Photo Editing & Graphic Design forum

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File Naming Conventions -

by tango_fox1 / February 4, 2008 11:22 PM PST

Hi everyone,

I have a query. I work with the Creative Suite and have pictures and other files linked to various documents stored in different folders on our computer. We don't have a server so the files are on our working computer.

1. How should I name the links?

Should I use a descriptive one e.g. "Tree_in_Desert.jpg" or psd etc; or do I use the cameras naming convention or do use a combination of the above?

2. Should I organise the folders by project and have copies of the photos in the project sub-folder or keep a general photos folder for each client and have one copy of the file and let the programs link to it??

The reason I ask is that when I open older files in Illustrator or InDesign they say the link has changed even though the link hasn't. And before I came to work here the filing names had spaces.

Does it make a difference? I just want to sort out our filing system so that when a link goes missing it's easy to find.

Any suggestions would be helpful.

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Re: File Naming Conventions
by DTPTranslation / February 14, 2008 12:17 AM PST

Here's just an overview of how I like to organize things.

1)Yes to descriptive file names, if at some point you know what it looks like but not what it's called, this will help you find it again more quickly.

2)That's kind of up to you, but I'd recommend always keeping a copy of each file the InDesign file links to be kept with the project itself. It will be a lot easier to locate your links and avoid relocating if they are saved within the subfolders of each project.

If you have a customer that reuses graphics a lot it might be a good idea to also have a client photos folder, but only as a backup to pull files from when/if you're missing them for a current project. Also if you look into the future, if you use only a client photos folder you may eventually have 10 years of photos in there and want to get rid of some, but it will be a lot harder to know which ones the client may still use and which ones not if they're not saved with the projects and then you could end up deleting some files you still need.

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Category for photos
by WAArnold / March 31, 2008 12:48 PM PDT

By all means catagorize your photos, you'll be most glad you did down the road. This is a scheme I use myself and works well for me:

Alaska_Anchorage_Capt Cook Bldg_10 May-1956.pdd

Alaska is the state where the photo was taken
Anchorage is the city where taken
Capt Cook Bldg is the subject of the photo
10 May is the date taken
-1956 is the year photo was taken
pdd is the file format, in this case Photoshop

This allows me to search on what criteria I wish. I can have multple names with only the year, date etc that is different.

Be sure you do not use special characters in your naming though. the spaces you mentioned should not be a problem.

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