Often I find my self doing this

C-x C-f to create a file, while in the mini buffer prompt, paste a url like "https://github.com/seamusabshere/cache_method/issues/15" from the clipboard.

Since "https://github.com/seamusabshere/cache_method/issues/15" is not a "safe" file name, I end up manually fixing it to look like


Can a pre-existing emacs function help me with this? I feel like converting a string to a filepath safe string is a common scenario in emacsland.

What I tried: Looked in M-x list for words like "normalize" "sanitize"

Another scenario: I'm in M-x shell, I have typed git checkout -b and have a jira ticket url in the clipboard. I want to create branch named after the jira ticket url.

1 Answer 1


Suppose you have copied the link or address you want to process.

After you have created a similar command:

(defun normalize-string-to-make-it-file/path-safe ()
    (function concat)
     (read-string "Input: ")

You can use "normalize-string-to-make-it-file/path-safe" to copy the converted result to the clipboard and paste it to use it.

In fact, I often use the corresponding conversion process, such as the name of the command, is also obtained in a similar way: replace the space in the title of your question with a minus sign.

  • didn't work for me, maybe I misunderstood you Oct 1, 2018 at 3:31
  • Works for me. What exactly did you try? I did M-x normalize-string-to-make-it-file/path-safe then pasted https://github.com/seamusabshere/cache_method/issues/15 at the prompt. That put the resulting string in the kill-ring so I could yank it (with C-y): https___github.com_seamusabshere_cache_method_issues_15. Isn't that what you asked for?
    – Drew
    Nov 27, 2018 at 22:23

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