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how to open a file.

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Normally, when you want to open a file, (a document, a picture etc), you'll just double left click it.

We all pretty much know that.

The file will open in the program that created it or the default program for that file type.

But sometimes, we'll want to open a file in a different program.

Or maybe, we've just got the program open already and then we need to open a file.

All this may sound a little confusing, but stick with me, it'll become clear as we work through the page.

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    opening a file.

    Opening a file (be it a document, picture, video etc) from within a program that's already running is very similar to saving files, which we covered here, How to Save a File. 

    OK, so here's a quick example of what we're talking about.

    I've got Notepad open already and I want to open a file called  Test File 1, that's on my Desktop.

    So how do I do it?

    notepad open& test file on desktop.

    OK, so I'll have to tell the computer, tell Notepad, which file I want to open.

    To do that, I left click the FILE button and then click OPEN.

    click file, then click open.

    The OPEN window appears.

    Now looking carefully at it, you'll see that it's very similar to the SAVE AS window we've been using to save files.

    Very similar indeed.

    the open window.

    And it kinda works in reverse to the SAVE AS window.

    The file I want to open already has a name (Test File 1), and it is already stored in a folder (on the Desktop).

    So to find the file, I have to get to the Desktop folder. Because that's where the file is.

    So left click Desktop in the left hand pane.

    click desktop.

    The right hand pane will change to show the contents of the Desktop folder.

    We know the file is called Test File 1, so it's a simple matter of searching through the files to find it.

    Find the file, Test File 1, then left click it once to select it.

    Then click the OPEN button in the bottom right corner of the window.

    test file 1 on the desktop.

    The file opens in Notepad.

    I can read it, edit it, or do whatever I want with it.

    If I edit it, change it in some way, and want to keep the changes, then to close the file, I'd click FILE & then SAVE.

    Anything I've added to the file will be saved.



    practice IT, remember IT.

    Practice, as they say, makes perfect. Have a go at the exercises.

    This is your chance.

    Use Notepad to create a file on your Desktop. Call it Test File 1.

    Close and then re-open Notepad.

    Now open Test File 1 from within Notepad by clicking FILE and then OPEN.

    opening a file.


    opening another file.

    We'll try that again, but this time we're going to switch from Test File 1 to Test File 2.

    You can see that I've got Notepad open already, and it's showing Test File 1.

    But I now want to have a look at Test File 2, which is also on my Desktop.

    i want to open test file 2 now.

    The procedure is exactly the same, click FILE & then click OPEN.

    click file, then click open.

    The OPEN window appears.

    And it's the same procedure as above.

    We'll click Desktop, because that's where the file is.

    Then find the file Test File 2, left click it once to select it, then click the OPEN button.

    open test file 2.

    It really is that easy to switch from one file to another from inside a program.

    And if I had other files that I wanted to look at, I'd just go again.

    FILE - OPEN - navigate to the folder where the file is stored - find the file - left click it to select it - left click the OPEN button.

    test file 2.


    practice IT, remember IT.

    Practice, as they say, makes perfect. Have a go at the exercises.

    It's your turn.

    Well you weren't going to leave me doing all the work, we're you?

    Your going to create a file called Test File 2, and then switch between Test File 1 and back again.


    more about opening files.


    moving on.

    We're really starting move now. We've covered most of the easy stuff, and I hope your doing OK with it.

    "Frankly my dear, I just opened the file".