Very often when downloading files from various resources such as sites, emails, shared files from file organizers and others, we come across names such as doc.docx or some other file name that does not provide any information about the file.
Good file naming practice tells us that the name should be descriptive and short. For example, instead of 1.zip for an archive, good practice tells us to describe the content. For example, instead of a non-descriptive name like 1.zip, if it contains photos to give it a name like photos-7th-december-2021.zip, this is already a descriptive file name.
Some good file naming practices:
- Include the name of the company or website
- Inclusion of date and, if necessary, time as a version indicator
- If you have a sequence of several files, use a hyphen with the current number at the end of the file: photos_1.zip; photos_2.zip; etc
- The file name should be in Latin letters in lower case
- Using formats such as PDF instead of MS Word format and others
- Do not use special characters such as ?,%, #, /,: and others. Letters, numbers, dashes, underscores and periods are recommended
- Brief and descriptive if possible
- Avoid vague or general words such as calling the file document.pdf
Here are some examples of good file names:
Finally, the file name should indicate the content and possibly where it was downloaded from. Using good file naming practices will not only help your customers and users, but will also help you. Also, the use of formats such as PDF will allow the file to be opened on any device without the need to install additional software. The name of the file should be such that when someone who does not know the context, for example from email, only from the name of the file to understand that these are the files for a specific thing.
Real examples from several websites for non-descriptive file names:
The ambiguity comes from the fact that it is not known what the declaration is for and the name of some files is in Cyrillic.
What are your file naming conventions and practices? Leave a comment and give us your point of view.