May4

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File Naming Convention - Files List

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Lately I began to wonder if other researchers are as naming-convention-specific as I have become when it comes to saving records. Are they? Are you?

I do my best to keep a standard convention for the various files types, but usually I try to keep the info within it flowing from the most general to most specific within it.

For example, this is all one filename for a 1901 Irish Census document:
File Naming Convention - detail

The idea is: FileType.Year.Country.County.Town.Subtown.Address.SURNAME Names.NOTES.jpg

While it looks a bit of overkill, it comes in especially useful with images – I use Google Picasa to work with my image sets locally. I have more than 4,700 images in my document folders alone – and that doesn’t include the few thousand family photos I have scanned so far, nor my newer and natively digital photos.

In a perfect world, I would have used tags to categorize all of the images so I could search for things that way. But, that didn’t happen back in the early days of my research. However, the good news is that as you search within Picasa, it uses various things to find what you want.

That includes the file names, folder names in addition to tags. So, my crazy-long file-naming conventions not only make them easier to parse when looking through folders, but help me break them into sets when searching in Picasa. Two birds with one pixel. or something.

As a bit of trivia, did you know there’s also another neat search feature in Picasa?
It can search for colors!

Picasa search - White legsI’m not talking about file or folder names here- I’m talking about color within the image itself. So, type ‘BLUE’ in the Picasa search box and get all of them sky photos. Type ‘GREEN’ and get grass photos.

Funnily enough, in my photo sets, if you type ‘WHITE’… the first result is a photo of my legs.

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