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Icon Names

Mac OS is very flexible when it comes to names for files, folders, and disks.

  • A file or folder name can be up to 255 characters long. A disk name can be up to 27 characters long.

  • A name can contain any character except a colon (:). This makes it easy to give your files, folders, and disks names that make sense to you.


  • Normally, you name documents when you save them. Saving documents is covered in Chapter 5.

  • A lengthy file name may appear truncated (or shortened) when displayed in windows and lists.

  • Since Mac OS 9.x and earlier cannot recognize very long file names, it's not a good idea to use them to name files you may work with in Mac OS 9. Instead, stick to file names of 31 characters or less.

  • No two documents in the same folder can have the same name.

  • Because slash characters (/) are used in pathnames, it's not a good idea to use them in names. In fact, some programs (such as Microsoft Word X) won't allow you to include a slash in a file name.

  • Working with and naming disks is covered later in this chapter.

To rename an icon

  1. Click the icon to select it (Figure 25).

    Figure 25Figure 25 Start by selecting the icon.

  2. Point to the name of the icon, and click. After a brief pause, a box appears around the name and the name be comes selected (Figure 26).

    Figure 26Figure 26 When you click, an edit box appears around the name.

  3. Type the new name. The text you type automatically overwrites the selected text (Figure 27).

    Figure 27Figure 27 Type a new name for the icon.

  4. Press r or e, or click anywhere else. The icon is re named (Figure 28).

    Figure 28Figure 28 When you press r, the name changes.


  • Not all icons can be renamed. If the edit box does not appear around an icon name (as shown in Figure 26), that icon cannot be renamed.

  • You can also rename an icon in the Info win dow, which is covered in Chapter 4.

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