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What Special Characters do I need to avoid to successfully archive my data?

Avoiding common illegal filename characters is essential to ensure successful archive. Naming conventions for all files in an archive are important, not only video files, but other commonly archived support files such as PDFs, XML, and project files.

Do not use any of these common illegal characters/symbols in both files and folders:

# pound < left angle bracket $ dollar sign + plus sign
% percent > right angle bracket ! exclamation point ` backtick
& ampersand * asterick   single quote | pipe
{ left brace ? question mark " double quotes = equal sign
} right brace / forward slash : colon [ left bracket
\ back slash   blank spaces @ at sign ] right bracket
~ tilde ^ caret ¢ cent sign bullet point
¡ upside-down exclamation point trademark £ pound sterling infinite
§ section sign paragraph ª feminine ordinal indicator º masculine ordinal indicator
not equal « left pointing double angle less than or equal to more than or equal to
÷ division ˚ degrees œ oe summation symbol
´´   ® registered trademark dagger ¥ yen
¨ umlaut ˆˆ abreviation ø slashed zero π pi
å Angstrom ß eszett partial derivative ƒ latin f with hook
© copyright ˙ dot above Delta ¬ negation
Ω Omega approximately equal to ç cedilla square root
integral ˜   µ Mu    


**Files cannot contain "COM0" "COM1" - "COM9".  Windows will not accept these as these are system files and cannot share any directory or file names with COM and single digit numerical 0-9.

Also, keep these rules in mind.

  • Don’t start or end your filename with a space, period, hyphen, or underline.
  • Keep your filenames to a reasonable length and for maximum OS cross compatibility be sure they are under 31 characters.
  • Keep the total file path (from the root) to less than 255 characters as not all OS are capable of working with files with “deep” paths.
  • Some operating systems are case sensitive; always use lowercase.
  • Avoid using spaces; use a hyphen or underscore instead.  Spaces at the end of a filename or folder are not acceptable.
  • Do not use Emojis in filenames.

Bad filenames:

1. F&A Costs.html

2. my PDF file#name.pdf

3. My Movie, Scene 1 “Brandon Falls Down” 4/22/2014.mov

4. Two files each called FinalCutProject1.fcp and finalcutproject1.fcp on a case sensitive OS.

5. /My Drive name/Folder with a large folder name/Second folder with an even larger folder name/Third extremely long folder name with more characters/Forth very long folder name with too much detail that should not be part of the folder name itself/Fifth folder name/Moviename.mov

A Web browser or OS that does not support those characters will see:

1. F&amp;A%20Costs.html

2. my%20PDF%20file%23name.pdf

3. My%20Movie,%20Scene%201%20&ldquo;Brandon%20Falls%20Down&rdquo;%204/22/2014.mov

4. One of the two example files above will be overwritten or will cause an error on restore as both will be seen as finalcutproject1.fcp on an OS that is not case sensitive.

5. The system will not be able to read this file as the total character count of the path is longerthan 255 characters. This will return a “Path to Deep” error.

Good filenames:

• fa-costs/index.html

• my-pdf-file-name.pdf

• mymovie_s1_b-falls_42214.mov

• finalcutproject1.fcp and finalcutproject1_1.fcp

• /My_Drive_Name/Folder1/Folder2/Folder3/Folder4/Folder5/moviename.mov