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How-To Geek

Wild Cards

A wild card is a symbol used to indicate any value is acceptable in that location when performing a task or search query. For example, if you wanted to search for all the .jpg files on your computer you could simply plug “*.jpg” into your search tool of choice. If you wanted all the photos with the string 2001 in the file name, you could update your search to “*2001*.jpg”

Under DOS, Windows, and Linux the * wildcard stands for any number of characters, where as the ? stands for an individual character. Thus, a search for “?.jpg” would only return jpg files with a single letter file name, but “*.jpg” would return all jpg files with any length filename.

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