How to Create a New File on a Computer

by Etch Tabor
computer image by blaine stiger from

Whether you have a PC or a Mac, your computer stores information as files. There are hundreds of different file types that you can generate on your computer. Files can contain words in word processor files, numbers in spreadsheet files, music in audio files, movies in video files or many other forms of data. Although the specifics of modifying and customizing a particular file will vary from application to application, the method used for creating a file is fairly universal.

Step 1

Open the software application associated with the file type you wish to create. You can open the application by double-clicking on it.

Step 2

Click on "File" along the top of your screen and select "New." The specific command may be slightly different from application to application. Some applications use commands like "Create New File" or "Create New Project."

Step 3

Click "File" again at the top of your screen.

Step 4

Click "Save." A pop-up menu will appear.

Step 5

Type the name you want to give the file in the "Save As:" field. Be sure to leave all information after the period in the name intact. This is the file extension and tells your computer what application is associated with the file.

Click the "Save" button. You have successfully created a file.


  • If you attempt to give two files with the same file extension the same name and attempt to save them to the same location on your hard drive, you will see a prompt that asks you if you want to save over the preexisting file. If you choose to do so, you will lose the older file.


  • To save a different copy of a file while retaining the original file, choose the "Save As" option from the "File" menu at the top of your screen.


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About the Author

For three years, Etch Tabor worked as the technology and online editor at "InsideCounsel" magazine, a national publication for in-house counsel. He currently is a full-time freelance writer, specializing in legal, technology and comedy writing. He graduated in 2004 from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in journalism.

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