How come files viewed in IMW have a “~” in them?

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How come files viewed in IMW have a “~” in them?


Intersection Magic does not support long file names. IMW takes advantage of MS Windows to convert long names, to short names. The resulting names have a tilde (~) as the second to last character.


When listing files in file/open dialog boxes, you will see files that have the first 6 characters followed by ~1 or ~2. This is how Windows shortens the filenames automatically. However the algorithm isn’t as simple as that. In many cases, file names get shortened by adding other characters and numbers.
Microsoft’s web site contains a complete description of how it creates short file names and how configuration changes in the registry may be used to change these rules.

Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for Intersection Magic. The best suggestions we can make are

  1. Use 8.3 file names for input and output of Intersection Magic routines.
  2. Use sub-directories to categorize files so that the names can be shorter (i.e.: c:imwfiles2003march25.txt instead of 2003March025.txt)

Here are links to Microsoft’s description of how long filenames are created in Win 98 and in Win XP

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