The terms “Portrait” and “landscape” are used to describe the orientation of content relative to a page or screen.

portrait and landscape orientations

For the sake of keeping file names short and concise, what would be the best way to abbreviate these terms?

I am thinking “vert” and “horiz” could be good, for vertical and horizontal. But I'm not sure if they would add to confusion, since they deviate from the standard terminology.

I am also considering “port” and “land” as well, but I don't like that those words have their own meanings by themselves. It could cause confusion.

Maybe “y” and “x” corresponding with the longer of the axes? Or is that simplifying too much?

For English speakers receiving a file that will look something like jobname_print_a4_des01_landscape_0221 for example, it seems inefficient having the longest word in that string be only for the purpose of describing the orientation.

Is there a commonly agreed upon way to abbreviate these words? Web searches have turned up nothing for me.

A non-English-speaker asked me for advice on this and I couldn't give a good answer, so the files went out with a number corresponding to each of the two orientations. But for the future the question still stands, because I feel like it's the sort of thing that would have a convention.

In Japanese the orientation would be expressed with a single kanji character for each (縦, 横), and even if adhering to an alphanumeric file naming convention, they could be written as “tate” and “yoko” respectively (concise, and understandable to a Japanese recipient). To a typical English speaker these would just look like people's names.

  • Your text indicates that you are looking for suggestions that are not necessarily abbreviations of those terms in any way. Which is it: are you looking for their abbreviations or are you looking for suggestions that are not their abbreviations.
    – Drew
    Feb 21, 2018 at 4:08
  • Thanks for pointing that out. I will clarify: The best solution would be abbreviations of the original words. If none exist, the question becomes: What are the best short words for describing the orientations in a way that can be easily understood?
    – Mentalist
    Feb 21, 2018 at 4:14
  • 1
    Consider 'tall' and 'wide' as suitable short words to describe the content.
    – Doc G.
    Feb 21, 2018 at 4:28

1 Answer 1


I don't think there's a commonly agreed upon designator. As a graphic designer, I mostly see the abbreviations vert and horiz used in filenames. I don't recall seeing port and land but I have seen portrait and landscape, maybe because filenames can be so long now, I think it's just as easy to use the full words, as in your example. I suspect the vert/horiz abbreviations may be from older folks who, like me, have been doing this a while and like to shorten the filenames as much as possible because there used to be a fairly stringent limit.

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