this is an ultra noob question. but I'm learning commands in the terminal and whenever I have to reference a text file in the terminal (which I made in the text editor), I have to put speech marks around it 'like this', see the picture for what I am talking about.

the text file is Untitled Document 1 and it has speech marks around it. why is this? can't it have an extension at the end, and if not, why not?

THank you

the file I'm referencing is circled yellow, why does it have to have speech marks around it?

  • 1
    Extensions have no meaning in Linux. A file "foo.txt" might be a text file, or it might be a movie. Spaces, however, have significant meaning: foo bar baz is not the same as foo "bar baz". Google will happily teach your about shell syntax.
    – user535733
    Mar 24, 2021 at 23:44
  • Please do not show pictures of text include all text in the body of the question.
    – David
    Apr 5, 2021 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


"..." and '...' are very usefull. Basically, it makes it clear that it is one file instead of multiple. Lets say you have a file called foo bar. If you want to edit the file, you would use nano. So nano foo bar. But we have a problem: nano is now going to search for a file called foo and a file called bar. We don't want that! So we're going to need to put quotes around it to say "hey, you aren't supposed to look for two files. This is one file!" Everything between "..." will be seen as one file, no matter how many spaces are between the words inside.

So doing nano foo bar test will make nano search for the files foo, bar and test. But if we do this: nano foo "bar test", it is going to search for the files foo and bar test. Or in your case: instead of searching for Untitled, Document and 1, you want to search for Untitled Document 1, so you need to quote it.

There is a difference between "..." and '...', but you'd first need to learn about variables and how to call them. So that isn't important. When doing what you want to do, I advice using '...'!

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