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Wildcard character

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Title: Wildcard character  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Asterisk, Regular expression, Wild Card (2015 film), Schema (genetic algorithms), PIC16x84
Collection: Computer File Formats, Pattern Matching
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Wildcard character

The term wildcard character has several meanings.


In telecommunications, a wildcard is a character that may be substituted for any of a defined subset of all possible characters.

  • In high-frequency (HF) radio automatic link establishment, the wildcard character "?" may be substituted for any one of the 36 characters, "A" through "Z" and "0" through "9."
  • Whether the wildcard character represents a single character or a string of characters must be specified.


In computer (software) technology, a wildcard character can be used to substitute for any other character or characters in a string.

File and directory patterns

When specifying file names (or paths) in CP/M, DOS, Microsoft Windows, and Unix-like operating systems, the asterisk pattern character ("*", also called "star") matches zero or more characters.

In Unix-like and DOS operating systems, the question mark ("?") matches exactly one character; in DOS, if

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