If title of my question doesn't already demonstrate it, I am very much a newbie to the Sharepoint world, having come from a Lotus Notes background. So take it as a given that there are a lot of underlying Sharepoint concepts I'm not yet familiar with.

The Short Version

Is there any way I could upload a file for storage in Sharepoint under a suitable friendly URL but still have it "named" as it was originally when the users edit it or pull it down using Sharepoint Workspace?

The Long Version

I'm working on bringing in a large amount of files from a network shared drive into a set of Libraries and I've noticed that the filename seems to define the file's url.

This is fine apart from the fact that we're getting invalid file names and overly-long paths. This is being complicated by a requirement to preserve folder structure - which is also subject to the invalid name issue.

I could prune the bad stuff out of the file and folder names but that could create collisions with other similarly-named files.

It occurred to me that it would seem conceptually simpler to store and reference files with some breed of unique identifier and apply the original name to the file title.

I have been able to apply a separate file title as metadata, but I am faced with the problem that checked-out / downloaded files come down with their file names pretty much determined by their url.

If we take a concocted example:

  • let us pretend that "foofoofoo.docx" is somehow invalid as a part of a url.
  • this doc should go up to mylib and be included under folder "baz"
  • I have no problem with uploading the file to mylib/baz/f0001.docx (again let me state we are pretending "foofoofoo.docx" is somehow invalid in a url)
  • I have no problem with setting metadata to show the file's title is foofoofoo.docx


  • when I edit the file, it comes down as f0001.docx and I can see my users getting confused.

Is there any way I could upload a file for storage in Sharepoint under a suitable URL but still have it "named" as it was originally when the users edit it or sync it down using Sharepoint Workspace?

PS: best take it as a given that we're keeping the folder-structure approach rather than using metadata -> one battle at a time.

1 Answer 1


No, it is not possible to change/hide the file name of the file natively in SharePoint.

If you wanted to do such a thing (and I would urge that you didn't want to), you could create/wire up a URL rewriter in a reverse proxy in between your users and SharePoint - but as I say; I would not recommend this approach.

My 2 cents:

Instead, I would be questioning your approach to putting files in SharePoint. It is not a file share. It is not Lotus Notes. It is a hefty collaboration and document management tool based on web technologies.

When doing a SharePoint migration you should be overhauling your information management policies to make it suit the new paradigm and work patterns that SharePoint supports. Deep navigational and folder structures should be abolished and replaced with metadata as a tool for slicing and dicing information. Content types, document libraries and sites should all be used for further categorisation and hierarchy.

Copy/pasting your Lotus Notes or file share directly into a SharePoint document will NOT translate to the business value that you might hope. You need to do things properly now, at the start. Otherwise it will cost you later.

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