, respectively. Windows XP normally keeps the extensions hidden from view, so you just look at the file’s icon for heritage clues.
If you really want to see a filename’s extension, choose Folder Options from the folder’s Tools menu (or the Control Panel) and then click the View tab. Finally, click the little box next to the line that says Hide File Extensions for Known File Types; that removes the check mark. Then click the Apply button, and the files reveal their extensions. (Click the box again or click the Restore Defaults button to hide the extensions.)
You may see a filename with a weird tilde thing in it, such as WIGWAM~1.TXT. That’s the special way that Windows XP deals with long filenames. Most older programs expect files to have only eight characters; when there’s a conflict, Windows XP whittles down a long filename so that those older programs can use those files. When the program’s finished, the shorter, weird filename is the file’s new name.
Copying a Complete Floppy Disk
To copy files from one disk to another, drag ’em over there, as described a few pages back. To copy an entire floppy disk, however, use the Copy Disk command.