Naming: Files, Items, and Folders

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We have encountered many Blackboard problems because the naming of files, items, and folder used illegal characters in the names. Results of this practice have included lost student assignments, lost course content when copying a course to a new semester, broken links within a course, corrupted folders within a course that were not recoverable, and failed course backups at the end of each semester. This includes any files that are submitted to blackboard such as Word or PowerPoint files.

We have also encountered several failed backups of individual courses and virus scans due to lengthy file names.


Use only common alphanumeric characters when naming your files. And the shorter the name of the file, the better! KEEP IT SHORT!

Acceptable Characters:

Letters (upper case or lowercase “A – Z”)

Numbers (“0 – 9”)

Underscore (“_”)

Spaces ("  ") *

Unacceptable Characters:

Special Characters: ( ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) + = { } [ ] | \ : ; ” ’ < , > ? / )

Stay away from using these characters when naming files, items, or folders!


* In the Blackboard environment, spaces are recommended for use in Item or Folder names, but unacceptable in file names.