Computer Guide

Shortening files names for burning to a CD

by George Skarbek 6th May - 2008

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Shortening files names for burning to a CD

Q: I have a large number of old correspondence files that I would like to transfer off my computer hard drive onto CD.  However many of these files have quite long names that exceed 64 characters which seem to be a constraint with several CD burner software programs I have tried. Shortening the existing file names would be a massive job and would make any future tracing back through the correspondence nigh impossible. Do you know of a software program, preferably free or inexpensive that could accept long file names or otherwise solve my problem?

A: The file system used by CDs is the ISO9660 standard and is also referred to as Joliet. The maximum length of the file name is 64 characters. Although this is much better than the DOS limit of eight, it is a long way short of Windows limit of 255 characters.

I am not aware of any automated program that can reduce folders full of long names down to 64, and preserve the meaning which will enable you to work out what is important in the file name. CD burning programs will truncate the long files names which probably is not desirable from your point of view.

However, I can offer two suggestions. One is to use some software that will list all files with names greater then 64 characters and then you will have to manually change them.  One such program is Long Filename Finder from:

However, a much easier solution is to use WinZip or 7-zip to store these files in an archive file as all the long file names will be preserved.


Works and Word

Q: I am running Windows XP Home, which includes Microsoft Works 8. I use the Works word processor to do a lot of work about my FAMILY. I have created a fairly large wps file, but when I send it to my sons, they are unable to open it as they are running a version of Microsoft Word. So far I have been unsuccessful in trying to shift the data to WordPad or Notepad which I also have? Is WordPad or Notepad big enough to handle files of 8,400KB`S and growing? Can I get Word 2000 and Works 8 to work together?

A: WordPad will handle large files and you could cut and paste into Wordpad and then save it as a .doc file. To provide users of Office the ability to read Works files, Microsoft has free converter software that can be downloaded from: and this will allow your sons to read your Works files. This converter allows you to be able to open, edit, and save files in the Works Word Processor file format supported by the Works versions 6, 7, 8, and 9. It only works with Office 2003 and higher.


Calendar / diary program

Q: Please tell me if there is a calendar / diary in Windows XP and if so how to open it?

A: This is nothing in the XP operating system that has this feature. If you have Office, then Outlook has the calendar function. If you do not have Office then you will have to download some other program. One such good free program is Rainlendar from It is easy to use and has many good features.


Text on photos

Q: My friend adds text to her photos using Photoshop. In one of the photos she sent to me there was a spelling error. Can you tell me how I can change this?

A: You can change this only if you have Photoshop and if the text is on a separate layer. If what you have received is a JPG file then apart from using the clone brush and then trying to draw the correct letter, your only other option is to ask your friend to correct the error and re-send that image.

A much better way to annotate the image may be to add the description into the name of the image.


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