Purpose: obtaining the system (short) path from a full path

Background: File dialogs (visual studio) return a full path (e.g. f=C:\this path has spaces\thisfilenameislongerthan8char.txt). If this value is provided to Python, it will not recongize this as a file. In fact os.path.isfile(f) doesnt return false, it crashes. Likewise, when calling executables (from Python) with files as arguments a short path is required. VB FileSystemObject has the ShortPath method, while os.path and path (www.jorendorff.com) modules do not (at least as far as my googling could determine). Why bother creating a COM interface when youre just going to pass as shell run-time arguments all the values the server is better at computing?

System: Python 2.3; Windows XP

Sample Code:

import win32com.client

import time

import os,sys

import os.path


def shortpath(x):


  for y in x.split('\\'):

    if len(y.split('.')[0])>8:

      if ('.' in y):






  return z[1:]


xlApp = win32com.client.Dispatch("Excel.Application")

xlBook = xlApp.ActiveWorkbook

savFile = str(sys.argv[1])

rawFile = str(xlBook.Sheets("Timestamp").TextBox2)

#print os.path.isfile(savFile)


print r


  print os.path.isfile(r)


  print 'something rude'


Notes: This code does not account for peer paths or files that share the first 8 characters (and file extension). Im also aware that this is not the normal means for submitting a patch, but in my job function I dont see myself regularly participating in python development (and I’m probably not savvy enough) so the effort wasnt worth it. However I still thought others might benefit from what seems to be (to me) a fundamental path function. Do with it, or ignore it, as you please.


Bryan Hartwell

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