symbolic link

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Symbolic Link

(file format)
(SYLK) A Microsoft file format for spreadsheets, (not to be confused with symbolic link).

SYLK format existed in one form or another in as early as 1987, and was part of Excel v1.0. It is is an outgrowth of VisiCalc DIF file format.

SYLK format is ascii text and represents information about both formula, value, and some formatting information, which makes it something like an RTF for spreadsheets. It is used as a general tabular data exchange format.

symbolic link

(file system)
(Or "symlink", "soft link" (by contrast with "hard link"), "shortcut", "alias") A special type of Unix file which refers to another file by its pathname. A symbolic link is created with the "ln" (link) command:


Where OLDNAME is the target of the link (usually a pathname) and NEWNAME is the pathname of the link itself.

Most operations (open, read, write) on the symbolic link automatically dereference it and operate on its target (OLDNAME). Some operations (e.g. removing) work on the link itself (NEWNAME).

In contrast with hard links, there are no restrictions on where a symbolic link can point, it can refer to a file on another file system, to itself or to a file which does not even exist (e.g. when the target of the symlink is removed). Such problems will only be detected when the link is accessed.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (

symbolic link

In Unix, a file that points to another file or directory. It is used to allow a variety of sources to point to a common destination. The Windows 2000 counterpart is the "virtual directory." When URLs are redirected, it is called "URL mapping." A symbolic link is like a Windows shortcut, except that the link is an index entry in the Unix file system, whereas the shortcut is a regular Windows file. See redirection.
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