The problem is extremely simple and can be reproduced anytime. I was trying to copy the title from the PDF and using that clipboard to rename the PDF but whenever I was trying to do that I was getting error like - "A file name can't contain any of the following characters: /:?"<>|". I am pretty sure there are no such characters in the PDF title. Also, when I paste the text into some text editor(notepad,MS-word,google search bar) and then copy again the text to rename the PDF, it works.

Why this happens?

Operating system: Windows 10 Application: Adobe PDF

  • Application? OS? – Tetsujin Aug 22 '18 at 7:00
  • Perhaps the copied text contained a newline? – Berend Aug 22 '18 at 7:42

If you paste the copied title into a hex editor or other program that does not filter input characters, you will likely discover that there are some characters that are either non-printable or otherwise violate the file name rules in Win32 (which are a little more extensive than are given in that error message; for example while filenames can include spaces, horizontal tabs are not permitted and yet can be copy-pasted). While I haven't used Adobe PDF in particular for years, text copied from a PDF is very often slightly "corrupted" (i.e. not what you expect) in some way.

Running copied text through a program that only accepts text is actually a great way to detect and/or filter out such unexpected characters. It also enables you to do things like drop unexpected whitespace.

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