Filenames (for PDFs, JPEGS, and any other file that might be uploaded and stored on your website) should never be saved with spaces in them, and typically should not have more than 30 characters.  While a particular file name may work on the computers used internally at your agency, many visitors to your public website will be using operating systems like Mac, Windows XP, Windows 8, Linux, Chrome, iOS, Android, and others.  These operating systems may have a variety of issues dealing with long filenames (eg, Mac has a 31 character filename limit), spaces in filenames (you should use an underscore "_" in place of spaces in file-names), or special characters (eg *,$,%,&, and many other special characters will cause errors for certain operating systems and browsers).


Here's a list of filename rules to consider:

The following list is fairly exhaustive and pulls together references from various sources. Although not mentioned explicitly, Unix seems to have few - if any - restrictions. Compliance with these conventions as assets are added to your library will allow widest use of the assets without subsequent manual intervention to re-path/name, etc. The rules take into account the use of assets on local & network hard drives, CD/DVD, removable drives and online (web/ftp) using Mac OS9/OSX and Windows OSs:

  1. Illegal filename characters, (e.g. : or ?). (All OSs).
  2. Deprecated filename characters (; and ,). (All OSs).
  3. >31 filename characters including extension. (Mac Classic).
  4. >64 filename characters including extension. (Windows: ISO9660+Joliet CD or Hybrid CD partition).
  5. No extension - extensions are mandatory for Windows and the only means for Portfolio to tell file type. (Windows, Mac OS X).
  6. Filename has >1 period - Portfolio may misinterpret extension. (Windows, Mac OS X).
  7. Extension may be wrong, i.e. not 3 characters. (Windows, Mac OS X).
  8. Illegal characters in path to file - same issue as #1 but for path. (All OSs).
  9. Deprecated characters in path to file - same issue as #2 but for path. (All OSs).
  10. Filename may not begin with a period. (Windows not allowed, Mac treats as a hidden file)
  11. Filename may not end in a period. (Windows not allowed - OS 'throws away' the trailing period when naming/reading so incorrect matching vs. Mac name)
  12. Names conflicting with some of Win OS' old DOS functions (Not allowed in either upper or lowercase and with or without a file extension or as a file extension: COM1 to COM9 inclusive, LPT1 to LPT9 inclusive, CON, PRN, AUX, CLOCK$ and NUL)
  13. Case sensitivity. Windows OSs (and IIS web servers) aren't case sensitive. Most other OSs (and web servers) are.
  14. Filenames ought not to begin with a hyphen (Unix systems my interpret the filename as a flag to a command line call).