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Old 06-16-2017, 07:44 PM   #1
Andrew B.
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Default Insert backslash in file name - Windows

Windows Explorer won't allow me to rename or create a file to include a backslash in the name. But three utilities I tested (file manager, renamer, download manager) allowed me to do this. This results in a new folder that derives its name from what was before the backslash. And inside that folder is the file with a name that comes from what followed the backslash.

I've known about this for awhile, but never used it until today. Very powerful when you need this ability. So I searched online and I don't see people talking about this for use in Windows.

Is this arcane knowledge? Have you heard about this before?

   
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:04 AM   #2
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I didn't know that some utilities allowed you to create subdirectories on the fly like this, which is pretty clever & useful. But as backslashes aren't allowable characters in filenames, it's reasonable that Windows would slap your finger when you try to type one in. In Win 7's file explorer, as soon as you type one of the "no-no" characters while renaming a file, it immediately pops up a tooltip telling you the unallowable characters and won't let you actually USE them.

   
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Old 06-17-2017, 11:30 AM   #3
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As Steve notes, this is definitely a no-no and my guess is that the utilities you mentioned (file manager, renamer, download manager) have been coded to see the backslash as a directory/sub-directory creation command which I suspect means that Windows never sees the backslash until after the utility has done a "create new directory/subdir" command.

It's kind of what utilities are for--figuring out how-to and bundling up stuff we'd like to be able to do but Windows does not allow...'-}}



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Old 06-17-2017, 04:01 PM   #4
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That's what I was thinking. It probably even uses this internally when creating folders with Windows Explorer.

   
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Old 06-18-2017, 08:01 AM   #5
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Bingo.

Some of my add-ins do the same kind of thing ... let the user browse to a folder or type in the folder name, and if the folder they typed in doesn't exist, offer to create it for them.

   
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:05 AM   #6
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I just just tried a practical application in my rename utility. A bunch of photos names consist of a person's name, a photo set name, and then the sequential numbers. I inserted a backslash before the sequential numbers and it created folders that are named with the person name and set name. No prompting to ask me if I wanted to create a folder. It just did it. And with a second pass I appended the name of the current folders for all files, thus giving them their full names back while leaving them in the folders.

With the use of regex I could probably do this in one pass. Except I don't know regex. This might motivate me to learn.

   
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
andrew: I inserted a backslash before the sequential numbers and it created folders that are named with the person name and set name.
That is very slick and handy...'-}}



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Old 06-19-2017, 06:04 AM   #8
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Pretty cool (though I think I'd prefer that it ask me before it goes and creates directories for me).

   
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:45 AM   #9
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It depends on the nature of the program. The nature of doing batch operations is that you don't have to give repetitive input while it's operating. With the rename utility it lets the user preview the change. It also has an undo feature. With my download manager, one of its purposes is manage things unattended.

   
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:08 AM   #10
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Ah, so this is part of an automated workflow; in that case, I can see that you wouldn't want any "Wait! Are you SURE?" prompts popping up partway through the operation.

   
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