Long and short file names explained

Now that we can use long file names (file names longer than 11 characters), here are some facts about them and short file names:
  • Every long file name has an alias that complies with the 8.3 file names for backward compatibility.
  • 8.3 aliases to long file names consist of the first 6 characters of the long file name followed by a ~ and an incrementing number/character. For example, if there are two or more long file names starting with the same six characters, then the number/character followed by ~ will be incremented until an unique file name is generated.
Short file names may contain only the following characters:
  • Numbers (0,1-9)
  • Letters (A-Z, a-z)
  • Blank (yes, theoretically you can have spaces!)
  • ASCII characters greater than 127
  • Special characters:
o $ % ' - _ @ ~ ` ! ( ) ^ # &

Long file names may contain only the following characters:
  • All of the characters supported by short file names
  • Special characters:
o + , ; = [ ]

Length of the long file names are limited to 255 characters (260 for full paths) and short file names are limited to 8+3 or 11 characters (80 for full path names).

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