Characters to avoid in Document Filenames – a Student D2L Tutorial

So, today I thought I would post a short tutorial that is targeted more for students who are saving documents for uploading into D2L’s Assignment Dropbox.  However, the information in this post is good to keep in mind whenever you are saving files, whoever you are.


This tutorial will cover what characters to avoid in filenames when saving your Word documents (or other assignment documents) for uploading into D2L. (NOTE: a file name is what you are asked to give your document when you save it, for example “BenAssigment1.doc”).

Because your files will be viewed by instructors who use many different operating systems (Mac, PC, etc.) and devices (desktops, tablets, smartphones, etc.), it is important to use characters in your document filenames that may will be compatible as across the board as possible.

So, DO NOT use the following characters and symbols in your filenames!

  • # (pound sign)
  • % (percent sign)
  • & (ampersand)
  • * (asterisk)
  • $ (dollar sign)
  • @ (“at” sign)
  • ? (question mark)
  • ! (exclamation point)
  • or (single or double quotes)
  • : or ; (colon or semicolon)
  • { or } (left or right bracket)
  • < or > (left or right angle bracket)
  • / or \ (back or forward slash)
  • Blank spaces

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 make sure they are under 31 characters.
  • Always use lowercase (as most operating systems are case sensitive).
  • Avoid using spaces and underscores – use a hyphen instead.

For further information, please contact for assistance.

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