File Naming Best Practices

  • All digital assets should be named prior to being uploaded to the Digital Asset Manager (DAM)
  • Use only letters, numbers, or hyphens (-)
  • Do not use spaces in the filename
  • Do not use any punctuation marks or special characters in the filename

Why Do Filenames Matter?

After a digital asset is uploaded and activated in the DAM, it has a live URL that makes it usable and publishable within your CMS pages or directly accessible on the internet for those that have the URL.

When naming files there are two things to consider:

  • Is the CMS able to upload and process this filename without an error?
  • Does the filename make it confusing for others to understand?

Digital assets in the CMS must follow a particular naming structure to avoid any system errors when processing or rendering your files. Assets with special characters that are not allowed in the CMS may cause errors when content authors attempt to use them with components or to view them directly in the DAM.

Users should also consider their fellow content authors and site visitors when naming files. Filenames that avoid confusion and follow a similar naming practice are recommended. In a URL, a filename with an underscore (_) may be confused for the standard underline that hyperlinked text may have and could be interpreted as a space. Additionally, there are some uppercase letters that could be mistaken for lowercase letters when used in a mixed case filename.

To make navigating your DAM assets easier, consider creating a common file naming structure for events. For example:

  • welcome-week-1.jpg, welcome-week-2.jpg, welcome-week-3.jpg
  • grad-alley-2016-01.jpg, grad-alley-2016-02.jpg, grad-alley-2016-03.jpg
  • ally-week1.jpg, ally-week2.jpg, ally-week3.jpg
  • commencement001.jpg, commencement002.jpg, commencement003.jpg

Rename a File

  1. Navigate to the file you need to rename in your DAM folder.
  2. Click on the file once so that it's highlighted in green.
  3. Deactive the file.
  4. Select "Move..." from the menu bar.
  5. In the Rename to field, update your filename as necessary.
    1. Note: Leave all other fields and checkboxes as is.
  6. Click Move.
  7. A window will appear asking you to confirm that you want to update your filename. Click Yes.
  8. Activate the file.
Tutorial: Renaming a file in the DAM

When renaming a file in the DAM, select "Move" from the menubar and then update the filename as needed in the Rename to field.

Archive Digital Assets

The DAM server that stores all of our data is only so large, so you may notice things running more slowly than you'd like when trying to upload or access a file. That’s to be expected when hundreds of people are storing hundreds of gigabytes worth of digital media on the same server. To help keep the DAM running smoothly for all users, we encourage you to archive digital assets you're no longer using.

Additional resources:

Check for References

Before archving digital assets, you should check for references to make sure they're not linked on your pages or elswere in the CMS.

  1. Navigate to the file you want to check in your DAM folder.
  2. To open the file:
    1. Double-click on the filename; or
    2. Right-click on the file and select Open.
  3. Metadata for the file should open in a new tab.
  4. Click the References tab located on the right side of the screen.
  5. Give the CMS a moment to check for references.
  6. If there are no references, then this file is not linked dynamically using the pathfinder tool on any CMS pages and should be safe to archive.
    1. Note: The CMS references feature will not show files linked with static links, only those linked dynamically using the pathfinder tool.
  7. Otherwise, you'll see a list that contains a page title, number of references on that page, and path to the CMS page for each reference that exists. Each listing is a clickable link that will take you directly to that page where you can then remove the reference, if needed.
Digital asset with no references

If there are no references, then this file is not linked dynamically using the pathfinder tool on any CMS pages and should be safe to archive.

Digital asset with a reference

Referenced files will show a list that contains a page title, number of references on that page, and path to the CMS page for each reference.