File Naming Best Practices

Different operating systems have different rules in which characters are and are not allowed when saving file names. To avoid cross platform file name compatibility issues, CTS recommends the following:

  • Do not use these characters in filenames: ~ ` : ; ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) | \ / ? , ' " < > [ ] { }  
  • File names should not end with a space also known as a trailing whitespace   
  • File names should not start with a space also known as an opening whitespace   
  • File names should not end with a period (. )  
  • File names should not start with a period (. )  
  • If you plan to work with files on Mac OS 9 computers and edit them on another platform, make sure your file name does not exceed 32 characters   
  • Mac OS X allow the use of symbols (aka dingbats) in filenames by holding down a combination of command, control , or option keys. These characters are not used by other operating systems and should not be used in filenames.