Why can't I use punctuation in a file name?

MLStrand56 complained to the Windows forum about Windows' inability to save file names containing punctuation.

MLStrand56 complained to theA WindowsA forum about Windows' inability to save file names containing punctuation.

[Email your tech questions toA answer@pcworld.comA or post them on theA PCW Answer Line forum.]

Actually, the problem isn't anywhere near as serious as some might think. Of the 32 punctuation characters available on your keyboard, all but nine can be used in file names.

The nine that can't are:

  • \
  • /
  • :
  • *
  • ?
  • "

September, the TrojanA Troj/Backdr-HGA spread with the help of a file called Microsoft-Services-Agreement.pdf.exe, which looked to many users like Microsoft-Services-Agreement.pdf.

People thought they were opening a .pdf, when they were really launching a program.

Read the originalA forum discussion.

This story, "Why can't I use punctuation in a file name?" was originally published by PCWorld.

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