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File and Folder Naming Convention

File and Folder Naming Convention

Jamie C.
New member | Level 2

What is Dropbox's recommendation as for how to name files and folders especially for situations where a file or folder is accessed via Mac OS X, Windows, or maybe Linux?

For instance, for a folder name is it best to name it like:

  • Sample Folder Name
  • SampleFolderName
  • samplefoldername
  • Sample-Folder-Name
  • Sample_Folder_Name
  • sample-folder-name
  • sample_folder_name

And what about file names?

 

  • File Name XYZ
  • FileNameXYZ
  • filenamexyz
  • file-name-xyz
  • File-Name_XYZ
  • file_name_xyz
  • File_Name_XYZ   and so on...

Based on what Google recommends for at least URLs and SEO I would guess the correct (and preferred industry strandard) way for a folder or file would be:

  • For a folder: sample-folder-name
  • For a file: file-name-xyz-v11212015

I would greatly appreciate help with this question. Thank you in advance!

15 Replies 15

Re: File and Folder Naming Convention

Mark
Super User II

I just name them whatever I would on my machine. I don't make any special allowances at all. The only thing to watch is special characters that may not work between OS's (£ / ! etc.)


 


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Re: File and Folder Naming Convention

Jamie C.
New member | Level 2

Thanks. Curious to hear what Dropbox's official position is about this question.

 

Re: File and Folder Naming Convention

Mark
Super User II

Its name it however you want. 

Dropbox is just a regular folder on your machine. Thats it. 

And as it doesn't have any SEO capability that side etc. doesn't matter. 


 


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Re: File and Folder Naming Convention

Neil M.27
New member | Level 2

But naming convention does matter, right? We have tens of thousands of files that we've had to move (albeit infrequently) and we've had problems because the indexing process DB uses can be hampered by poor naming practices. Not sure how to say it in DB speak but the matter has caused me to search on file naming best practices. Surprised to see so little on the topic here.

Re: File and Folder Naming Convention

Mark
Super User II

Not sure what the issue is Neil, could you try and explain in more detail?


 


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Re: File and Folder Naming Convention

Neil M.27
New member | Level 2

I am essentially agreeing with the comment left by Jamie C. Jamie C was asking if a particular naming convention matters when it comes to Dropbox folders and files. The questions is, what is Dropbox's recommendation for naming folders and files. If there is not an "official" position by DB, then is there a recommended best practice pertaining to Jamie C's original post?

Re: File and Folder Naming Convention

Jamie C.
New member | Level 2

Thank you Neil for raising and clarifying the original question.

It definitely matters how a folder or file is named. For instance, certain characters in file names tell (or at least used to tell) Dropbox and some OSs to create a parent and sub-parent folder. Other problems can occur if a space is used in the folder or file name. 

I am looking for a best practices naming convention so all electronic files sync and work correctly no matter what OS is used. Additionally, a clear naming convention helps a lot with information and content management.

And yes, I know Dropbox files are not crawled by search engines like Google. I only mentioned SEO best practices because it has some good guidelines that can be applied across the board for content search and management. I guess it's my old information architecture days that keeps this question churning in my mind. 

Re: File and Folder Naming Convention

Neil M.27
New member | Level 2

You bet! We would not be asking the question were it not for a recent panic attack resulting from a sweeping rearrangement of folders and files in DB. We were able to patch everything up but not without an enormous effort. We learned that DB did not like some elements of our naming convention. Thinking about how to create a standard naming convention for our firm prompted the search at the DB forum. Again, so surprised that there is seemingly so little on the topic.

Re: File and Folder Naming Convention

Jamie C.
New member | Level 2

So Neil, what naming convention did you end up using? Curious because you said you moved and organized a lot of files for work.

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