Monday, October 15, 2018

Enhance user experience using simple Naming Convention for #DocumentManagement


When facing the task of naming a new file, every personnel will name it accordingly what may think is the best. You can organize and manage documents more effectively. Organizations should have a standard naming convention for documents, libraries, lists and pages in SharePoint Online.
To improve the user experience for SharePoint, here are a few points to consider while naming a document.

General Instructions:

1. No Spaces – Spaces on the Internet are “%20”. It is the character encoding for space. So, do not provide spaces while naming any document library, documents, etc.
Instead, you can use underscore “_ “or dash “- “in place of a space.

2. Make sure document versioning is turned on so that you can store, track & restore files in SharePoint Online.

3. A name should be meaningful and make sense.

4. Dates – Dates are commonly used for two objects “Articles” and “Documents”.
For article place the date in front of the name like “20180911_Article”
For documents, dates should be placed at the end of the name like “Document_20180911”
Date Format – yyyymmdd.
5. Make it short and simple – The file name should be as short as possible without losing its potential to be identified and searched. Longer names take more time to search or read. SharePoint includes file name as well so the short name will make short URL.
We can use abbreviations – Invoice can be “INV”, Quotes can be “QTE”

6. No special character, except “_” & “- “.
7. Data Order (From general to specific) – We can consider using the abbreviation (Point 5) followed by Project and then date. We can also consider adding versions & document id.
Example – INV-Microsoft365Talks-20180911.pdf

8. For Site Pages – It is not a best practice to name pages with a “_” or space. Instead, it is recommended using “-“. Example (This-is-a-site-page).

9. Many organizations like to prefer placing versions numbers in a document name.
  • Place the version at the end of the file name.
  • Use dash “- “to separate major versions and minor versions or drafts. Example (Document_V01-01.docx). Here, V01 is the major version and “-01” is the minor version.
10. Do not change the name of Lists & Libraries.


A simple naming convention is the best way to avoid naming related issues or accidental overwrites which affect end users’ experience. Though it varies from company to company, each organization should have a standard naming convention.

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