U1 L 3 – Online collaboration

Lesson 3 – Online documents

self-extracting files

Online documents (such as text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics and forms) are any document that is stored online which is accessible from multiple devices (most commonly tablets, mobiles and computers).  The ability to access documents from different devices means that users can edit documents from multiple locations: whilst on the move using a phone device; in a more stationary location using a computer connected to a physical network; or using a wireless connection using an IPad.

Working with online documents means that local files frequently need to be uploaded for sharing or downloaded for editing.

File sizes can become a major issue if you are ever involved in projects that require the use of high quality images or video.  Word or Powerpoint presentation documents can also grow to become very large file sizes which are difficult to distribute.

The table below explains the units by which files are described.

What do each of the units of computer storage actually mean?

  • 1 B = 1 byte;
  • 1 kB = 1000 bytes;
  • 1 MB = 1000 kB;
  • 1 GB = 1000 MB or 1 000 000 000 bytes.

(To confuse matters, “1 KB” or “1K” is used by many computer people to mean 1024 bytes, which is a convenient number in binary, and memory or disk is often allocated by operating systems in units of 1024.  To avoid this confusion with standard scientific usage of “mega-” and so on, the terms “kibibyte” (KiB), “mebibyte” (MiB), “gibibyte” (GiB) and “tebibyte” are now recommended for these non-decimal technical units.  You might still feel short-changed if you bought a 4GB flash drive and it’s only 3.725GiB.  For simplicity this article will stick to round 1000s and kilobytes [kB].)

Table of approximate file sizes

Bytes in units Typical meaning
1 1 byte or 8 bits A single keystroke or (non-accented) character; a number from 0 to 255
70 70 B A line of text
1,000 1 kB Half a page of unformatted text; a very short email;
an icon or small button image
8,000 8 kB Typical size of an organisation’s logo as you might want it on a web page
(about 200 x 200 pixels PNG or GIF)
30,000 30 kB A 5-page word-processor document; a typical HTML web page; traditionally, the maximum recommended size for an image on a web page (maybe 640 x 480 pixels JPEG)
100,000 100 kB The maximum recommended total of all the elements on a single web page, including images and HTML (some authorities say 30 or 40 kB instead)
500,000 500 kB A 5-page word-processor document including a badly-chosen letterhead or logo image;
a reasonable size for a PDF document someone might choose to download;
two 1280×960 JPEG photos from a smartphone, too large for inline use in a web page
1,000,000 1 MB 1 minute of near-CD quality audio as MP3 or OGG;
A 2048×1536 (4 megapixel) JPEG photo from a smartphone or digital camera, even if blurry because of low light;
the complete comedies and tragedies of Shakespeare when compressed using bzip2
5,000,000 5 MB A three-minute MP3 audio at a very high bitrate (256kpbs);
1 minute of low-resolution video, or of streaming from a video-sharing site;
all the Wikileaks cablegate files released by mid-Dec 2010;
a 20-page PDF which might include a badly-chosen cover photo;
the complete works of Shakespeare (uncompressed)
10,000,000 10 MB Maximum size of an email that you can expect all recipients to receive

Download the following zip file and save it to your work area

Online collaboration zip file

Download the following task sheet/writing framework and save it to your work area

Lesson 3 Task sheet – File compression and collaborative working