Dash vs. Underscore and File Naming (from iView to Aperture)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mfsnyc, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. mfsnyc macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    1. Is there a difference between using a dash or an underscore in naming files? Does it mean something to use one over the other?

    2. Does Aperture have any problems reading dashes or underscores in file names? Is there a file name length limit?

    I ask because I eventually may use Aperture for organizing my photographs. Currently I am using the last version of iView (before it became the Microsoft product). I'm totally happy with iView for now, and will use it for as long as I can (can't use Aperture on my machine anyway). I'm doing a massive clean-up of files and these questions came up.

    Just trying to think ahead for the future ...
  2. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    1. Usually an underbar is used in lieu of a space.

    2. Aperture has no problems with either a hyphen or an underbar. I presume the file name length limit is the same as the Mac OS limit, but perhaps someone else can say for sure.
  3. mfsnyc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    Anyone know why the iView User Manual states:

    "For maximum portability across Windows, Macintosh, and Unix networks and platforms:
    Use underscores (_) to separate blocks of information, instead of dashes or spaces."

    I know why spaces are bad, but is a dash different than an underscore?
  4. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Most all Unix commands recognize dashes as an indicator of a flag - a setting that you want passed to the command. This usually isn't an issue, though, unless your name actually started with a dash (which would be odd). But a combination of dashes and spaces could certainly be misinterpreted.

    It's also the case that a dash is not always considered a valid "word" character by some regular expression interpreters.

    When it comes to file names, though, I must admit I've used both dashes and underscores. :D Something like dog_photos-20080423 for example.
  5. pinktank macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2005
    some webservers have problems with dashes at times of upload and filesharing, underscore on the other hand, is pretty safe

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