File Naming Convention

Good file names save lives

Philip Robertson

This is how you should name files that you save on Drive. (does not apply to folders)

  • bz_WorkLetter
  • tp_AppUserFlow_1.0.sketch

The file name consists of three different parts, separated by an underscore:

Project name (abbreviated)

In the beginning of a project, we decide on an abbreviation, and after that, everyone use the same. thr means The Hot Rock, tp means The Passenger, etc. bz is for Block Zero, ie documents not tied to a project.

Descriptive file name

We write the filename using UpperCamelCase. Your main task here is to clarify to the next person what this file contains. Think of this part as communication. If you need a long string or separate words with an underscore, do that.


The version of this file.

Consider the version number 0.9

  • 0 is the major version. 0 means this is not a finished file. 1 means it has reached its first “final” version, eg to show to a customer. If the file is changed significantly to show to another customer, it is increased to 2. When major version is increased, minor version is reset to 0.
  • 9 is the minor version. It is increased every time you make a change to the file, such as adding a slide, switching out an image or correcting some spelling errors. It goes above 9, so for example 0.13, 1.23 and 2.11 are valid versions.

So for example:

  1. I make a first version of a presentation: bz_FileNameConvention_0.1
  2. I keep working on the presentation, and every time I do a new export, I increase, so 0.2, 0.3… 0.10, 0.11.
  3. My presentation is now done. I increase the major version like so: bz_FileNameConvention_1.0 , and present it to the team.
  4. Everyone applauds me, not just for the great presentation, but also for adhering to our file naming convention. But some things actually needs to be corrected.
  5. I correct them, and change the version: bz_FileNameConvention_1.1

Note: Version number can be omitted for gSuite files. Google has it’s own versioning system. So if this was made in Google Slides, I could call it bz_FileNameConvention. Also in some circumstances a version number just doesn’t make sense, use your judgement.

Code and exports

In code, rules are a bit different. There are some conventions there to follow. If you’re exporting a file to be used in code, such as an image for a website, there will be other guidelines to follow. As a general rule: no project name, no version, no space and no capital letters. So weather_icon_white.png might be a good filename.