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Computer Labs & Course Tools: Saving Your Files

This guide offers information and learning tools related to the computing programs and services that most students must use while enrolled at GTC.

Important Tips

Save early and save often!
Helpful tips that will save you time and frustration:

Be smart about naming your files
When you work on a file for a long time, you may end up with several versions when you're done. To eliminate the risk of sending the wrong file to your professor, name each version differently. Here are some naming strategies to try:

  • Use version numbers
    ENG 102 Essay vers 1, ENG 102 Essay vers 2, etc.

  • Use dates
    2013-03-15 ENG 102 Essay,
    2013-03-17 ENG 102 Essay, etc.

Google Drive

Google Drive Mobile App

How to Save Files

3 ways to save

Need to move or save a file? The following options are available to you:

Email yourself
Emailing yourself a copy can be a quick and easy way to make it happen.

  1. Save a copy of your file to the computer you're using (and pay attention to what folder it goes in).
  2. Sign into your email account.
  3. Create a new message and attach your file (sometimes this is a paper clip icon).
  4. Send and refresh your inbox to make sure you got it.
  5. Delete the file from the computer you're currently using so no one can snag your awesome essay, poem, or photo.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • You'll need to have Internet access on the computer that you'll use later to access your saved file.
  • Microsoft Office 2010 files (.docx, .pptx) cannot be opened on older versions of Microsoft Office! When you save, be sure to choose "compatability mode" unless you're certain you have Office 2010 where you're going.
  • Some file types (.doc, .xls and .ppt) can only be opened with the program you saved them in (Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).
  • Some email programs restrict the types of file you can attach. Usually documents, spreadsheets, and images are OK.
  • Most email programs restrict the size of attachments, so your file may be too large to attach.


USB drives Green USB drive
Many students use USB storage devices, also called jump drives or thumb drives. The metal part of the USB drive plugs directly into a computer through a rectangular hole called a port. Desktop and laptop computers often have several USB ports, but you may have to look on the front, back, or side of the computer to find one.

USB symbolThe small symbol shown on the right is often used on USB cords, drives, and ports. Look for this on the computers that you are using.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • If you're thinking about buying a USB flash drive, think about storage space. What types of files will you be saving and how many do you want it to hold? 1GB is the smallest commonly-available size. This website shows how many images, mp3s, and movies you can expect to store on 1GB and larger drives.
  • USB drives are available in many stores and are fairly inexpensive ($5+ depending on storage space and features). The fact that they are portable and do not require an Internet connection are also benefits.
  • The downside to USB Drives is that they are easy to leave behind, forget, or lose. You not only lose files saved on the drive, but if you saved private or confidential information, someone else would have access to it.

File storage services
A third way to save files is to use a file storage service. Multiple services will allow you to upload files to an account on the web. You'll be able to access your files from any computer with an Internet connection. You may even be able to access your files via your phone. File storage services include:

Some things to keep in mind:

  • You'll need to have Internet access on the computer that you'll use later to access your saved file.
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