Creating a Directory Structure:

This is a review of the information we covered in the first few days of class. The purpose of this activity is three-fold:

  1. To develop a convention for naming and organizing your files.

  2. To gain practice with creating folders and organizing directory structures

  3. To help keep your hard drive and partitions organized

Open Windows Explorer (not Internet Explorer).  If you don't have a shortcut go to Start All Programs Accessories Windows Explorer.
Creating Folders:

You may have a Network drive available, but this example assumes that the new directory structure will be created in the (C) - Drive under Computer. Selecting (C) will bring up the list of existing Folders on the right side panel of the Explorer window.

Your directory may look different than the example. Select the View menu and try the various display options: Extra Large Icons, Large Icons, Medium Icons, etc.

This is the Large Icons view. I prefer the Details view because it shows the Date Modified, File Size, etc., but that's just my preference.

Sort By allows you to arrange the icons by a variety of criteria such as Name, Date Modified, File Size, and more.

The faded folder icons represent "hidden" folders - usually system folders that are protected and shouldn't be tampered with.

To create a new folder select New from the File menu, then choose Folder from the fly-out window.

While the new folder is still selected you can type in the folder name.

With the new folder, (_Info_Tech) still highlighted, go ahead and create the rest of the folders that you will need. The underscore _ at the beginning of a file or folder name will force the file or folder to the top of a list when arranged alphabetically.  I do this for a folder that I may want to access quickly without having to search for it.

Creating Sub-folders:


Inside some of these folders we are going to create sub-directories, or sub-folders. Double-click on the MS_Office_projects folder. This places the MS_Office folder at the current level, as shown in the address bar at the top as well as in the Folders panel to the left.



Create the new sub-folders just as you did the folders in the previous steps.  You can also Right-Click inside the Explorer window to add a new folder.

The example to the left shows four sub-folders inside the MS_Office folder.

This the the completed Directory Structure.  Notice the 'tiered' levels of sub-folders in the left Folder panel.

The File con and information appears to the right, but both files and folders can exist within a higher-level folder.

Developing a Naming Convention:

Developing a file-name system is a necessity for keeping track of some important aspects of your files.  While the file extensions, (.jpg, .cdr, .psd ,etc.) will remind you what program you created them in, you might want to keep track of other information as well.  When I designed houses for a living I often created variations of the design to present to the client, but I always wanted the ability to come back to the original concept.  I also wanted to distinguish each project by client.  Typical file names might have been: J_Doe_vs1_Sept21.dwg or B_Smith_vs2_Nov22b.dwg.

From the file name I was quickly able to determine the following information:

B_Smith vs2 Nov22 b dwg
Client name drawing version Date of last changes revision AutoCAD file

Since most of work at this time involved designing homes, just about all of my files were house plans designed in one of two or three programs that I used. But an important point that you have to consider here is that you will be using any one of a few dozen software programs to create possibly hundreds of project files. You will also be handing these files in for marks. 

Scary Hypothetical Situation:

Let's say that you worked on a PhotoShop project for several days and decided to hand it in with the file name gel_text.psd. This tells me that it is a PhotoShop file of a project having something to do with applying a style to some text, but it doesn't tell me whose project it is!  Also, if someone else was to hand in a project with the same name after you turned yours in, they would probably accidentally over-write your project.

An example of a good filename might be:   J_Smith_geltext_S23.psd

J_Smith geltext S22 psd
Student's name nature of project Date of last changes PhotoShop file

In this example is very unlikely that someone else would accidentally over-write your file, unless they had your same initial and last name.  What would you do in that case?  Simple - legally change your name!  (Or, you could use your first and middle initial).