Electronic Document Management

Advice and Tips for Storing Files Electronically

An established organizational scheme for your shared electronic documents allows for the simple arrangement of files and their easy retrieval. It increases accuracy, saves storage space, and facilitates efficient exchange of shared or working documents. As your department begins to implement an electronic document management system, there are several important considerations.

Common File Types

  • Webpages: .html, .shtml, .htm, .asp, .php, etc.
  • Images: .png, .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, etc.
  • PDF: .pdf
  • MS Word: .doc, .docx
  • MS Excel: .xls, .xlxs
  • MS PowerPoint: .ppt, .pptx
  • Text: .txt, .text, .rtf, etc.
  • Archive/Compressed: .zip, .rar, .tar, etc.

File naming conventions

The University file naming conventions apply to all files and folders used on UMB web servers. Label files and folders using the following rules to ensure web-friendly display, organization, and quick accessibility.

Use unique file names that state what the file contains.

Users should be able to scan files names to quickly ascertain the contents.

Use “StrategicPlan_Theme8_Membership.doc”
Avoid “New_Members.doc”

Do not use spaces. Use dashes or underscores.

Some search tools do not work with spaces and should be especially avoided for Internet files. Browsers will convert space characters into %20 in the URL string. The use of dashes or underscores is dependent on the application, for example the current Kuali Coeus system prefers dashes.

Avoid “Strategic Plan Theme 8 Membership.doc”

Use the format YYYYMMDD or year, month, day when including dates.

This format allows files to be naturally ordered in the file folders. Dates are recommended as identifiers because files will fall into chronological order when sorting by name, which is the typical default.

Avoid “October_StategicPlan_ExecutiveSummary_2014”

Be brief, yet descriptive. Do not use confusing abbreviations.

Generally about 25 characters is a sufficient length to capture enough descriptive information for naming. Omit articles (a, an, the), coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions when sensible. Longer document names will require finding agreement on abbreviations.

Use “StrategicPlan_Theme8_Membership.doc”
Avoid “SP_T8_Mem.doc”

Do not include the file type in the file name description.

This creates unnecessary redundancy and confusion.

Avoid “2014_10_StrategicPlan_Theme8_VP_PowerPointPresentation.pptx”

Be consistent.

Use the same naming conventions for similar files. This will keep similar files grouped together when sorted. Use alphanumeric characters (letters from A to Z and numbers from 0 to 9)

Avoid “Theme8_StrategicPlan_Mmbrship” and/or “Theme8_STragtegicPlan_Members”