Alphabetic filing is the arrangement of files
by names - individual, company, or subject - in dictionary order.
People are comfortable thinking about information by names,
therefore alphabetic order is the most commonly used
method for filing systems with less than 5,000 records. Alphabetic
filing methods allow anyone direct access to information
contained in the files because cross-references are not needed.
Larger volume alphabetic systems often have repetitions of many
common names which make alphabetic filing extremely tedious and
time consuming. Although the alphabet is recognized and
understood by almost everyone, infinite combinations of its 26
letters actually make it a complex filing system. When
color coding is not used, this complexity causes reading errors
that result in frequent misfiles.