List of not allowed characters in the File name: make it OS-specific!

Right now there is a following list of characters, that are not allowed to use in File name:

And as far as I know the only character, that is not allowed in the file names on Mac is ‘:’. So, please, make this list OS-specific. I want to be able to use more symbols in my notes names!



Actually, the only forbidden member of that list on MacOS is / (as it’s the path separator):

$ touch "a*b"
$ touch a\"b
$ touch a\\b
$ touch "a<b"
$ touch "a>b"
$ touch "a:b"
$ touch "a|b"
$ touch "a?b"
$ touch "a/b"
touch: a/b: No such file or directory
$ ls -l
.rw-r--r-- 0 gimbo staff 31 May 22:11 a"b
.rw-r--r-- 0 gimbo staff 31 May 22:11 a*b
.rw-r--r-- 0 gimbo staff 31 May 22:12 a:b
.rw-r--r-- 0 gimbo staff 31 May 22:12 a<b
.rw-r--r-- 0 gimbo staff 31 May 22:12 a>b
.rw-r--r-- 0 gimbo staff 31 May 22:12 a?b
.rw-r--r-- 0 gimbo staff 31 May 22:12 a\b
.rw-r--r-- 0 gimbo staff 31 May 22:12 a|b

Like you, I would like to be able to use all the legal characters in filenames; I suppose the argument against is that if files are synced between systems using Dropbox, stricter restrictions might help prevent surprises.

Indeed, I suspect that’s the motivation for the exact list we see, judging by this page in the Dropbox help (see the section on " Incompatible characters with Windows").

For myself, I never use Windows, and not being able to put : or " in filenames is annoying. I’m a grown up and I can live with the consequences of weird cross-platform sync issues; I don’t think it should be Obsidian’s job to protect me from that.


:clap: yes please!

This could be an option in setting (to turn on and off) and to convert names by removing not special characters in settings

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After giving this a second though I think this is a major design flaw in Obsidian: most of the linking is going on a file name title level, and there is no way to name the note in natural language (* Important note: "Hello world?").
Seems terribly wrong to me… ;(

Actually, Obsidian successfully displays, opens and handles notes with illegal characters in file-name:

Unfortunately, Obsidian just does not allow to create them. Should this be considered as a bug? @Licat, any chance to fix this? Thanks!

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@Valery_Kondakoff I created a feature request to separate filenames from note title (display names)

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will be implemented in v0.11


Where is this screenshot from? I’m trying to find it in the app, as I’m surprised I was able to have a note with " in the name, and your screenshot suggests that that wasn’t allowed.

I sometimes create files with obsidian on MacOS and sync them to my Windows PC.

Then I have to opposite problem: I create a note on MacOS with a “?” in the filename and can’t pull that change on windows as long as there is a “?” in the filename.

Maybe the forbidden characters can be made configurable?

Did this actually get implemented? I can’t find any option on v0.12.12.

This is implemented. There is no option, if your OS/filesystem supports that character, it will work.