Establishing a naming convention for printer locations

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Establishing a naming convention for printer locations

To use printer location tracking, described in Enable printer location tracking, you need to set a naming convention for printers' locations using the following rules:

  • Location names are in the form name**/name/name/name/... (The slash (/**) must be the dividing character.)

  • A name can consist of any characters except for the slash (/).

  • The number of levels to a name is limited to 256.

  • The maximum length of name is 32 characters.

  • The maximum length of an entire location name is 260 characters.

Because location names are used by end users, they should be simple and easy to recognize. Avoid using special names known only to facilities management. For better readability, avoid using special characters in a name, and keep names to a maximum of 32 characters to make sure that the whole name string is visible in the user interface.


Consider an organization with multiple locations in North America and Europe. The naming scheme for the organization might be as follows:

Top level Level Level





























Note that the tree varies in depth depending on the complexity of the organization and the amount of detail available in the IP network. The naming convention for this example includes more levels than for a smaller organization located in a single city, or a single building. The full name of the design building in Buffalo, New York is NorthAmerica/NewYork/Buffalo/Design; for the design building in Paris, the full name is Europe/Paris/Design, and the smaller office in Dallas has the name as NorthAmerica/Dallas.

Setting standards when printer location tracking is disabled

As mentioned previously, you can add information to Location in the General tab of the printer property page even if printer location tracking is disabled. However, this has the potential to make printers difficult for users to locate. When users search for printers on the tenth floor, they need to know exactly what to type in the Find Printers property page when they click Start, then Search, and then Find Printers. When printer location tracking is enabled, the Location field in the Find printer property page is filled in automatically.