Monday, May 11, 2009

Haja Peer Mohamed H

More Ways To Rename Files In Windows

Renaming files is just as common as copying or moving, but it can end up being a much more tedious task in Windows Explorer. In its simplest form, Explorer’s rename feature works like this: highlight a file, wait a fraction of a second to avoid double-clicking, then click the filename. 

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When the text field appears, type a new name and then press Enter to rename the file. You can also right-click and select Rename, or highlight the object and press the F2 key. Then, do it 39 more times to rename all 40 files.

Solution 1: Select multiple files in Explorer
If you press F2 when more than one file is selected in Windows Explorer, only one file—the active file—gets a text field for you to type in. Nothing will happen to the other selected files, at least not yet.The active file is important, since its name is used as a template to rename the other selected files. Read More in detail about
Batch Renaming Files In Windows Without Third Party Software

If the file marked as active is not the one you want to use, hit Esc, and then hold the Ctrl key while clicking another file. If the new file was highlighted, it will become deselected—in this case, just Ctrlclick the file once more to reselect it. Then, press F2 again to show the text field. Rename the active file as desired, and press Enter when you’re done. The active file keeps its new name, and then Explorer assigns the same name plus a number, in parenthesis—to all the other files. 

What happens when you try to rename multiple files in Explorer
Old filename                         New filename
My file.doc (the active file)     The Penske File.rtf
Grandma.jpg                           The Penske File (1).jpg
Readme.1st                             The Penske File (2).1st
Purchases.mdb                        The Penske File (3).mdb
Chapter 2 (a folder)                 The Penske File (4)

Although Explorer doesn’t show you a preview of your new filenames, you can undo a multiple rename operation as easily as a single rename operation by pressing Ctrl-Z once for each file that was renamed. Want to undo a single rename of 17 files? You’ll need to press Ctrl-Z 17 times.

Solution 2: Use the Command Prompt  (if you dont like using command prompt, read more on Batch Renaming Files In Windows Without Third Party Software)
An alternative is to use the ren command , either directly from the Command Prompt (cmd.exe), or from a batch file or PowerShell script. First, use the cd command, to change the working directory to the folder containing the files you wish to rename. For example, type: 
cd c:\stuff
to change to the C:\stuff folder. If the folder name contains a space, enclose it in quotation marks, like this: 
cd "c:\Progam Files\stuff"
Next, use the ren command to rename the file; the general syntax is: 
ren source 
destination where both source and destination can be any combination of permissible characters and wildcards. Two wildcards are allowed: an asterisk (*), which is used to match any number of characters, and a question mark (?), which is used to match only a single character. For example: Rename a single file
ren oldfile.txt newfile.txt
Change the extension of all .txt files to .doc
ren *.txt *.doc
Rename the first part of a filename without changing the extension 
ren document.* documentation.*
Remove the extensions of all files in the folder
ren *.* *.
Change the first letter of all files in a folder to “b”
ren *.* b*.*
Add a zero in front of numbered chapter files (note the quotation marks)
ren "chapter ??.wpd" "chapter0??.wpd"
Rename all files with an “s” in the fourth position so that a “t” appears there
ren ???s*.* ???t*.*
Truncate the filenames of all files in the folder so that only the first four characters
are used
ren *.* ????.*
Now, using wildcards takes a bit of practice and patience. The more you do it, the better intuitive sense you’ll have of how to phrase a rename operation. To make things simpler, try issuing several successive ren commands instead of trying to squeeze all your changes into a single step. If a naming conflict occurs, the ren command never overwrites a file. For example, if you try to rename Lisa.txt to Bart.txt, and there’s already another file called Bart.txt, ren just displays an error.

Solution 3: Use a third-party add-on
Got a lot of files to rename? Use Power Rename, part of Creative Element Power Tools ( To use the tool, open the Creative Element Power Tools Control Panel, turn on the Rename files with ease option, and click Accept. Then, highlight any number of files to rename, right-click, and select Power Rename. Or, open the Power Rename utility (Figure) and drag-drop the files onto the window.
"Power Rename makes it much easier to rename many files at once" 

Select the renaming criteria to your right. The first option, As Specified, allows you to type a file specification with wildcards, as described previously, but the
real power lies in With Operation, and the operations that follow. For instance, you can insert text anywhere, remove text (crop), search and replace text, add numbering, and even fix numbered codes in files downloaded from the Web.

Turn on the Show what files will look like option to see a live preview of the filenames as you adjust the options. When you’re done, click Accept to rename the files.

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Haja Peer Mohamed H

About Haja Peer Mohamed H -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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Write comments
November 14, 2011 at 8:35 PM delete

Windows is so hopeless. File renaming seems to have changed recently. Now it FORCES you to change the entire filename. You used to be able to click at the end and change just the last part, but now it quickly re-selects the entire base filename (not extension). What gives? Why the change? Why ass-u-me I want to change the entire filename or not refer to the old filename as I create a new one?

Any words of advice on how to turn off this further other additional "Microsoft Intelligence" feature?