File Naming Convention

File Naming Convention

How would you name a file name when you save a document?

There are many naming conventions for many people. Some will use versions appended behind a file name, say <filename ver 1>. Some will use date to indicate the version that created in a day <filename 020310.xls>.

In my opinion, having a clear file naming convention is vital because it needs to be easily deciphered by readers or anyone who wants to access the file. It will be difficult to pick up the correct file if there are many of such numeric names in the same folder. It may be confusing.

It may seem alright for the creator to identify the filename. However, if this document or spreadsheet is going to correspond to other party, then a clear file naming is critical. Complex naming convention will be a problem, imagine the recipient has to understand the file name first before deciding which is the correct file.

Comparing < filename 030410 Customer product.xls > v.s. < filename 040310 Customer product.xls> may have dual meaning. With the above scenario, is the file 0304 saved on 3rd of April or 4th of March. There is a mixture of meanings to the file.

If the filename is clear and sharp, the recipient will be able to pick up the correct file.  Say if you are the Project Manager and had saved files in such manner. You may have a possibility of updating the wrong document, say project plan, project cost file etc.

It is of paramount to have a good filename convention. As for me, I would name my file like this

<filename_dd_MMM ver 9.xls>.

Filename is whatever the topic that you are referring to. Include the date in numeric and to abbreviate out the month plus a version number at the back. This will indicate to the recipient that the spreadsheet is created on which date and which versions if there are multiple files saved on the same day.

Hope this helps in your future documents saving.

Please share your comments if you have any feedback or alternate suggestions.

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