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Rename and change extensions for multiple files at the same time

This tutorial will help to change extensions and rename multiple files at once using a very handy utility Bulk Rename Utility.

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Renaming multpile files

Some of the time you have several documents that you have to rename in a specific configuration. It will likely take you ages to rename these documents, so what you need is a way to mass rename your files. Regular properties are Date created, Date modified, Author, Title among other options.


Renaming files is really easy with this application. So go ahead download and install it.

  1. Launch the application and choose the folder you will be working from. All your files should be located in that directory.
  2. Select all the files you want to rename. Hold Shift to select range, or Ctrl to select specific files.
  3. You can see file name change happen in real time on the second column in the top window.
  4. The are lots of different options to choose from. Select the ones you want. And simply click Rename.
  5. If you want to learn more go read the manual. It has a lot more in-depth information on how to perform some more complex tasks:

All Renaming Options Explained

The rules used by the Bulk Rename Utility to rename files processed in the order that the controls appear. i.e.from left to right. Names are not actually changed until the “Rename” button is clicked, but you can always see a preview of the proposed filename in the New Name column. Note that this column is only updated for the files which are selected.

RegEx (1) – Regular Expression. It allows you to enter a regular expression Match and Replace. More details can be foundhere. If you are not using Regular Expressions then both of these fields must be left blank. Do not confusethese fields with the Replacements fields found elsewhere on the screen (Repl., see below).

Name (2) – Fine Name. It allows you to manage the file name. Name drop-down:

  • Keep – ensure that the original filename is not changed (default).
  • Remove – completely erase the filename from the selected items.
  • Fixed – specify a new filename in the box for all selected items. Only really useful if you’re also using the numbering section.
  • Reverse – reverse the name, e.g. 12345.txt becomes 54321.txt.

Replace (3) – Replacement. It allows you to replace occurrences of one text string with another.This section consists of two controls. You must specify the text you wish to Replace and the text you wish toreplace it With. It is possible to find a text string and replace it with an empty string, or with a shorter string,or with a longer string. You may also specify whether or not you want the “find” to be case-sensitive using Match Case. Note that the text is always replaced with the text you specify, including any specific text case.

Case (4) – Changing of case. Allows the capitalization of file and/or folder names to be changed.Case drop-down:

  • Same – leave the original capitalization intact.
  • Lower – convert all letters in the name(s) to lower-case.
  • Upper – converts all letters in the name(s) into capitals.
  • Title – converts all the words in the selected items to initial caps. A word is generally defined as a string of letters proceeded by a space or a bracket. So “joe public.txt” would become “Joe Public.txt” but “joe-public.txt” would become “Joe-public.txt”.
  • Sentence – converts all the words in the sentence to sentence format. This means capitalizing the first letter of the first word after every full stop (.). So “hello EVERYONE. MY name IS FreD.txt” would become “Helloeveryone. My name is fred.txt”

Remove (5) – Removing parts of a filename.This section consists of several options for removing parts of a filename. Note that these do not apply to thefile extension, just the name.

  • First n – Remove the first n characters from the name. E.g. removing the first 2 characters from “Joe Public.txt” will result in “e Public.txt”.
  • Last n – Remove the last n characters from the name. E.g. removing the last 2 characters from “Joe Public.txt” will result in “Joe Publ.txt”.
  • From/to – Remove a string of text, e.g. from the 6th to the 9th characters.
  • Chars – Remove occurrences of characters from the name. E.g. typing “QW:#” will result in all occurrences of Q, W, colon, and hash being removed.
  • Words – Remove occurrences of words (separated by spaces).Crop – Remove any text which occurs before (or after) a specific character or word. See note below.
  • Digits – Remove all occurrences of the digits 0-9 from the filename.High – Remove high-ASCII characters (chars from 128 to 255).Trim – Remove leading and trailing spaces.D/S – Remove occurrences of double spaces, and replace them with single spaces.
  • Accent – Remove accented characters and replace them with non-accented versions. File names may contain accented characters, e.g. Filenames might contain à and á. Bulk Rename Utility provides a facility to replace accented characters with non-accented if needed.
  • Chars – Remove all characters.Sym – Remove all symbols.Lead Dots – Remove the . or .. from the front of filenames (useful if you’ve copied from a Linux/Unix system).

Move/Copy (6) – Move a section of text to a different place. This section allows you to move or copy a fixed number of characters form one part of the string (start or end)to another (start, end or position). You could do this with Regular Expressions, but this gives you analternative. So for example, if all your filenames end with a unique 6-digit sequence code, and you’d ratherhave this at the start of the filename, then this is the simplest way to achieve it. You can also specify a separator in the field Sep.

Add (7) – Add a fixed prefix or suffix to the filename, and certain Exif and ID3 tags. This section allows you to add a fixed text string to the start of the filename (Prefix) and/or a fixed text string to the end of a filename (Suffix). Useful for renaming MP3 files, where you can prefix all the filenames with the artist or album name. You can also insert a text string at any point in the filename.

You may also choose to add a “Word Space”. This will insert a space before any capital letter (except the first character), unless there’s a space already there. So, the name “MyHoliday Photographs” would become “MyHoliday Photographs”.

