1. Computing

Tips for Naming Your Word Files

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If you’re like most users, you probably don’t spend too much time thinking about what to name your documents when you save them. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to find the file you want without a bit of searching – you may even have to open several different files to find the one you want.

Developing a naming system for your documents and getting in the habit of using it will save you some time and frustration when it comes time to find the document you need. Rather than having to search through countless documents, you’ll be able to find the one you need just by looking at the file name.

There isn’t a single right way to name your files, and naming systems will vary from user to user. However, it is important to find the method that works for you and to use it consistently. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Include the date the document was composed in your file name
This is perhaps the single most important element in a file name, particularly when you’re dealing with correspondence. Even if you don’t remember exactly when you composed a document, you’ll still be able to narrow your search down to a specific time period.

2. Include the recipient’s name in your file name
For most people, this will seem like a given, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this. While this is particularly holds true for letters, it is an important element of file names for contracts, memos, and even notes.

3. Indicate what type of document it is
Again, this will seem like a given for most users, and that’s because it is such an important part of a file name. If you’re looking for a letter you wrote, you can eliminate a file that has “contract” or “notes” in the name.

4. Pay attention to how you order the elements of the file name
While this may not help you differentiate your files, it will help you order them when you’re searching. Using the window control elements in Word’s Open dialog box or in Windows Explorer, you can sort your files alphabetically (or numerically), so that they’re sorted by the first character in the file name.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of tips on naming your Word files, but it is a good place to start. Once you start naming your files with the goal of making them easier to find, you’ll get a better idea of what works for you, and may even come up with some tricks of your own.

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