File names in Windows that are up to 255 characters in length. Long file names include spaces and special characters except for slashes, colons, asterisks, open/close brackets, exclamation points and pipe symbol (/ \ : * < > ! |).
Long file names superseded the eight-plus-three (8.3) character limitation used in 16-bit DOS and Windows 3.1. Long file names are supported in Unix, Mac and Windows starting with Windows 95.
For compatibility with earlier 16-bit applications that can only deal with short names, Windows creates 8.3 names out of long ones. The long name is converted to eight or fewer characters by truncating the name and adding a number separated by a tilde (~). Names with the same first letters are differentiated by incrementing the number as in the following examples. See name mangling
Long file name Short file name
manuscript C.doc manusc~3.doc
manuscripts D & E.doc manusc~4.doc
Long folder name Short folder name
Program Files progra~1