Windows 10: What's the Proper Way of Naming Files?

  1.    23 Feb 2018 #1

    What's the Proper Way of Naming Files?


    Over the years, I've come across dozens of ways to properly(?) name a file. For example, as in my movie, here are just a few:

    The_Secret_of_NIMH_1982
    The-Secret-of-NIMH-1982
    The.Secret.of.NIMH.1982
    The Secret of NIMH_(1982)

    I think some of them may go back to the good ol' PC DOS days. Not sure.

    I ask this because I'm going thru ALL my files and tediously re-naming them, for conformity's sake, but I want to know the universal/proper/accepted/etc. way if there is one!

    Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 1,740
    W7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), LM 18.3 MATE (64 bit), W10 Home 1703 (64 bit), W10 Pro 1703 (64 bit) VM
       23 Feb 2018 #2

    I don't think there is a "proper way" to name files.

    CLIs often use spaces as delimiter characters.
    When you use the Command Prompt, this is why you have to surround path names with quotes (if the path contains spaces).

    Linux Distros used to often have dummy spits when they encountered spaces.
    Old-School Linux users often use underscores and dots instead of spaces.

    Web-based stuff can have problems handling spaces (a lot of web servers use Linux).

    Some software automatically replaces spaces with a code.
    This is why you can sometimes see filenames/URLs like "word%20word%20word".
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    23 Feb 2018 #3

    There's no universal standard - it's up to the individual or organization to come up with their own naming conventions (or not).

    However, there are some things to keep in mind if you are sharing with other people using different OSes:
    • As lehnerus2000 said, spaces are annoying to handle in various situations so a lot of people use underscores or dots, although all OSes can handle them with proper escaping.
    • Windows has reserved filenames (like NUL, CON, PRN) that have special meaning on Windows but other OSes treat like normal files. So if someone using Linux creates a file called "nul" and sends it to you, Explorer can't open or delete it.
    • Windows won't allow filenames with certain characters that other OSes are fine with - Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces (Windows) . I recall a thread on this forum where someone couldn't delete a file because it had a trailing space, which is allowed by Linux but not on Windows.
    • Unicode handling between OSes is tricky so sticking with ASCII is ideal
    • Maximum filename and path length is also different between OSes
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    24 Feb 2018 #4

    For me there is only one rule. And that rule is "I do it anyway I feel like". Whatever makes sense to me becomes my method.

    There is no universal "right way". Just do it "your way".
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    24 Feb 2018 #5

    One hint is that, if you're trying to store files in date order, include the date in YYYYMMDD or YYMMDD order.
    Then, let File Explorer & ASCII sort it out automatically, every time you refresh the directory (F5).
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 4,963
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       24 Feb 2018 #6

    Sometimes to keep files in order that have 1, 2, 3, 11, 22, etc., in their names it usually works good to 'pad' the number with zeros as in 01, 02, 03, etc., allows 11 to follow 10. My usage goes back to the early '90s and the DOS naming convention of 8.3, up to 8 characters for the name and up to 3 character for the extension most often assigned by the program creating the file. With the advent of Windows 95 came the introduction of LFN/Long File Names which does allow creativity but still the extension needs to be what a program recognizes to be able to open it. There are some restrictions by the Operating System in characters that can't be used but there's always a prompt about them when that is tried. Now with the use of large-capacity drives/more partitions possible and external drives there is also a limit of how long a name can be caused by the 'path' to where the files are stored.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 1,740
    W7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), LM 18.3 MATE (64 bit), W10 Home 1703 (64 bit), W10 Pro 1703 (64 bit) VM
       24 Feb 2018 #7

    Berton said: View Post
    Sometimes to keep files in order that have 1, 2, 3, 11, 22, etc., in their names it usually works good to 'pad' the number with zeros as in 01, 02, 03, etc., allows 11 to follow 10.
    I use that method for folders.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	My File & Folder Conventions 01.png 
Views:	3 
Size:	40.4 KB 
ID:	178485

    gpstoloff said: View Post
    One hint is that, if you're trying to store files in date order, include the date in YYYYMMDD or YYMMDD order.
    Then, let File Explorer & ASCII sort it out automatically, every time you refresh the directory (F5).
    When I create Backup Images, I use that method for System Reports and Storage Setup.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	My File & Folder Conventions 02.png 
Views:	2 
Size:	61.9 KB 
ID:	178486
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

Related Threads
I have a very strange problem - I have a script that's been running for years on other windows, using the 8dot3 convention. Both the directory and the file name have ~ in them. It finds the directory ok, but can't find the file, even though it...
I'm running KODI on my XBOX and if I select an Artist, and click play, it plays all the track 1's of each album then all the track 2's etc. What I want is for it to play each album by track number. In the past I would edit the Track naming...
Hello all, Annoying problem : I have multiple MFC printer/scanners in my office. Some are identical units; for instance, Brother MFC 2700s. When adding the MFCs onto the local workstations for users, the printer adds are fairly straightforward...
Can't set proper resolution in Graphic Cards
Guys, i would really appreciate your help Im a newbie with windows and i have recently purchased a windows 10 connect tablet. When i got into the display settings all my resolution options are greyed out and i can't change anything. I...
I'm trying to run Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"} from Power Shell as administrator in order to restore broken Search and Cortana functionality....
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:02.
Find Us