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SUPPORT > FileMan > Tutorial > Files & Folders

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Is working with files and directory structures new to you?

The basis of any computer is file management, whether it is your "local" computer in your house, or a site on the Internet such as the ProHosting site. You are either running programs or moving files around. You need to know where to find those files when you want them. As you create and collect files you will soon want methods for organizing the information and for moving files around. You will begin creating directories (directories are the same thing as "folders") for storage. Directories allow you to group files together by form or function. Think of them like drawers in a filing cabinet, file folders or even rooms in a house.

Your directory structure can be looked at vertically (a tree structure) or horizontally (a path statement).

Figure 1 is an image of a Tree diagram of a directory structure. Your Web account starts at your Root directory (your Home directory), and you may upload files and create directories under that root. The Root directory is symbolized by a forward slash: /

In this example the Root contains two directories (folders) named Tangram and WTWcharts , and a single file, SemesterPlan.ppt. The Tangram directory contains sub-directories and files, as does the WTWcharts directory. The Tree diagram illustrates the hierarchal aspect of directory structures.
Sample Directory Structure

Fileman displays a horizontal view of file structures in a path statement. Like the smiley emoticon, the path statement turns the expression of the directory sideways.

Take the path from the Root, into the WTWcharts directory to the file named week2.xls. The path statement is:

/WTWcharts/week2.xls

The path to the document discussion.doc (near the bottom of the image, Figure 1) is:

/Tangram/FinalPapers/discussion.doc

Notice the path statement begins with a front slash; that is the symbolic root. Furthermore, all directory and files are separated by a front slash (which can be really confusing when you remember that paths are separated by a BACKslash in Windows!!).

In Fileman you don't usually see a filename included in a path. The path statement that is always at the top of the Fileman window will contain directory names only.

Look at Figure 2, item 2, below, the image of the Fileman window. You can see the directory path listed as Root / documentation and the contents of the documentation subdirectory are listed below that path statement.

Tips and Tricks for File Management

  • Use this program to create directories (folders) to group similar files together. If you want to track versions of documents, you could create a directory to house all of the versions of that document, uploading the most recent version as available, renaming older versions of the documents, perhaps with a date in the filename. You can use Fileman for uploading files, renaming and even deleting files from your site.
  • Avoid including a blank space in a file or directory name. Some web browsers can handle the presence of a blank space but some cannot.
  • You may use upper case letters and lower case letters (and any mixture of the two) when naming files and directories. But on the Internet names are case sensitive. We recommend the use of lower case letters for simplicity.
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