Using the Standard KDE File Manager to Save Files

Many applications use the standard KDE file manager to allow you to save files. This makes it easy to learn and deal with instead of having each application with its own file manager which would, necessarily be different. Although some other documents in this DataBook® show you how to save files for particular sets of circumstances or applications, this document will go into a significant amount of detail that is not found in those other documents. Not all of this detail needs to be repeated for each of the other documents.

Some applications such as OpenOffice do implement their own file managers, at least in part because they are designed to be consistent on multiple OS platforms such as Linux, Solaris and Windows. In many ways they are similar to the standard KDE file manager, performing all of the same functions, but with a different layout, look and feel. Once you understand the workings of the standard KDE file manager, using application-specific file managers will be easy because you will understand how they work and what they are supposed to do.

One of the most common tasks you will have is to save an email attachment, such as a picture, video, spreadsheet, or a document to disk, so I will use that as an example for using the standard KDE file manager.

Saving an Email Attachment

There are two starting points from which to save an attachment or picture. You can right click on the name of the attachment in the attachment pane or, for pictures only, you can scroll down to where you can view the picture itself and then right click on the picture. Remember, this document is about saving any file, it is not specifically about email attachments.

Right click on the name of the attachment you wish to save and then click on Save-as.

Figure 1: Right click on the name of the attachment you wish to save and then click on Save-as.

Either way displays a pop-up menu that has a Save As option. Click on Save As and the standard KDE file menu is displayed.

Choosing a Folder

It is important to choose, or possibly create a folder in which to store the file you are saving. The standard KDE file menu allows you to save the file in one of a few standard folders and to change the name of the file. You can click on the drop-down box that says “Desktop” to show a list of those standard folders, but I strongly recommend that you click on “Browse for other folders” as it gives you much better control over where you can store the file, including the ability to create new folders or sub-folders.

The file window allows you to select a location in which to save the file and to change the name of the file.

Figure 2: The file window allows you to select a location in which to save the file and to change the name of the file. Click on “Browse for other folders” for more options.

I also recommend very strongly that you never ever store files on the Desktop itself. This clutters the desktop and makes it difficult to find files. I suggest storing them in one of the standard folders or a related subfolder. The standard folders are:

  • Documents
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Download

After clicking on “Browse for other folders” you can select one of these standard folders in the Places pane on the left side of the window and then perhaps use the file menu to navigate to a more appropriate location in which to store the attachment. For a document, you should choose the Documents directory, for a picture, choose the Pictures folder, and so on.

The Places pane also shows other storage devices, such as USB mass storage devices and floppy disks that are attached to your computer. You can click on these icons to begin navigating the folders stored on them. Note the File System icon in the Places pane. If you click on that you can search the entire file system to find a place to store your file. I don’t recommend this as there are many places that you are not allowed access or storage privileges.

After clicking on the Pictures folder icon in the Places pane, the contents of that folder are displayed in the right-hand pane.


Figure 3: Use the expanded file management menu to select a location in which to store the attachment.

If you are like me, you will want to store those vacation pictures in a sub-folder named something like 06-2009-Vacation so that all your vacation pictures from your June 2009 vacation will be easily locatable in one place.

Sub-folders of the Pictures folder would show up in the right-hand panel. In order to save a picture into a sub-folder, double click on the sub-folder to enter it. Once you have navigated to the desired folder, click on the Save button to complete the task.

Creating a New Folder

Once you have navigated into the Pictures folder, you may wish to create a sub-folder such as stated above, 06-2009-Vacation. To do this, simply click on the Create Folder button shown in Figure 3, above, and a new line appears in the right pane in which you can type in the name of the new folder. After typing the new name, press Enter to create the new folder. Double click on the new folder icon that you just created to enter that folder. Then click on the Save button to complete saving the attachment.

Initiating a Save From Other Applications

Most applications allow you to implement a save just by clicking on the Save or Save as icons in the toolbar. You can also use the manu bar and click on File => Save or File => Save as to begin saving a document or file.

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