I'm working with character animations and it happens that I need to replace an existing image with exact same name.


  • Arm R
  • Leg R
  • Face A
  • Face B
  • etc
  • .. ..

I edit those inside Illustrator. Then I want replace Arm R with the new edited Arm R. However when I save & export, Illustrator exports like this "Arm-R". So the original image is not replaced instead I have 2 images now.

One called Arm R, other called Arm-R. I did not put a hyphen myelf.

It's a time killer to remove all the hyphens later from the name.

How to prevent Illustrator to put a hyphen into a file name?

  • 3
    Where I come from we Never put a space in a file name. I prefer an underscore. camelCase works too. Illustrator puts the hyphen to prevent the file name from having a space. That used to break some old machines, like me.
    – Webster
    Apr 13, 2018 at 22:56
  • 2
    Spaces in file names can wreak havoc in web server environments. You should not use spaces in filenames if the file is going to be on a web server. If the file is not going be on web server, you possibly should not be using Save for Web.
    – Scott
    Apr 13, 2018 at 23:27

1 Answer 1


Respectfully, you have it the "wrong way round" and in this instance, for a variety of reasons Illustrator is right, and you are wrong.

I find myself using underscores as spaces in every filename I ever make, psd's, .ai files...everything. You simply never know where a file might end up (like a web-server, or backed up to a NAS where you might want to perform bulk, command-line, operations on it). - Spaces cause ambiguity.

You would not want to delete your current file names from a web-server via:

rm Face A

...which would delete all the files called "Face", and all the files called "A" but you would not delete the file you intended. Non intended outcomes on web-servers (or backup machines) are scary!

Likewise is URLS you would face problems if you ever tried to download:

www.example.com/face a.txt

Also of course you have just run into an instance where an application is making the right choice... saving a file for the web should certainly avoid spaces, and you are having to carry out additional work to make the situation worse. This in itself should deter you.

I recommend you get a decent, free, file-renamer, like Bulk Renamer and that you put all those hyphens back (or go pro...with the underscore haha) and then abandon all thoughts of spaces from henceforth! You_will_not_regret_it!

  • 1
    Then_no_more_space_in_file_names. Thanks_for_the_detailed_info :D
    – Moon Star
    Apr 14, 2018 at 9:40
  • haha my_pleasure Apr 14, 2018 at 14:37

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