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Naming Guidelines - Best Practice

The way you name your files and folders conveys information about the data you have stored in your file. Adopting a naming convention makes it easier to manage files and find what you want, quickly.

Good practice

Good practice Rationale
Keep your file and folder names short It is easier to locate files and keeps file paths short
Make the name unique Avoids confusing duplicates
Do not use any of the following characters:
& , . ( ) % # ‘ “ / \ - { } [ ] < > : ; @
Usually not allowed in most file systems
Do not include spaces This can cause difficulties in most operating systems
When numbering similar types of files/folders try to anticipate maximum numbers If you think that you will use 100 files for example, it is better to use 001 instead of 01, otherwise lists of files will be difficult to order.
It is good practice to keep the directory structure between 3 - 5 levels Shallow directory structures are easier to manage

Recommended naming convention

A popular naming convention which is used in a number of World Wide Web Consortium recommended protocols is CamelCase. CamelCase uses multiple words that are joined together as a single word. The first letter of each of the multiple words is a capital which aids readability. However, it is important not to create very long words e.g. ‘DontCreateVeryLongWordsBecause they LengthenFilepathsAndDontNecessarilyAidDescriptionOfFileContents’

There are two variations in CamelCase:

  • LowerCamelCase - the first letter of the filename is lower case e.g firstLetterLowerCase
  • UpperCamelCase - the first letter of the filename is upper case e.g FirstLetterUpperCase

Optional date naming/sorting convention

If you want to insert a date in your file name, use the format: YYYYMMDD, separated by a hyphen or underscore e.g. 20080228-VLE.doc. Do not use spaces to separate fields.