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date 29.May.2022

■ Filename filters for showing, marking or searching files

Filename wildcards are a great tool for locating files in a large folder structure. As most of you probably know, a wildcard is part of the filename you are searching for, combined with the special characters * and ? that behave like the Joker in a Rummy card game: If you design the wildcard appropriately, you get a variable string template that will help you find the files you are after. For example the filename ABC.txt could be matched by either ???.tx? or by A*.txt — you get the idea!

Most xplorer² functions that search, select or filter for filenames have the same user interface (e.g. Find Files dialog <Ctrl+F>). You enter the filename you are after in the Named box:
filename wildcard box

If you don't add any explicit wildcard characters (no * or ? present), then xplorer² automatically expands the name you type, adding wildcards back and front. This means that it will search for filenames that contain your text anywhere inside them (think of searching a word inside a sentence). For example:

Your input: DEPEND
Automatic wildcard: *DEPEND*
Possible matches: DEPEND.txt, DEPEND.doc, independent.rar etc

If you don't want this automatic wildcard expansion, just add at least one special symbol ? or * as in DEPEND.* (which will match all files called DEPEND with any extension). Another possibility is to start with a colon : sign, which will match what you type exactly, whether it contains wildcards or not, e.g. :DEPEND.txt will only match filenames called DEPEND.TXT — you need to supply the extension too.

Filenames comprise the actual name plus the file type, which is usually a 3 letter extension at the end, separated by a dot. xplorer² usually shows the complete name+extension in the Name column, unless you have ticked "Hide extensions for known file types" system folder option in control panel; in this case only the display name will show without the extension (TEST.TXT will show as TEST). Even in this case though the wildcard will apply to the entire name (extension included), so WAGs should take note :)

What if you want to search for two or more names or wildcards? No problem, just separate them with commas as in *.TXT,*.DOC that will match all files that are either plain text TXT or office DOC documents. This comma separated list is used a lot in xplorer² e.g. the predefined file categories like {documents} and {pictures} are defined as comma separated lists of extensions.

What if you want to match a filename that contains a comma? Escape it with two commas in a row ,,

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