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8.3 names

The file naming system developed in DOS. It uses up to eight characters for the file name and up to three for a file extension, separated by a dot; for example, MYLIFE.DOC. Starting with Windows 95, long file names were supported and automatically truncated to 8.3 names for compatibility (see Win Short file names).



Win Short file names

For compatibility with earlier 16-bit DOS and Windows 3.1 applications, Windows 95/98 created an 8.3 short name that was maintained alongside the long name. That compatibility was dropped in Windows XP.

The short name was derived from the first letters of the long name, followed by a sequential number and separated by the tilde symbol. Old 16-bit Windows applications support only the short names.


    Short names     Long names
    in DOS and      in Subsequent
    Windows 3.1     Windows Versions

    BUDGET~1.XLS    Budget for 2011.xls
    BUDGET~2.XLS    Budget for 2012.xls
    BUDGET~3.XLS    Budget for 2013.xls

    2011BU~1.XLS    2011 Budget.xls
    2012BU~2.XLS    2012 Budget.xls
    2013BU~3.XLS    2013 Budget.xls





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