31-character filenames??

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by wowoah, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. wowoah macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    I was using my new PowerBook in class yesterday and I was saving my Word file when I got a message indicating that the filename I had given it was illegal since it had exceeded 31-characters. Is this for real? I remember when Windows 95 first came out how much crap Mac users gave Microsoft for marketing long filenames as a "feature." It's so ironic that, now, it's the Mac whose filename capacity is sorely limited.

    Anyone know if Apple's planning on fixing this? It's just a little bit embarrassing if you ask me, seeing as a Windows file can have a filename over eight times longer.
  2. Chealion macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2003
    Calgary, Alberta
    What OS are oyu using? The limit has always been 31 characters for anything OS 9 and older. But starting with Mac OS X and the new UNIX underpinnings, titles are limited to a much higher number, all I remember is that its higher then Window's but who needs a filename more then 256 chracters anyway?!?
  3. wowoah thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    Really? I'm using OS 10.2, but I got that dialog box. Weird. I'll check again.
  4. 4409723 Suspended


    Jun 22, 2001
    If anything, it's a limitation of word, because Mac OS X can have long file names, as already pointed out.
  5. wowoah thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    You might be right. I guess I overreacted, hahaha. Thanks for the help.
  6. ebuc macrumors regular

    Aug 5, 2003
    I had the same problem yesterday (back to school) with Word. I'm running OS 10.2.6 and I, too, was limited to 31 characters. I tried to, in a sense, manually change the name by navigating to the filename and adding more characters. That (kinda) worked, but when I went back to Word and looked at the filename at the top it had a weird filename ending in: #D670D. I've noticed that a similar thing happens with mp3 filenames...
  7. kenkooler macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2002
    Mexico City
    I guess it's meant to provide compatibility with older versions of the MacOS
  8. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Word uses Carbon if that's got anything to do with it. At least I think it does - you can run the Word app in OS 9 so does that automatically mean it's Carbon?
  9. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    just curious, what is the point of naming a file over 32 charcters long anyway? i always name stuff as simple as possible like ; resume.rtf or wtf.html. what situations call for the need of these long names? i'm not trying to be a smartass, i really am curious.
  10. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    it's not hard for the file name to exceed 32 characters...

    if you want to put the date (8/27/2003) and several variables you are testing, perhaps, and wanted to put each type of variable in the filename, you can get up there pretty quickly. this happens to me in Excel files when i have tons of files to analyze.

    plus it's always nice to not have to worry about how long your filename is...

    as for the time Windows 95 came out touting the long name... before that, it was DOS based, so 8.3 was the limit, i think. Mac has always been 32... i don't think Mac heads made fun of Windows 95 because Macs could do unlimited length filename... it was because they've always had 32 characters, a lot more than the DOS limit...
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Remember that HFS can't handle more than 31 characters, but HFS Extended can.

    With MS Word, it may be a cross-platform limitation so that you can use the file on Windows and Mac OS equally.

    As far as .mp3 files goes, there are limitations so that everything is accessible across devices.
  12. arogge macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2002
    I use long file names for descriptions of pictures and movies so that I can easily find something in the collection with a keyword search.
  13. wowoah thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2003
    Berkeley, CA
    I intern for a law firm that generates hundreds (maybe thousands?) of documents each month. As a result, it's essential that everyone follow a standard "slugging" procedure for naming documents so that they're easy to find on the database. The procedure goes: Case Name - Recipient - Date - Subject. Thus, it's not uncommon to have documents named:

    Johnston - Clinton - 2003-5-26 - Demand for Med Exam.wpd

    That's why we need long filenames :)
  14. Alte22a macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2003
    back in London
    Does any one know how to fix the long file name problem? I recently copied a bunch of files PSD and some tiff files over network to my laptop from my desktop. I should of check before I left home. But now most of my files dont open it just says Unix executable.
  15. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    It's a limitation of Word X. I hate it just as much as you do, but the limit has been removed in Word 2004 (filenames can be up to 255 characters). The same applies to other Office v.X applications and their 2004 equivalents.
  16. psycho bob macrumors 6502a

    psycho bob

    Oct 25, 2003
    Leeds, England
    Only Cocoa apps can use the full 256 character file names. Carbon programs like Word cannot. If you buy the new version of Office then it should be a different story (I assume Microsoft have dropped support for OS9).

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