SharePoint File Naming Protocol
Posted by Gabriel Pflum on 12 January 2018 02:05 PM

File Naming Protocol

When saving a file in SharePoint it can sometimes be hard to know exactly what to call it. This can hopefully be remedied by following the steps below.

Make it Unique

It should go without saying that you don’t make two different files the same name. However, sometimes files are named with synonyms. For example: SharePoint Reorganization and SharePoint Cleanup. This should not happen. They were made separate documents for a reason, if they were both about the same thing, there wouldn’t be two.

Short and Sweet

You want to make the file name very concise. The file should typically be no longer than 3-5 words. Any longer and the name can become confusing and pointless. You don’t need to put all of the files content in the name.

Use Dates

When working on a project that can have different versions, it can be hard to tell what version is the latest if not named correctly. The best way to remedy this problem, is to add dates to the end of the file name.

            For example: examplefilename_1-12-2018

No Special Characters

SharePoint and other programs typically don’t like to search for general search terms. They want to have a specific file name, and even then, sometimes it doesn’t work. Most of this problem can be resolved by not using special characters.

Stay Consistent

When file names are in a consistent format they are more visually appealing. This allows employees to easily find files in a data filled folder.

Don’t use spaces

If spaces are used in files names, it will make it harder to search for that file in the future. Many programs don’t like to search for files that have spaces.

Don’t use uncommon acronyms

Sometimes you have a long title to a document because it is referencing an organization. For example: NIST. In that case it is acceptable to use an acronym, because it is widely used and known. However, if you have a file that you created an acronym for, chances are, you are the only one that knows what that acronym stands for. Another reason why you don’t use uncommon acronyms is in the event of coming back to an old project, you may not remember what the acronym stood for.

            For example: If you are working on a project called “SharePoint Reorganization Protocols” and you name the file “SPRP_1-12-2018”, you may know what that name means now, but two years from now, when you go back to the project, you may not have the faintest clue.


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Jason McGee
24 January 2018 02:17 PM
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