Creating and Keeping Stationery III

Written and published April 14, 1999

By now you are hopefully excited by stationery, but not quite sure where to save your stationery to. So this is part three (see parts one and two)...

And now to the filing and backup issue...

The question was: " the ClarisWorks folder you have a template folder. Perhaps you made your own template. Can you move them from the ClarisWorks folder without problem?" Yes, you can move a stationery document anywhere on your hard drive (even to another partition or to a removable disk). The stationery maintains the creator code of the application the original document was created in. In fact, you can see this because the new stationery icon is still a Claris/AppleWorks (or Word, Excel, Word Perfect etc) icon. The small difference in the icon is that instead of a document icon, which is a page turned down at the top right, it looks like a pad, with a page being torn off from the bottom right and see pages beneath that one. (A program such as Photoshop that uses document previews for a document icon may not show the stationery pad icon.) Because stationery maintains the creator code of its parent application, you can double-click on that stationery document and the Mac will locate and launch the application, just as it does with any document. (You may recall that readers noted Quark does not fully adhere to Mac programming guidelines so with a Quark document double-clicking doesn't always work.)

So what to do about Stationery saved by an Application?

There are actually several solutions. My own solution is to forgo the program's interface and provide my own. I created my own folder called Templates. (I don't know why I didn't just call it Stationery. I would now if doing it anew.) Whenever I create a stationery I save it to this folder. I then alias this folder into my Apple Menu. This way, when I need a letterhead or other template I select it from the Apple Menu. This provides two major benefits for me. For back up, it is easy to back up the one folder. For document creation, it is easier for me to select a template. I may have created a greeting card template in AppleWorks, FreeHand, and Quark. When it comes to creating a card I can see that I have three templates and chose which one I want to use. To me this is better than launching AppleWorks just to see if I happen to have a card template in that application. Word 98 actually allows you to change the default setting that causes its Create New Template function to save to its Templates folder. This means you can use the New Document interface and still save to your own personal Stationery folder. To do so select Tools->Preferences, click the File Locations tab, then double-click the User Templates line as the first screen shot shows. (You'll see the default is the path from my hard drive, called Main, to the Templates folder.) This opens the Open dialog box so you can navigate to the desired folder, then double-click its name, as I also show. [Thank you Neeraj Jain, for pointing out that I should point that out.]


If you prefer to keep Stationery in the folder in which an application wants to store it, here's a solution. Since you may be using one of Dantz's Retrospect programs anyway, you can take advantage of its ability to use the Mac's. (Dantz is the backup company and eventually I'd get around to recommending you use and Retrospect Express anyway. Or, Retrospect Remote for networks and over-the-net saving.) Both Retrospect Remote and Retrospect Express allow you to back up files based on the labels assigned to a file. With this method you can keep your stationery in the folder an application wants it to land in, go into that folder, select your personal stationery, then assign the appropriate label to designate back up. (With Retrospect Express there are "Selectors," predefined criteria that include backing up all files assigned the Finder's Hot label (or the label you redefined in its position). There are other tricks that can be done, too, but I am not prepared to recommend them at this point, as they are more intricate or risky. If you have any to recommend, feel free to share them, but it may be a long while before I print them. So now, if you'd like, you can get moving. Moving your stationery and templates, that is. (If you've already created any.) First create a new folder and call it Stationery (or Templates). I happen to keep mine directly in my hard drive window (AKA "on the main level of the hard drive.") Then locate and drag your files into this new folder If it's AppleWorks stationery, open the AppleWorks folder, then the AppleWorks Stationery folder, and simply drag your personal stationery documents out of that folder and into your own Stationary folder. If its stationery made in an Office 98 application, you'll find it waiting for you in the Templates folder, which is directly in the Microsoft Office 98 folder. I'm sure you'll be able to find your way to such folders in other programs that use this type of system. After you create the folder you can place an alias in your Apple menu and/or make it a pop-up tabbed folder for easy access. Of course, you can also make it easily accessible with your favorite launching program. For example, if you are using Action Files you might also make this folder a Favorite folder so you can save to it easily and open files from it easily. With Action GoMac, you can add it to the Start or QuickLaunch menu. If you are using DragStrip, now published by Aladdin, you can add your Stationery folder to a strip for easy access. (I realize I haven't told you all about GoMac or DragStrip yet but they're cool and I hate to make you wait any longer to become aware of them.)

Next week

As soon as I asked about where to store Eudora files the email poured in. I'll share those responses with you next week, along with the lowdown on storing OutLook Express and Claris Emailer email. If any of you happen to use MailKeeper or Netscape for email, we'd love to know whether it is possible to move the mail files to an alternate folder for easy backup. If you write to share ideas please let me know whether I can use your name and if you want your email address and/or URL printed.

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