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Opening and Saving Files

Christian Weickhmann

KDE provides a unified way to open or save files via the file dialog. In almost every KDE program you will find a File -> Open and File -> Save (and/or Save As... ) entry.

The File Dialog

This dialog consists of between three and five areas. The top area is where you find the navigation and configuration functions. The main area (in the middle) is where all your files are being displayed as icons. This is called an icon view. The bottom area is where you can edit filename or filter expressions and say Save or Open .

In addition to that you can add two even more sophisticated areas: the Quick Access Navigation Panel and the Preview Panel.


Next to the three navigation buttons (one directory up, back and forward) and the new folder button there is the bookmarks menu. Here you can mark any folder you visit often to find it quickly. The wrench icon holds the different functions to sort your files by name, date or size and to enable the two extra panels mentioned above. Next to it you can type the directory and choose (on the very right side) the encoding.


You'll find the icon view in the middle of the dialog. You will find most of the navigation functions in the context menu by clicking on the items or the background with the right mouse button.


The bottom of the dialog consists of the address field holding the file name you chose or typed in and the maybe most powerful tool: The filter. Here you can make the icon view display only items that match the criteria you define. Try filtering files whose names contain “air” by typing *air* into the filter field.


The Quick Access Panel (activate it by typing the F9 key on your keyboard or through the wrench icon on top of the dialog) provides configurable shortcuts to frequently used locations on your hard drive or even on the Internet. There are several preconfigured locations such as your home directory. Try right clicking on any item to configure it or to empty space to add a new entry. You will be shown a context menu. Here you can choose the icon size and to add, modify or rename any entry. Choose Add Entry and you will see a window containing anything you need: Type your description, enter the location (or choose it via the dialog opening by clicking on the folder symbol), choose a symbol from a vast variety in the symbol dialog opening when you click on the predefined icon (usually a simple folder symbol).


The Preview area (activate it by typing the F11 key on your keyboard or via the wrench icon on top of the dialog) makes it easy to preview almost any file on your filesystem. Images will be displayed as thumbnails. Usually also sound files (such as MP3, Ogg or Wave-Files), text files (among them raw text, PDF and HTML) and even video files (MPG, AVI and so on) will be previewed.


Note that large files might take a long time to be previewed (e.g. scaled down if they are large images). You can disable automatic previews by unselecting Automatic Preview below the preview. You can still preview individual files: just click Preview . You can also disable previews for files above a certain size. Go to KDE Control Center, choose KDE components + File manager , go to the Preview and Metafiles tab and change the Maximum Filesize value.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire