Using Longer File Names

As I continue to add files to Dropbox (internal link), I realize their total may be in the thousands. While I should neatly organize all my documents into appropriate folders, I know that’s not going to happen. Instead, I increasingly rely on the Dropbox search mechanism.  Longer file names help.

Instead of naming a file: Background_on_Humboldt, I now try to be more specific and add key words that will help me later. My new file name may be:

Background_of_Humboldt_County_With_Additional_Remarks

Perhaps unique to Dropbox and the Mac is that words don’t need to be separated by underline marks. If I write HumboldtCounty as one word, Dropbox will seize on just the Humboldt part if I search for that name.

How long can a file name be? There’s disagreement here. But it’s probably over 200. (external link) And Windows and Mac operating systems may differ. For Windows machines, path length is important. If you have folders within folders then the path to a file gets longer and longer. That takes away from file name length.

In the case of a file named Jensen, see how the path name increases in character as folder names increase?

County\Humboldt\Interview\Jensen.docx

It’s no longer a six character file name but 34. This path consideration may not be a problem with Dropbox hosted files. You would, however, run into a problem if a particular program could not handle that file name length.

I’m also starting to date files whenever I can. This will help me organize automatically. So this file should actually be (instead of what I wrote above):

Background_of_Humboldt_County_With_Additional_Remarks_10/11/2016

filelength

 

 

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer who specializes in history, technology, and human interest stories.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, Writing tips and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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