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In Windows 7:

  1. Start notepad.
  2. Type some text.
  3. Save file => for file name, specify the text => Hello?
  4. Press enter or click Save. Nothing happens. No error dialog. Simply, the "Save dialog" stays open.

What gives?

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migrated from Oct 9 '10 at 6:30

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Windows supports using * to mean any number of characters, and ? to mean exactly one character; if you type a name in a file selection dialog that contains those characters it filters the dialog to only show files that match that name, so you can type "*.txt" and hit Enter to show all text files, or "test?" to show all files with the name "testX" for any X:

Before filtering

Before filtering

After filtering

After filtering

You're telling the save dialog to show all files with the name Hello with one extra character at the end, which is probably none, but the dialog stays open either way waiting for you to actually choose a filename

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+1 for pics. :) Illustrates the issue perfectly. – cHao Oct 9 '10 at 7:45
I tried this out. If you create a file on desktop and then in the filename you use the * or ? then Windows says "....a filename cannot contain....*...?...". But when you do the same from the File->Save dialog, Windows doesn't "say" anything. From the user's eye, it simply shows the dialog again and leaves the user wondering "what the hell, why isn't it saving". What's the deal with that? – Zabba Oct 11 '10 at 6:04
@Zabba Right, for exactly the reason I said -- It doesn't think you're trying to save with that filename, it thinks you're trying to filter the dialog – Michael Mrozek Oct 11 '10 at 6:06
But why? I'm simply giving a file name? If the file name is not allowed to contain some characters, shouldn't that be obvious? I'm confused here. – Zabba Oct 11 '10 at 6:10
@Zabba Did you see the part about filtering? If you type a filename in a dialog that includes * or ?, the dialog assumes you're trying to filter the current list of files, and shows only files that match that pattern. foo* will filter the dialog to show all files that start with foo, and foo? will filter the dialog to show all files that start with foo and have exactly one character after it. foo?? shows files that start with foo with exactly two characters after it, etc. – Michael Mrozek Oct 11 '10 at 7:21

When you Save (or Save As), Notepad will go to the organize page.

Make sure the Documents tab on the left side of the page is highlighted.

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Save the same file but but a number after it. (=ABC1) After that your computer should inform your about not finding any matches on your computer. (=No items match your search) Click save and the problem is solved.

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