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Windows XP Professional: The Missing Manual by L.J. Zacker, Craig Zacker, David Pogue

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The Briefcase

In its way, the Briefcase is a form of backup program, but for a very specific purpose: It’s designed to help you keep your files straight when you transport them from desktop to laptop, or from home to work. If you learn to use the Briefcase, you’ll be less likely to lose track of which copies of your documents are the most current.

To use the Briefcase, start by adding a briefcase icon on your desktop. To do so, right-click any spot on the desktop; from the shortcut menu, choose NewBriefcase. A new icon appears, called New Briefcase. (If you’re feeling inspired, rename it as you would any folder.)

Now round up the icons of the documents you’ll work on when away from your main PC. Drag them onto the My Briefcase icon. Windows XP copies the files into this special temporary holding tank.

Now connect your laptop to the desktop PC, if you haven’t already. (See Chapter 18 for tips on connecting machines.) Or, if you plan to take your files with you on a disk (such as a floppy or Zip disk), insert the disk. Drag the My Briefcase icon onto the laptop or the disk.

You’re ready to leave your office. When you get to wherever you’re going, open and edit the documents in the copied Briefcase “folder” icon. Just don’t move them.

When you return to your main PC, reconnect the laptop or reinsert the travel disk. Now all of your careful step-following is about to pay off. Open the disk or laptop window and double-click its My Briefcase icon. In the Briefcase window, click the “Update ...

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