Can't import files with '/' in filename

New Here ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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Importing my Pictures Folder, I'm finding that Lightroom won't import any file with '/' in its name, nor any file that has a parent folder with '/' in its name.  Many other image browsers can handle this.  Is there a setting in Lightroom to cause it to not see '/' in a path component as an error?

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LEGEND ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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I don't think so.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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The "/" is a special character to the operating system, and it is not allowed to be in filenames (or folder names) ever. This is an operating system restriction, and is not related to Lightroom specifically.

 

In some Unix-based systems, you can "trick" the OS to have a "/" character in the name using some escape sequences, but it is normally forbidden.

 

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New Here ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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I'm a Linux/iOS programmer.  I know that a '/' is generally a path component separator.  But the Finder allows it to be used in file and folder names.  And other photo browsing software handles it just fine.  (I assume they do so by escaping the '/' in the file path.)  So why can't Lightroom handle it?

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LEGEND ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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Lightroom Classic does not run on Linux/iOS

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New Here ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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I also program for MacOS.  One CAN write an app to handle '/'s in path components!  🙂

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LEGEND ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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Just because it may be possible, that doesn't mean that Adobe has to allow this.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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"/" is indeed a legal file name character on Mac OS, and it's a very old bug that LR doesn't handle it properly.  But I very much doubt Adobe will ever fix the bug.

 

I retested a bunch of programs on my Mac, and they all correctly opened the file "a/b.png": Finder, Photoshop, Firefox, Acrobat Pro, Chrome, Safari, Imovie, Onenote, Word.

 

See this bug report for more details on how Mac OS treats "/" in file names:

https://feedback-readonly.photoshop.com/conversations/lightroom-classic/lightroom-cant-import-files-...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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"/" is indeed a legal file name character on Mac OS

 

Even though that is true, since Lightroom is cross-platform I would have thought Adobe would stick to cross-platform limitations to promote best practice cross-platform file naming conventions.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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"I would have thought Adobe would stick to cross-platform limitations to promote best practice cross-platform file naming conventions."

 

If that was the intention, LR does a poor job of implementing it:

 

- Windows File Explorer won't let you name a file containing any of * ? " < > |, but Mac LR happily imports file names containing those characters.

 

- Though Mac LR won't let you import a file name containing \ / : you can rename a file in the Metadata panel to contain those characters.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 20, 2022 Mar 20, 2022

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Good points @johnrellis.

 

The illegal characters field in Edit > Preferences > File Handling > File Name Generation is supposed to substitute these characters to mitigate cross-platform naming issues. I'll have to test what happens if the field is cleared entirely.

 

I have always stuck to A-Z, a-z, 0-9, - and _ for my file and folder names on Mac and PC. Plus I rarely use even the spacebar. So I've always managed to avoid these issues.

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