File Name Conventions for Apple Mac Computers

To ensure that files can be shared between Mac and Windows systems, follow these formatting tips to avoid errors when saving and copying files and folders. Apple Mac and Microsoft Windows computers use different file naming conventions for saving files and folders. Mac and Windows users commonly share files with one another via email or their TU H:\ and O:\ drives.

Illegal characters

The following characters are not legal when used in file names, and the operating system will warn you if you attempt to add one.

Character Character Name
? Question Mark
[ ] Left and Right Brackets
\ Back Slash
= Equals Sign
/ Forward Slash
+ Plus Sign
< > Left and Right angle brackets
; Semicolon
: Colon
" Quotation Mark
' Apostrophe
, comma 
| pipe
# Pound or Number sign
* Asterisk
. Period (periods should only be used in file extensions, see the next section.)

File extensions are important

File extensions are required for the computer to identify the application used to open the file. These extensions are assigned to a document automatically the first time you save it, and you should not change it. File extensions are automatically appended to the file name and are prefixed with a . (period). For example, a Word file could be saved as StudentAffairsMemo.doc. In this case, StudentAffairsMemo is the file name, and .doc is the file extension. See this list of other examples:

  • Microsoft Word files should be saved with a .docx extension
    Example: filename.docx
  • Microsoft Excel files should be saved with a .xlsx extension.
    Example: filename.xlsx
  • Text documents should be saved with a .txt extension.
    Example: filename.txt
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Article ID: 143036
Thu 11/10/22 1:30 PM
Mon 5/6/24 12:05 PM