Student or Learner
Do we store pictures or infoprmation on a computer file or in a computer file?
Last edited by ostap77; 21-Apr-2012 at 23:15.
I'd probably say 'on', though I'd use 'in' if the word 'computer' weren't there.
We say, "We have it on file", "I have it stored on file somewhere." - in neither case would "in file" be used, though we might say, "I have it stored in my files somewhere."
[AmE - not a teacher]
Having information "on file" is not the same meaning as having information "in a file".
(With computers) Information is always stored in a file, in a directory, or in a folder. You might get away with "on a file on this disk", but that's because of the "on .. disk". It still should be "in a file on this disk".
Agreed. In the early days of computing (before the first ominous stirrings of MS/Dos V1.0, before even CP/M - which I trained on in the early '80s), software engineers appropriated a not entirely sound metaphor for virtual sorage of data. A file, before computers, was a collection of letters and other documents relating to one thing (a customer, a transaction... anything). In my first non-computer) job, a file contained information about one motor vehicle.
If something is 'on file' it's stored somewhere in the organization - quite possibly on paper, although nowadays it may be kept 'in a file' on a computer (or in 'the cloud'*).
* Cloud computing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
What about this sentence from an article? "The official would not describe the documents except to say that they appeared to contain classified material and were stored on a computer file."
I would use in there.
I didn't make it up! See for yourself Trailer park drug bust turns up Los Alamos documents | Concord Monitor