Once upon a time, filenames were incredibly restricted. Names used to be limited to 8 characters! Now, with advances in Operating Systems, it can seem like a whole new world with no rules. At the same time, Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems and libraries like Preferred Connection reduce reliance on filenames too. When you have rich, searchable metadata built in, it doesn’t matter quite so much what the filename is.
But it’s not quite that easy.
Software programs aren’t quite as smart and flexible as humans when it comes to deciphering filenames. Some characters have special meanings which might differ from program to program. So it’s better to avoid them altogether.
For this reason, it’s still worthwhile to put company naming conventions in place as part of your metadata management. Because filenames are still relevant in 2020…
Collaborate better, save time
It all comes down to making the filename readable to both humans and machines. Any effects of poor naming practices are multiplied by the number of files that your company handles and the value of the file content.
- The original identifying metadata. When your file leaves the DAM environment, or if you need to access from a device that can’t read embedded metadata, the filename might be the only metadata that stays with the file.
- Sharing. Following a few simple rules can ensure cross-compatibility, which is essential to ensure clients and collaborators can open the file at the other end.
- Consistency. High staff turnover and freelance contributions can make consistency a challenge. Deciding and publishing your naming conventions can help.
See our filename guidelines
We have shared our filenaming recommendations in order to assist any of our clients who do not have their own guidelines or conventions in place.