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… ;(

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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!


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


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?

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

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