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Now we are getting really deep into the System Folder. In fact you won't have much need to spend time mucking about in here. However, you need to know a couple of things about Preferences files. Every application on your hard drive automatically creates at least one Preferences file in this folder.

Word PreferencesEudora Preferences

Preferences are generally user customizations for a particular application, e.g. what cursors you use in Photoshop, what measurement system you use in PageMaker, how often Word reminds you to save, the custom keypad map for a flight simulator game, etc. Every time you set a custom option that will be used again and again in a program, that setting is recorded in a Preferences file that application maintains in this folder.

Netscape Preferences

Some programs also save essential information such as your registration number here. Other programs create their own sub-folder within the Preferences folder and use it for storage of important files, e.g. Netscape keeps all of your bookmarks as well as cached files here.


Unfortunately these files become corrupted easily and then wreak havoc on the workings of that program. If an application is misbehaving badly — like, Adobe PageMaker is not printing any file — you should quit the program, throw away its Preferences file and then relaunch the application. You will loose whatever custom settings you have chosen before, but the program will automatically create a new Preferences file when it is launched. You just need to re-set your custom options from within the program. We have solved a lot of problems using this approach with Adobe PageMaker — after several useless and costly hours on the phone with Adobe technical support.

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