Short File Names

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by FanJ, May 23, 2005.

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  1. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    The purpose of this thread is to give you a little help in case you need to know the Short File Name of a file or directory.

    Everyone is of course invited to post his/her favourite tool !

    Only a very short explanation:
    You might well be familiar with the way Windows tells you the full path of a file or directory (=map=folder).

    Two examples (for BOClean):
    File: C:\Program Files\NSClean\BOClean\BOC412.EXE
    Folder : C:\Program Files\NSClean\BOClean\

    Following the naming convention, those names are the so-called Long File Names (LFN).

    However, sometimes you would like to know the Short File Name (SFN).

    Short File Names are referring to the way DOS calls those files/folders.
    You don't have to worry about it : DOS does it for you.
    In SFN files have this format : 8.3
    In SFN folders have this format : 8
    The numbers 8 and 3 are referring to the numbers of characters/numbers.

    I will give you several examples.

    First again for BOClean; the Short File Names are:

    Now two examples on my system for two of Karen's Power Tools:
    Version Browser and Computer Profiler.

    Karen's Version Browser:
    Long File Name : C:\Program Files\Karen's Version Browser\PTBrowse.exe
    Short File Name : C:\PROGRA~1\KAREN'~2\PTBROWSE.EXE

    Karen's Computer Profiler:
    Long File Name : C:\Program Files\Karen's Computer Profiler\PTProfiler.exe
    Short File Name : C:\PROGRA~1\KAREN'~3\PTPROF~1.EXE

    Hey, why are there now those numbers 2 and 3 in the Short File Names?
    The answer is that this is the way DOS handles it.
    When the name of a file or folder has more than 8 characters, then DOS takes the first 6 characters, then puts the special character ~ after them, and then puts a number after it.
    I have several of Karen's Power Tools installed.
    In above example you did see the sub-directories Karen's Version Browser and Karen's Computer Profiler.
    Those folder names are too long for DOS, so DOS shortens them.
    And because I have several sub-directories with their names beginning with Karen's , DOS had to give those numbers.
    Once again: you don't have to worry about it: DOS does it for you !
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2005
  2. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    The purpose of this thread was to give you some easy tools to get those Short File Names (SFN) of a file or folder.
  3. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    I will start with the tool that I myself use:

    Ninotech Path Copy 4


    I posted already in the past in another context about it, but I decided to post it again (old posting in this thread ).

    It is free.

    It puts an entry on your right-click-context menu in Windows Explorer.
    That entry is named : Copy Path

    === Quotes from its site: ===
    Ninotech Path Copy is a shell extension for Windows 95, 98, NT4, 2000, and XP that enables to copy the path of a file or directory to the Clipboard. You can then paste the path in to your document, e-mail, etc. You copy the path of a file or directory by right-clicking it in the Windows Explorer and choosing Copy Path from the context menu. The context menu then offers nine standard ways of copying the path, in addition to the user defined copying methods that you create yourself:

    - Short Name: File/folder name converted to 8.3 characters
    - Long Name: File/folder name
    - Short Folder: Parent folder name converted to 8.3 characters
    - Long Folder: Parent folder name
    - Short Path: Full path name converted to 8.3 characters
    - Long Path: Full path name
    - Short UNC Path: Full UNC path name converted to 8.3 characters (only enabled in network environment)
    - Long UNC Path: Full UNC path name (only enabled in network environment)
    - Internet Path: Full UNC path name converted to Internet path (only enabled in network environment)
    - Setup... Create your own copy methods for copying the path names.

    === end quotes ===
  4. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    Installation remarks by me, when I installed it "some" time ago:

    The installation talks about: PATHC400.INF file
    Well, I downloaded the ZIP-file, unzipped it.
    Then there was not such a file, but there was: PATHCOPY.INF
    So I used that one instead.
    Indeed a dialog appeared asking me for the location of the other (unzipped) files, and I pointed it to that location.
    All was fine after that.

    Please note :
    This was on Windows 98 SE (Dutch).

    OK, I have now installed Ninotech Path Copy 4.
    It added an entry called "Copy Path" to my right-click-context-menu.
    That gives a sub-menu in which I have now (see screenshot):

    Attached Files:

  5. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    In that setup entry I get this:

    Attached Files:

  6. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    Well, so far for Ninotech Path Copy 4.
  7. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    However, there are other tools with which you can get the Short File Name.

    BlueZannetti posted another one (Thanks Blue !!!):


    Quotes from BlueZannetti :
    If you want a quick verify of what the DOS names are on your system, just download a utility like TrackerV3 (free for noncommercial home use) and march down the name path. The information under the General File Info tab provides the DOS filename at each step in the path.
  8. FanJ

    FanJ Guest

    And Howard posted this one (thanks Howard !!!) :

    Windows Commander.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2005
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