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Underscores Vs Hyphens - Help!

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I'm really having a dilemma with file-naming. I'm trying to move my SmugMug photos to Flickr and Google Drive. Since I keep everything on EHDs rather than my laptop, I'd like to have all of my photos and scrapbooking supplies also online, especially for when I travel and get the urge to scrap but also as extra backup. A search on Google Drive cannot find any of my files that have underscores in them, meaning NONE of my scrapbooking supplies show up. AT ALL. It does find files with hyphens in them, though.

I knew that Google has been pushing for all web files to use hyphens instead of underscores, but I didn't realize that Drive operated the same way. I do have some web pages and understand that spaces are bad form, and I knew that Google was treating "grandma_moses_hang_gliding" as one word, whereas "grandma-moses-hang-gliding" is 4 words. The same is true for Google Drive. A search for red or button will NOT bring up "SG_Collection_red_button.png", but will bring up "SG-Collection-red-button.png".

I have tens of thousands of files using underscores, and renaming them is going to be a real pain! There are scripts I can use to convert underscores to hyphens, but I haven't tried it yet.

I also have lots of photos with spaces in the filenames, and when downloaded from SmugMug and other sites, "grandma moses hang gliding.jpg" becomes "grandma%20moses%20hang%20gliding.jpg" which is just annoying, so I know there need to be hyphens or underscores in there. (I noticed that Scrap Girls' gallery automatically converts spaces to hyphens - nice!) I don't really care for camelCase, and some apps will spit the file back out in all lower case letters, anyway. That's why I've leaned towards lower case with underscores. I just think it looks nicer than hyphens (ironic because my first and middle names are hyphenated).

My computer has no problem finding any part of a word in any file. Google won't do this. Since I want my files in the cloud and searchable, I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and rename-every-single-one-of-them! Help me Rhonda! Or am I looking at this all wrong?

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Bummer, because I find hyphenated file names MUCH harder to read.


If you want to replace spaces or underscores with hyphens, or do other renaming, try Bulk Rename Utility, It's free, and fabulous, although the interface is not pretty. Its help will guide you, though. Download it at http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/Main_Intro.php.


I use it all the time, especially for ScrapSimple products. We get "BMU_SSPaper_ModernDay... and I prefer BMU_ModernDay_SSPaper... since I want the specific collection/product name right after the artist initials.


I replace dashes with underscores (so far) and adjust product names to use the same spelling or abbreviation. Example: Wildflowers, Wldflwrs, etc. REALLY helps me keep things easier to sort and find.


I will have to think about the dashes.

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