Imagine I have list of names. User could duplicate one of the names but the system requires that each name is unique. To save users time, the name field of the duplicate name is already prefilled. What is the best way to display a unique item?

So for example, imagine a list like this:

  • Lorem ipsum dolor
  • Sit amet
  • Consectetuer adipiscing

After duplication of the last name, should it be named 'Consectetuer adipiscing copy', 'Consectetuer adipiscing 1', or something else?


If we're being honest here, it doesn't really matter what the exact wording is.

What matters is what the user intends to do when he or she duplicates a file. And that is usually to keep the base name but extend it by something more useful. Otherwise they can create a new object or rename the thing completely, in which case your naming convention doesn't matter anyway.

So making renaming as easy as possible while still making clear that it's a copy should be your actual goal here.

Let's take Windows' approach as an example:

enter image description here

Same as MacOS, not really bad but maybe it could be better. I have to delete a whole word and also be careful with that slightly annoying "-" character.

Something that is easily deleted and uses no special characters would probably be a better option here, e.g. "Wichtige Tasks 2" or "Wichtige Tasks Kopie".


Taking inspiration from how the macOS treats this:

enter image description here

So you can actually use:

  • Consectetuer adipiscing
  • Consectetuer adipiscing copy
  • Consectetuer adipiscing copy 2

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.