File naming conventions

by Jeremy M. Brown — last modified 2017-08-23T10:12:09-04:00

This page contains recommended practices for the naming of digital files at Mercer University Libraries.

  • File names should be unique as possible, including placing a _1 after the name to distinguish between files.
  • File and directory names must use only characters allowed by the UNIX operating system. Allowable characters are: a-z A-Z 0-9 . _ –
  • Do not use special characters, such as, . \ / ( ) : * ? ” & |, except for dashes or underscores. These characters are often reserved for use by the operating system.
  • Do not use spaces in the file name, use underscores or dashes instead.  Browsers and some older operating systems do not handle spaces well.
  • If the file name includes numbers use zeros as placeholders. For example, a collection with 999 items should be numbered: mac001.tif, mac002.tif … mac011.tif, mac012.tif, etc. (NOT mac1.tif, mac2.tif …). This practice facilitates sorting and file management