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Why is there a tilde (~) in my downloaded documents?

Symptom

The folders and documents in my bulk download have tilde symbols (~) throughout them.

Cause

Both Windows and Mac computers have a 255 character limit for a file path. An example file path such as this:  C:\Users\John Brown\Desktop\Finance\Document.xls is 48 characters long. Once you exceed 255 characters, the operating system must remove characters from the file path and replace them with tilde (~) in order to make the folder path fit on your computer.

This process of replacing characters with tilde is called Truncation.

Solution

In order to minimize the chance of truncation, there are a few best practices:

  1. When doing a Direct to Disk download, choose the root of your computer’s hard drive as the save location (c:\), rather than a location like your Desktop or network drive.
  2. Do not choose to include project name in the Download Options. If you are downloading from the top level of the project, your entire folder structure will be downloaded, so there is no need to include project name in the folder path.
  3. When extracting a zip download, extract the zip file to the root of your hard drive (c:\), rather than your desktop or a subfolder.

My folder and document names still have tilde symbols in them

If you have followed the best practices tips and you are still seeing truncation in the folder and document names, you can use the Table_of_contents.html file that is included in your download. This is an interactive offline webpage that will display the folder and document names exactly how they appear in the data room.

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