D2L - naming files that are uploaded

File Naming Best Practices

When working with D2L (or in general) you will want to use some basic techniques when naming your documents both to stay organized and so that all students can access them on various systems. Here are some of those techniques.

Special Characters

Do your best to follow naming conventions including the use of underscores (_) instead of periods or spaces. Also avoid using periods or other special characters such as: \ / : * ? " < > | [ ] & $ or commas in filenames as these are often used by computers for other purposes.

Use filenames like Research_Exercise_Practice_1.pdf instead of Research Exercise [Practice & Review].pdf. The .pdf is known as a file-type extension. It is used by computers to determine what kind of file they are working with. Avoid using periods (.) in the names of files to prevent confusion.

Name Length

Keep file names short. Long filenames can get confusing. One way to keep names short is to cut out common words like "the", "a", "of", "by", and "for". Use names like Exam_1_Review.pdf instead of Review_for_the_first_exam_on_Tuesday_March_8.pdf.

Date Formatting

The most important thing with dates (if used) is consistency. It is common practice to use international standard date notation for file naming because, if files are named date-first, they sort by date when sorted A-Z. International standard date notation is YYYYMMDD or YYYY_MM_DD. Avoid date formats like JAN 19 ’12 and 19_01_12. Also, avoid using different formats across files.

Multiple Versions

Utilize a "v" and TWO digit number to indicate versions and "FINAL" to indicate the final draft in the following way: Example_v03.pdf, Example_v04.pdf, and Example_FINAL.pdf. If you plan on having 100 or more versions of something, use three digits (i.e. 001 for the first). Some computers or software sort numbers in a way that would put 2 between 19 and 20 instead of between 1 and 3. Using 02 solves this problem. Never upload multiple files with the same naming such as: Example.pdf, Example(1).pdf, Example(2).pdf.


If for some reason you cannot follow one of these naming practices, the most important thing to remember is to remain consistent so that it is easier to find files when needed.

Keywords:D2L,files,name,naming,uploaded,upload,best,practice,character,special,length,error   Doc ID:61356
Owner:Patty F.Group:UW-La Crosse
Created:2016-03-01 14:59 CDTUpdated:2017-08-04 13:53 CDT
Sites:UW-La Crosse
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