Audio Naming: General Rules

Name files and folders almost totally with uppercase (A-Z) and lowercase (a-z) letters, digits (0-9), hyphens (-), underscores (_) and usually one lonely period (.)

Periods: Illegal at head of file; preferably, only the one before the file type extension. None after the extension.

Spaces: Illegal anytime!

Fields are separated by underscores, except in the case of “connected” fields, such as the versions of the movie, or the main and sub categories of the sound. In those cases, hyphens are used.

Don’t exceed 256 characters for a file or folder name. (While this is the absolute maximum, most file names should be in the range of 65 characters.)

The following characters are illegal, and can especially get you in trouble with certain types of cloud storage and digital asset management systems.


/         forward slash

|         pipe

\         back slash

<       left angle bracket

>       right angle bracket

^       caret symbol

:         colon

;         semicolon

,         comma

!         exclamation point

?       question mark

~       tilde

{        left curly brace

}        right curly brace

(        open parentheses

)        closed parentheses

&       ampersand

=       equal sign

+       plus sign

`        backtick

#       pound sign

%      percent sign

@      at sign

$       dollar sign

*        asterisk

'        single quotation/prime (dumb, ASCII)

"        double quotation/double prime (dumb, ASCII)

‘        single quotation (smart; open)

’        single quotation (smart; closed)

“        double quotation (smart; open)

”        double quotation (smart; closed)

Note that some systems may have additional characters that are considered illegal based on customized software being used to manage the files. If you are delivering to a specific provider, always ask for a list of illegal filename characters.

And, of course, no emojis of any form! Save them for elsewhere in your life.