A file is an electronic storage container on disk used to hold valuable information permanently. Files let you retain important data between computing sessions so that you can work on a report one day and then pick up where you left off the next day. In the Microsoft Windows operating system, files are stored in folders, and each file has its own unique pathname. The pathname is the list of folders that describes the path taken from the first level of folders on the drive down to the current folder.
When you save information in a Microsoft Office application, you create a file, or document, on disk that you can use again later or share with others. In this chapter, you'll learn how to open documents, save them, and close them in Office applications. You'll also learn how to search for documents on your hard disk, share them over the Internet, and use properties to add tracking information to a document. Although each Office application creates documents in a slightly different format, the process of working with documents is the same, so we can teach it to you in one chapter. After you read this chapter, you'll be prepared to work through the application-specific sections in this book.