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Filename rules for images and documents

Due to the way web servers work, not all file names are valid. #

If your images or documents are uploading to your website, but are not showing in your content, then it is probably due to unsuitable file names.

As a guide

  • File names should only contain standard lower and upper case letters, numbers and dashes. 
  • Do not use any other characters. 
  • No colons, slashes, spaces, commas, ampersands, apostrophes, question and exclamation marks, copyright symbols etc.
  • Avoid accented letters such as á ü
  • Make names short but descriptive.
  • Don’t use all-caps

This is a bad and faulty image file name


This is a good and working image file name


File names also affect the usability and SEO of your website, especially if they are visible as can be the case with PDF downloads. 

This is a bad PDF file name

130419 ATTACHMENT2 -Forum_Partnering&Sponsoring Packages_v4 (Sue’s) v1(1).pdf

This is a more appropriate name


Renaming Files

It is very common to find ampersands (&) and apostrophes, as well as irrelevant text, especially in PDF filenames. Check and rename your files before you upload.

  • On a Windows PC, press F2, or right-click the file then select Rename.
  • On an Apple Mac, select the file and press Return.
  • In either case, the name will become highlighted, allowing you to type a new name.

File type extensions

File extensions such as .pdf and .jpg should not be changed when renaming a file. Doing so will cause the file to become un-usable.

If you need to convert a file to another type, you must use a program such as Photoshop or Word to do so.

Updated on 5 December 2023

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