When I join file names, it's inconvenient to use FileNameJoin. The workaround is to use <> instead, however <> is not exactly like FileNameJoin.

I tried to define an operator . It just doesn't work. If I can define it, I can use it to construct file name like this, "dir1" "dir2" <> "file".


x_ < /> y_ := FileNameJoin[{x, y}]


Syntax::sntxf: "x_<" cannot be followed by "/>y_".

This is what I do, however I got an error. How can I fix it?

  • $\begingroup$ it's possible to define new operators using the Notations` package (see other answers for details). But in your case maybe you just want an alias, say FNJ and then you can use x~FNJ~y?The notations all work from box forms, which can cause issues if you embed them in a package. $\endgroup$
    – b3m2a1
    May 31 '17 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ @MB1965, I prefer </>, because it's like <>, but it can add /(path separator) automatically. Thanks, I will try it with Notations`. $\endgroup$ May 31 '17 at 16:50
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Perhaps you could choose an operator without built-in meanings from the tutorial Operators without Built-in Meanings $\endgroup$
    – Carl Woll
    May 31 '17 at 17:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ E.g., TildeTilde = FileNameJoin@*List: i.stack.imgur.com/XT6Jg.png $\endgroup$
    – Michael E2
    May 31 '17 at 17:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Possibly of interest: (27081), (31375) $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    May 31 '17 at 23:52

Suppose you were to choose TildeTilde as Michael E2 suggests. Then you don't need the Symbol Package since has interpretation as an operator already built-in.

TildeTilde[names___] := FileNameJoin[{names}]


TildeTilde[$HomeDirectory, "Desktop", "my_file.dat"]

gives me


and more to the point,

$HomeDirectory ≈ "Desktop" ≈ "my_file.dat"


There is an input alias for . You can type Esc+~+~+Esc to get . Input aliases seem be defined for most (maybe all?) of the operators with no built-in meaning.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No need to add an alias for \[TildeTilde], it already works. $\endgroup$
    – Carl Woll
    May 31 '17 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWoll. +1 I should have checked the docs. It looks like all the unassigned operator symbols have input aliases. I'll update my answer. $\endgroup$
    – m_goldberg
    May 31 '17 at 22:32
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Note that you can use WolframLanguageData (or EntityValue) to find out what the keyboard shortcuts are, e.g., WolframLanguageData["TildeTilde", "KeyboardShortcuts"] $\endgroup$
    – Carl Woll
    May 31 '17 at 23:06
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWoll. That seems like more trouble than consulting the Documentation Center. $\endgroup$
    – m_goldberg
    May 31 '17 at 23:11
  • $\begingroup$ However, if you wanted to verify that all operators in a list have an input alias, it would be a lot easier to use WolframLanguageData than the Documentation Center. $\endgroup$
    – Carl Woll
    May 31 '17 at 23:15

I favor the method m_goldberg shows but an alternative is Rojo's SubscriptBox method from Is it possible to define custom compound assignment operators like ⊕= similar to built-ins +=, *= etc?

  RowBox[arg : {_, PatternSequence[SubscriptBox["<>", "/"], _] ..}], 
] := 
  MakeExpression @ RowBox[{"FileNameJoin", "[", "{", ##, "}", "]"}] & @@ 
    Riffle[arg[[;; ;; 2]], ","]


enter image description here

To enter this operator in Windows type < > (Ctrl+-) /

  • $\begingroup$ How to type <>/ ? I tried to use the result of SubscriptBox["<>", "/"] // InputForm, however it doesn't work. $\endgroup$ Jun 1 '17 at 8:01
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @UnchartedWorks I added the exact key presses needed in Windows. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Jun 1 '17 at 19:59

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