File names are only 31 characters???

in macOS edited January 2014
So is the file name length only 31 characters? I can't name files with

more than 31...

I thought this would have changed with OS X...


  • Reply 1 of 3
    It all depends on the app you're using.

    It the developer is stuck in the dark ages using Carbon and hasn't updated the dozen-or-so lines of code for the save dialogs, then yes, that app may limit you to 31 characters.

    Microsoft Office, not surprisingly, suffers from this limitation.

    Nearly all modern apps support the full 255-character names. The Finder will only display the first 150 in the file name edit box, but the rest are still there.

    This limitation was actually "broken" looong before Mac OS X. I believe support has been there since HFS+ was first introduced with Mac OS 8.1. The only problem was that the old Finder couldn't write those long names (but it would preserve existing long names with file moves/copies); so, developers didn't really start adding support until Mac OS X.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    dmband0026dmband0026 Posts: 2,345member
    Grrr...This should come as no surprise to anyone, but AppleWorks is still limited...very limited. It makes naming stuff for school rather difficult sometimes.

    We need a new AppleWorks!!! (That should also be no surprise to anyone)
  • Reply 3 of 3
    costiquecostique Posts: 1,084member

    Originally posted by Brad

    I believe support has been there since HFS+ was first introduced with Mac OS 8.1.

    If I'm not mistaken, Navigation Services (which provide resizable open/save dialogs in classic Mac OS) fully support long file names. If a developer does not check for file name length > 31 symbols explicitly in a stupidity fit or uses outdated API, well, yes, you get restricted to 31 symbols. Moreover, certain apps even manage to not understand non-Roman characters.
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