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File Naming Conventions & Folder Organisation

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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I use OUs

In reply to: File Naming Conventions & Folder Organisation


I use Aperture to organize and edit my photos. I tend to group everything by subject (Baby, Family, XMas07), then name the photos under a generic name. Details are kept in the EXIF tags as well as the date.

I try to keep the names under fifteen characters in length.
I do not use spaces in the name, but use an underscore or hyphen where appropriate.
I use all lower-case characters.

Ex: photo_00_filter.jpg

photo = short name
00 = sequence number
filter = PS/Aperture filter or version

I hope it helps

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This helps somewhat.

In reply to: I use OUs

But sometimes I might need to use the single photo for multiple projects for the same client or for multiple clients who might have something that interests them in the photo.

My question is, Do I create a copy for each client and link to it or do I just link to that one copy??

While right now I'm using the method I met it's becoming more and more cumbersome to get Illustrator and InDesign to maintain the links so I might switch to get a copy for each folder and link.

Beacause it's becoming a pain having to hunt for the photos when they play the fool.

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Depends On The Situation

In reply to: File Naming Conventions & Folder Organisation

You didn't mention if these files were for personal use or professional. For me, all personal pictures I shoot go into a date file tree. For example, C:\YYYY\MM\DD\IMGXXXX.jpg. It tends to keep things neat and makes backups easier. I then tag the photos and create collections in Adobe LightRoom. LightRoom has very good meta data filtering I can use to call up any group of pictures I want.

Professionally, I group assets by Client\project. If I reuse a file in multiple projects, I copy the file. You never know if one project might alter a file and leave the name the same. You want to make sure your version control is tight and it is not possible to have one project affect another.

Oh, never use spaces in directories or file name.

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That makes sense

In reply to: Depends On The Situation

Ok. So it's a good idea to use copies. I might have alot of work to sort out our filing.


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(NT) Thanks for the advice everyone

In reply to: File Naming Conventions & Folder Organisation

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