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in the file vs on the file

It sounds better to say "in the file" than "on the file." Picture a manila file; does it have documents inside it or on top of it?

in the file

This is correct

You can use this phrase when referring to a document within a file.

Explanation provided by a TextRanch English expert


Some examples from the web:

  • Other... possible missing persons are in the file.
  • Her info's in the file.
  • The person's prints must be included as WSQ
  • compressed images in the file.
  • Additional Type
  • 15 records may be included in the file.
  • Top secret government documents, some of which are in the file.
  • Everything else is in the file.

on the file

This is not correct. Don't use this phrase.

If you are referring to something within a file, you would use the words "in the file," not "on the file." However, you could use the phrase "on file" when talking about maintaining a record, for example, "We will keep your resume on file."

Explanation provided by a TextRanch English expert.


Some examples from the web:

  • Open the Downloads app. Touch Internet downloads or Other downloads. Press and hold down on the file you want to delete. Touch the trashcan icon to remove  ...
  • Jun 5, 2012 ... Steve Jobs on the File System. After Tim Cook's first appearance at the D10 conference last week, All Things D released a podcast containing ...
  • Sign in to the Dropbox website; Click in the white space to the right of the file name on the file viewer page (if your file is inside of a folder, first open the folder)  ...
  • We're showing you how to deal on the
  • file · Relax to the max. Zen
  • out before the busy week ahead with our 5 · Getting wet with this guy. Find out why he gets ...

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