Guidelines for names
Make file and directory names lowercase, with the occasional exception for consistency, to make file searches easier and search results more useful. For example, because most Unix-style operating systems are case sensitive, they can't find a file named
Impersonate-Service-Accounts.html if you search for
impersonate-service-accounts.html. Linux and macOS interpret these as two distinct files.
Use hyphens, not underscores, to separate words—for example,
query-data.html. Search engines interpret hyphens in file and directory names as spaces between words. Underscores are generally not recognized, meaning that their presence can negatively affect SEO.
Use only standard ASCII alphanumeric characters in file and directory names.
Don't use generic page names such as
Exceptions for consistency
If you're adding to a directory where everything else already uses underscores, and it's not feasible to change everything to hyphens, it's okay to use underscores to stay consistent.
For example, if the directory already has
lesson_3.jd, it's okay to add your
new file as
lesson_4.jd instead of
However, in all other situations, use hyphens.
It's okay to have some inconsistency in filenames if it can't otherwise be avoided. For example, sometimes tools that generate reference documentation produce filenames based on different style requirements or based on the design and naming conventions of the product or API itself. In those cases, it's okay to make exceptions for those files.
Refer to files
The following sections discuss how to reference files.
Refer to filenames
When referring to a specific file, do the following:
- Use code font.
- Include the word file after the filename. For more information, see Grammatical treatment of code elements.
- Use the exact spelling of the filename even if it doesn't follow naming guidelines.
- If a sample of the file is included on the page, follow the code sample guidelines and precede a code sample with an introductory sentence or paragraph that includes the filename.
Recommended: In the following
build.sh file, modify the default values for all parameters:
Refer to file interactions
When interacting with files and file types, don't use the file types as a verb.
Recommended: Extract a zip file.
Not recommended: Unzip a zip file.
Refer to file types
When you're discussing a file type, use the formal name of the type. (The file type name is often in all caps because many file type names are acronyms or initialisms.) Do not use the filename extension to refer generically to the file type.
Recommended: a PNG file
Not recommended: a
Recommended: a Bash file
Not recommended: an
The following table lists some examples of filename extensions and the corresponding file type names to use.
|Extension||File type name|
||disk image file|