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File Renamer (in Batch resp. Bulk)





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File Renamer (of the 'File Center' tab) is a very powerful dialog to rename multiple files and folders in one batch resp. bulk. In a first step you drop resp. add the items to the list which will then be filtered live when you enter a search criteria. Then you can either perform replacements on the resulting list or just on the selected files.

  • The search for the text passage to replace can be limited to either the item's name, the extension or both. For example if you choose to only change something in the extension you won't get disturbed by matches in the name. I was always missing that in the Windows Desktop search. In addition there is also the possibility to just search in the left part of the file name up to the first dot ('.'). This is very useful if you need to rename files that have more than one extension, more often seen in files coming from Linux resp. Unix.

  • The specification of the find string can be made in either plain text, by patterns '*' and '?' or by Regular Expression (Regex). At each change the list of the items is re-filtered to only show the matching items. The used replacement strings will be kept in a history up to your defined maximum in the Settings. Please note, that there's an improvement made compared to the Windows file system: If you write "*a" it will only find names that end on 'a'. If you wish that 'a' should be somewhere inside you will have to write "*a*". If a match is found, the content of the matched stars can be used in the replace expression the same way as in Regex, which means "$1" represents the part left of the 'a' and "$2" the part right of it aso.

  • Many processings can be performed either on all items of the list or just on those selected manually:

    • Replacement by another string (which can again be a Regex). The replace string supports the following elements:

      • Numbers: You can number the selected files by specifying the first number and an increment. Leading zeros up to a specifiable width are possible.

      • GUID: A global unique id can be generated for each item

      • Insertion of the item's creation date in any format. ISO format as a specialty.

      • Insertion of the item's modification date in any format. ISO format as a specialty.

      • Insertion of the current date and time in any format. ISO format as a specialty.

      • Insertion of any of the Atlas placeholders and replacers, for example a part of a date, a part of a pathname or even a random string.

    The replacement strings can use the matching parts and will be kept in a history up to your defined maximum. Each instruction set has its own history. More to the syntax see here.

    • Insertion of another string (which can also be the result of a Regular Expression). The same possibilities as the replace string.
    • Appendage of another string (which can also be the result of a Regular Expression). The same possibilities as the replace string.

    • Removal of a block of characters starting from an index. The index can be specified either from the start or the end. The indices are 0-based.

    • Moving of a block of characters to another index. The indices can be specified either from the start or from the end.

    • Swapping the part left of the found string by the part right of it. A frequently used example is the swapping of a music title with the artist's name.

    • Trimming of leading whitespaces (characters that visually appear as blanks)

    • Trimming of trailing of whitespaces

    • Changing the letter case to title case if the part is entirely in lower or uppercase. The first character of each word will be capitalized, the rest lowercased.

    • Changing a part to uppercase

    • Changing a part to lowercase

    • Replacing dots and underscores by blanks. This replaces all '.' and '_' by ' ' in the item's name. Frequently used for movie titles.

    • Replacing dashes by blanks. This replaces all '-' by ' ' in the item's name.

    • Moving the item to the trash

    • Deleting the item permanently.

  • You can copy passages into the replacement box directly by taking them from the pathnames in the grid
  • There is a preview that will show how the new name would look like if you would run the renames. To make the input of indices easier the length of the strings is displayed and you can also measure a part of the string by selecting with the pointer.

  • Usually the file system takes read-only flags very seriously and stops a rename. In File Renamer you have a checkbox to ignore them.

  • Renames between the same name in lower and uppercase variant. Linux and Unix file systems are fully supported. They are special because they do differentiate while Windows doesn't. It will presumably also work with Mac and Unix drives but not yet tested.

  • Renames to any name you wish, even such that look like extensions, eg. ".vs" (starting with a dot). You will get a warning if the number of dots in the name changes since this could have negative effects on some programs (those that don't expect multiple dots).
  • All possible conflicts like clashing into another existing file or getting an empty pathname are already checked before even starting the rename process

  • Undo/Redo functionality is implemented including restoring from the trash. No upper limit for the number of operations.

  • Saved inputs: All your inputs (light blue fields) are saved in a so called `Instruction Set`. You can store unlimited instruction sets by a name to be used later on. They can quickly be chosen by dropping a combo box. You can also rename an instruction set and duplicating to create a similar one is supported. What's more, the list of files and folders will be saved and reloaded if the application is closed. The same goes for all file and folder renames in all steps that were ever done. The maximum can be defined in the settings. So if you find out later that something was not as you would have wished, you can still undo the renames, maybe even days later.

  • To efficiently compile the list of files to be renamed, you can use the String Hunter™ tab. It can precisely and quickly find the appropriate files. Use the 'Copy' button there below the list of found files. Other possibilities are listed in the chapter "File Lists".

  • Note that a rename of the item - whether done in File Renamer or outside in Windows' File Explorer - will automatically also rename this file resp. folder in all interactively composed lists of Mighty Desktop, for example in File Copier, File Scanner aso.

  • File Renamer can be used as a very powerful File Selection Tool. You can use File Renamer to select all those files of a bunch which have or don't have multiple specific criteria (positive or negative selection, i.e. NOT those with A or B). And this works even if the files are spread in several subfolders in depth:
    1. Enter the first criteria, eg. a search string. The matching files will remain in the list.
    2. If you have more than one criteria, switch 'What to do' to 'Insert', enter "[X]" for 'String to insert', set 'At Index' to 0 and press 'Rename All'. Now you have marked all with the first criteria.
    3. Repeat step 2 for all your other criteria
    4. Enter "[X]" for 'Find String'. Now you have all files in the grid that match all of your criteria.
    5. To do something with the rest select all files and press "Remove Selected".
    6. Clear the 'Find String'. Now you have all files in the grid that do NOT match your criteria.
    7. If you wanted for example delete these files select all of them and press "Trash Selected"
    8. Add the folder of all the marked files
    9. Enter "[X]" for 'Find String'. Now you have all marked ones in the datagrid.
    10. Switch 'What to do' to 'Remove'
    11. Enter 3 for 'Length' and assert that 'From Index' is 0
    12. Press "Rename All". This will remove the mark "[X]" from all files.
  • Notes for specifying folders from commandline: Actually there are 3 possible scenarios:
    • Only the folder itself should be renamed: Specify the folder and no "/S"
    • The folder and all items in it in full depth: Specify the folder and "/S"
    • The top folder and all the items in the top folder (but not further down) should be renamed: Must be specified as two arguments, 1) the top folder and 2) "topfolder\*" and not specifying "/S"

  • On some Windows versions after a file rename their names are sometimes not automatically updated in File Explorer. You will have to press F5 to see the changes.
  • You can activate File Renamer also by right-clicking on some items in File Explorer.


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