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Asterisks are reliable stars if you get lost in the computer's open sea

Updated on January 31, 2010
 Thanks to Konstantin Sutyagin for this photo. Source:
Thanks to Konstantin Sutyagin for this photo. Source:

In a sea of folders and sub-folders, you can get vertigo without asterisks to help you wade through the vastness of computer files. Before I learned how to retrieve lost files from our computer technician, I always felt lost and defeated when I discovered that a file I needed so badly was not within searching distance. But of course, that is history now for me.

I learned that I should just write the keyword of my lost or misplaced file and put an asterisk, a dot and another asterisk. I did it this way when I suddenly lost my folder named “write-up”.  At the time I didn’t know this way of searching, I would open the search box and put the name of the folder I was looking for and press the search button. This way, it took me eternity to retrieve my lost files. Often I would give up searching and I would just wait for the computer technician to come to the office. Not anymore because this is what I do:

If I want to retrieve my folder “write-ups”, I enter this search word ( e.g. write*.*)  into the search box and I click the search button. Then all words with “write” whether they are from MS Word, Excel, Power Point, etc., all come out. Then, I just choose from the search results the folder that I am looking for.

Here’s my guide for searching lost files using my lost “write-up” folder as an example:

1) Search all applications:


2) Search Word documents   -  write*.doc
3) Search Excel documents   -  write*.xls
4) Power Point                        -  write*.ppt
5) Pdf                                        -  write*.pdf

6) To search photos               - write*.jpg
                                                  - write*.jpeg
                                                  - write*.bmp
                                                  - write*.gif
                                                  - write *.tiff
7) Muic                                     - write*.mp3
                                                  - write*.wma
                                                  - write *.Aif
                                                  - write *.AAC

With the above guide, I don’t feel  lost and defeated anymore when suddenly one or two of my files get lost or misplaced.


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