File masks and wildcards

Automation Workshop allows using file masks as parameter for multiple inputs of Triggers and Actions. File masks provide very flexible means for identification of files or group of files based on their name and extension.

File masks consist of any combination of three general symbols types:

  • 1. Fixed characters, such as letters, numbers and other characters allowed in file names.
  • 2. ? (question-mark character) that stands in for any single character.
  • 3. * (asterisk character) that stands in for any number of various characters.

While it is clear that file mask consisting only of fixed characters uniquely identifies a file (e.g. file mask picture.jpg refers to, and only to, file named picture.jpg), file masks with wildcards (i.e., ? and * characters) can refer to single or multiple files.

For example, file mask ?at.jpg refers to all files with three letters in their name ending with at, and .jpg extension, resulting file mask ?at.jpg to pick out files with names cat.jpg, mat.jpg, hat.jpg, rat.jpg and all other files starting with any character and ending with at.jpg.

Asterisk * wildcard as a part of file mask stands in for indefinite number of various characters. For example, file mask h*e.jpg refers to all .jpg files that start with h, end with e and contain any number (including zero) in between, such as he.jpg, hue.jpg, here.jpg, house.jpg, etc. File mask and wildcard usage examples:

File maskDescription & examples
*All files with any extension.
*.*All files with any extension.
*.jpgFiles with extension .jpg.
  • image.jpg
  • desktop-wallpaper.jpg
  • 1.jpg
*.p*Files with extension starting with p.
  • document.pdf
  • document.ppt
  • business.project
  • 1.p
pic*.*Files starting with pic.
  • picture.jpg
  • pictogram.ico
  • picker.html
  • pic
*mat?.html.html files starting with anything and ending with mat followed by any single character.
  • automate.html
  • tomato.html
  • mate.html
doc?????.xls.xls files starting with doc and followed by any five characters.
  • document.xls
  • doc-1208.xls
  • doctrine.xls
???.??Files with three characters in their name and two characters in extension.
  • 123.45
?????Files with five characters in their name and without extension.
  • house
  • image
  • tasks

Note that Automation Workshop file mask filters are applied to long file names, while both long and short file (8.3) names are present in most file systems.

Related information:

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our support team.

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