Hack 24 Better File Rename


Rename multiple files quickly and easily.

I hate to admit it, but sometimes I'm impatient. Why should I waste my time doing the same thing over and over again? If you've ever had to rename more than one file at a time, you know how foolish it is to have to click, pause, click again, type the new name, hit Enter, and then repeat for each file, just to rename them?especially if there's some sort of pattern to what you're doing. Unix expatriates will find this procedure especially annoying after using powerful wildcards and other Unix pattern-matching syntax. Better File Rename (well worth the $15 shareware registration fee from http://www.publicspace.net/windows/BetterFileRename/) does all you might imagine a file-renaming utility would do and more. It's conveniently accessed via the context menu, a right-click away from any group of selected files.

Figure 3-11 displays some of the options for renaming files based on pattern or placement in the filename (beginning or end of filename). For each pattern or placement option, you get a powerful set of variables and settings to choose from so that you can rename files in all sorts of ways, quickly and easily.

Figure 3-11. Better File Rename options

One of the ways to use this utility is to append a prefix to a list of files that all belong to the same project but begin with entirely different filenames (such as a list of figures for a book). It's also especially useful for digital camera owners who don't like the numerical or other automatically generated names for your files. While you might remember that a bunch of pictures with random numbers for filenames are pictures of your daughter, appending her name to each filename in one step with Better File Rename is easier than trying to remember such details or doing the painfully slow click-and-rename dance for each one. You can also change a whole list of filenames from upper- to lowercase, and vice versa. The pattern-replacement and automatic successive-numbering options are especially useful. Impatient control freaks, rejoice!

?Nancy Kotary