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Directories and Files

The main component of the file browser dialogue consists of two scroll lists placed side by side. The left list is labelled "Directory" and shows a list of other directories to choose from. The right list is the list of files in the currently displayed directory.

Double clicking with the left mouse button on a directory updates the file list. If a filter file browser component is visible then the current directory will be displayed as the start of the filter. The directory named ".." is the parent directory of the current directory.

Single clicking on a file name updates the Selection component. Double clicking on a file name chooses this file and removes the dialogue. That is, it is equivalent to single clicking on the file to update the selection followed by pressing the `OK' button.


The top component of the file browser shown in the introduction contained a Filter component. This consists of a text entry window containing a string of the form directory_name/file_pattern.

Some dialogues may not have a Filter component. In these cases the file_pattern is taken to be "*". Hence all files will be listed. The directory_name is the directory that the current list of files are contained within. The file_pattern is used to specify which of the files within this directory should be listed in the file list. The pattern uses the same form as UNIX shell wild card matching. To summarise this see the following table of simple examples.

Every filename
Every filename starting in "xb"
Every filename starting with "a" and ending with "b"
Every three letter filename with "a" as the first letter and "b" as the last letter.
Every filename ending in "scf"
Every filename ending with "scf" or "Scf".
Every filename ending with "scf" or "SCF".

Some file browsers also include a Formats component. This is used to select the input or output format of the selected file. Updating the format will typically also update the filter.

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This page is maintained by James Bonfield. Last generated on 2 Febuary 1999.