Appending numbers in brackets to filenames

April 24, 2011 at 18:07:07
Specs: Windows XP Pro
I have searched for a hack or registry tweak for this to no avail. WinXP Pro automatically appends a number in brackets to the filename when saving a file from the web in the "save as" dialog box. eg. filename[1].pdf

It has nothing to do with another file in the directory having the same name as the saved file, as there is no other file name even close, yet XP insists on appending that annoying number in brackets. Of course I can change it before saving the file, but that's what I consider double work.

Does anyone on this planet have a way to disable it?

Thanks for you time and input!

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April 24, 2011 at 22:54:37
HighTech, when you select 'save as', mine asks for input as to where and under what filename. Yours ? Left alone it defaults (mine goes to document for filename [adds #'s if needed] and last accessed folder for where). Suspect you simply need to supply (manually type) a filename.
Ed in Texas

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April 24, 2011 at 23:44:56
"...when saving a file from the web..." suggests it is a characteristic of IExplorer, not WinXP Pro as you state, so you may have been chasing in the wrong direction.

For instance, take a look at Temporary Internet Files and you will see multiple instances of this. IEXplorer is automatically "saving" files by the "original" file name, and appending numerals when it encounters ensuing files by the same name, for example index.html, index[1].html, index[2].html, etc.. This behavior is intended by IE. You will also notice that it does not append a numeral when it encounters a new file name for the first time. All of this is intended.

Other browsers handle like situations differently.

This is IE caching files to achieve greater surfing speed.

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April 24, 2011 at 23:48:51
Well, the "save as" dialog box opens and of course it asks me what directory I want to save it in and the filename is already filled in with the name of the file I'm downloading or saving, but I would say 8 times out of 10, it appends a number in brackets to the filename. And it does not have to do with it checking to see if there is another file by the name already in the directory because it will use the same number if I were to save it again. For instance, I opened a pdf on the web and read it and decided to save a copy. When the "save as" dialog opened up, it had the default save directory and the filename was set to the name of the pdf with a [1].pdf appended to the file name. (ex. marketing[1].pdf).

Just for a kick, I opened the file on the web a second time, and clicked to save it and when the "save as" dialog opened, it again showed "marketing[1].pdf" as the default filename to save with, although this time there is already a file by that name in the directory from me saving it the first time, so it's not checking nor do I believe it has anything to do with appending a number because it detects a file with that name is already there. (Of course if I do hit save and a file with that name is already there, it will tell me so and ask if I want to replace it, as normal).

But as I originally said, in the majority of cases, it will append a number in brackets even if there is no other file in the directory with that name already, or even if the directory is empty! I have lots of files with an appended number in brackets in many directories because I did not take the time to remove it from the default filename when I saved them.

I'm thinking there must be away to disable XP from appending numbers in brackets to the filename when saving, but I have as of yet to find it...

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April 24, 2011 at 23:56:09

I briefly thought of that tonight, because I have noticed it usually does not do it with Firefox, so you may be absolutely correct, it may be IE doing it. Even though as I said, I don't believe it has anything to do with checking to see if a filename with that name is already there, because it will do it even when saving to an empty directory. I will investigate further... Thanks for your input!

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April 25, 2011 at 06:34:05
Your last comment confirms what I said. IE is saving it from cached files (Temporary Internet Files)... it has already been assigned that appended number. IE is not fetching a fresh copy from the web if it already has an identical one (same properties: size, date, etc.). Avoiding that is counter-productive to the virtual speed of that browser.

Firefox also tries to "speed things up" (don't all browsers?), but uses different techniques, as you have discovered.

I don't think you can avoid that "number appending" without much more effort than merely 3 backspaces during a "save as..." operation, while at the same time de-grading IE's performance. Convince yourself it is a minor inconvenience, and you will be happier ;)... OR... quit IExplorer.

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April 25, 2011 at 11:23:46
Yes, it is indeed IE and I have also found that is does not do it if I directly save the file, instead of opening it first, the latter being the reason a copy is already in cache and why it appends the number.

Thank you so much for leading me in the right direction. I very rarely use IE anymore, usually FF, I just have SO MANY organized bookmarks in IE, I guess its time to look at somehow importing them to FF and be done with IE.

Thanks again! Take care...

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