Answered By: Kristen Koob
Last Updated: Aug 02, 2018     Views: 3

These are generally good rules to follow when naming directories and files:

  • Avoid using special characters: \ / : * ? “ < > | [ ] & $ , .
  • Use underscores instead of spaces or periods.
  • Try to avoid long names and be as brief as possible.
  • The name should be as descriptive as possible (in case it is moved).
  • Include dates (i.e. YYYYMMDD) and times (i.e. hhmmss).
  • Be consistent.


If you need to rename many files, try using a file naming application such as:

See more at Harvard Library's Guide to Data Management


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