Batch File Rename: BRU, GeoSetter, XnConvert, XnView

by JL Beeken on 2-17-2014

I can’t tell you what naming conventions to use for your files. That’s up to you. But these are some free software choices for batch file renaming and they may give you some ideas for your file names.

Bulk Rename Utility

This is the most versatile as you can change existing file-names by replacing, removing, inserting, deleting, moving, copying, appending, auto-dating, numbering and changing location. It can open entire folders of sub-folders. It can be accessed from the context menu which saves scrolling through sub-folders looking for your files.

It can also be overkill, or not enough, if you’re simply trying to rename the files from your camera.

Bulk Rename Utility

It can seem overwhelming. Take your time and think about what you’re trying to accomplish.

For instance, my Cuz likes to name her files with year dates at the end; something like “John Harris Household Ohio Census 1870″. Since I name my files by MRIN-year, first I’ll batch add MRIN- to the beginning of all files going through one folder at a time and then move the last four characters to position 6.

Bulk Rename Utility

From there I would add a space at position 10 and remove the last character of the string which is now a space. Then I’ll scan the file names for other patterns I can change. It sounds complicated but when this is being done on a hundred files at once it goes quite quickly. Also, that’s one of the most challenging examples of what I use it for.

GeoSetter

Create your own pattern or add strings from location data, dates, embedded IPTC, camera info. Sequential numbering. Save patterns. This works with images only.

Since I name my personal digital pictures as year-jlb-{4 digits} It’s easy to set up a pattern of 2014-jlb-0{Counter:132} depending what the next number is. There’s a preview at the bottom of the window so I can see what the output will be. And after I click OK, there’s still another chance to change my mind.

Rename Image Files, GeoSetter

XnConvert

(from the developer of XnView)
Make templates from IPTC and EXIF. Change format and case. Save templates.

Batch Rename, XnConvert

This software, like XnView, has many other options.

XnView

Create templates from dates, embedded IPTC, camera info. Sequential numbering. Replace, change extension and case.

Batch Rename, XnView

Same type of thing here as GeoSetter. # is used to denote the number of digits desired in the file-name.

All of these programs are free. Except for GeoSetter they work with all types of files.

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