Note: If you are processing JPEG files, you can also extract and add certain EXIF tags. These are specified using substitution tags, which you key into the Prefix, Insert or Suffix boxes. The tags supported are:

  • %a – Aperture
  • %c – Comments
  • %e – Exposure
  • %f – Focal Length
  • %xb – Exposure Bias
  • %ma – Camera Make
  • %mo – Camera Mode

Note: If you are processing MP3 files, you can also extract certain ID3 tags (n.b. only V1 and V1.1 ID3 tags are supported). These are specified using substitution tags, which you key into the Prefix, Insert or Suffixboxes. The tags supported are:

  • %r – Artist
  • %l – Album
  • %t – Title
  • %k – Track Number

Auto Date (8) – Add various dates to the filename, in various formats.

This section allows you to prefix or suffix the filename with a variety of dates – the date that the file was created, modified, or accessed, and also with the current date. The date can be added in 9 different formats, some of which also include the modification time. You can also specify the characters you would like placed between the date/time and the existing filename (the Sep. field) and the character to place between the different date/time segments (the Seg. field). e.g. a format of DMY, with a Seg field of “-” would give a date of(for example) “25-01-03”. The “Cent.” flag is used to indicate whether or not you would the year to be represented with two digits or 4 digits.

Several of the dates you can use related to “date taken”. These are EXIF flags which are often embedded in digital camera images (images created using a digital camera). Bulk Rename Utility will only get the flags from jpeg images (.JPG or .JPEG extension), TIFFs (.TIF, .TIFF), Nikon (.NEF) and Canon (.CR2) files. If no date is available then no date will be used. So for example, choosing to append a Date Taken field for a .EXE file will simply append nothing. The dates are:

  • Taken (Original) – The original timestamp, which should never change.
  • Taken (Digitized) – The original timestamp, but if the file has been edited (Canon Digital Photo Professionaletc.) then this date is updated.
  • Taken (Modified) – The standard “DateTime” EXIF field, which is usually updated if you edit the picture.
  • Taken (Recent) – the most “recent” of all three. By recent, this means the last timestamp in the file, not necessarily the most recent in time. This is purely to retain the same behaviour as previous versions of BulkRename Utility.

Append Folder Name (9) – Add the name of the containing folder(s).

This section allows you to append (or prepend) the name of the containing folder to the filename. So for example, if you had a file called “Dancers.jpg” in a folder called “Highland Show August 2003” then you could automatically rename the file to “Highland Show August 2003 – Dancers.jpg”. Useful if you have lots of folders, each containing the same group of files, and you want to merge all the files into a single folder.

You can specify a separator character(s) to use between the folder name and the file name. You can also specify how many folders to append. So for example, if you had a picture called “Cat.jpg” in “C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Pictures”, and you chose 4 levels, the result will be “C-Documents and Settings-Administrator-Pictures-Cat.jpg” The software will automatically remove the “:\” from the root (e.g C:) as these two characters are illegal in file names.

Numbering (10) – Add sequential numbers.

This section allows you to sequentially number a group of files. Several criteria exist:

  • Mode – Specify whether you want the number to be appended to the start of the filename, or at the end ofthe filename, both or insert at a certain position.
  • Start – Specify a starting number for the numbering.Incr. – The number by which you want each file name number to be incremented.
  • Pad – The minimum number of digits occupied by the numeric element. Bases 1-36 will be padded withleading zeros; the a-z and A-Z options will be padded with “a” or “A” as appropriate.
  • Sep. – A character or characters that you wish to be inserted between the filename and the number. If youenter the special character “:” (colon) in the Sep. box then this will be replaced with the auto-number. So aseparator value of ABC:DEF: would result in ABC1DEF1, ABC2ABC2 etc.

A common scenario would be:

  • Mode = Suffix
  • Start = 1
  • Increment = 1
  • Pad = 4Separator = –

This would result in filenames with suffixes of -0001, -0002, -0003, -0004 etc.

  • Break – Reset the auto-number when the nnn character changes. e.g. enter 4 to cause the number to reset when the 4th character of the NEW name changes.
  • Folder – Reset the auto-number upon a change of subfolder.
  • Type – You can choose to append the auto-number in any numeric base, from base 2 to base 36. e.g. a value of 26 in base 16 would be appended as 1A. Or even use letters, e.g. A-Z or a-z.
  • Roman Numerals – Convert Roman Numerals to upper or lower case. For example, if you had a file called”Beethoven’s niNTH syMPHONY part iii”, you might want to use Title Case to format the filename, but this would impact the “iii”. Use this control to handle the Roman Numeral element.

Extension (11) – Change case of the file name extension.

  • Same – Leave the original capitalization intact.
  • Lower – Convert all letters in the extension to lower-case.
  • Upper – Convert all letters in the extension into capitals.
  • Title – Convert all the words in the selected items to initial caps, e.g. Jpeg.
  • Fixed – Replace the extension with a fixed extension. For example, use this option to set all your files to “.doc” types.
  • Extra – Add a secondary extension. For example, change to
  • Remove – Remove any file extension. e.g. My.Holiday becomes My

Filters (12) (a.k.a Selections) 
Select which files and/or folders are shown in the file list. By default this will be all the files and folders in thecurrent folder. Note that this section is only used to govern which files/folders are displayed. You still need toselect a file or folder in order to rename it.

  • Filter – Specify a file mask to use. Normally this would be ., or *.mp3, or *.doc etc. Note that this section is only used to govern which files/folders are displayed. You still need to select a file or folder in order to rename it. So for example, entering a filter of “.mp3″ means that only your MP3 music files will be shown. You can enter multiple file masks by separating them with space, e.g. “.mp3 *.doc *.xls”. Note: changes to this field only take effect when you move the cursor to a different field or click a different control. This is to prevent the list from rebuilding with each keystroke as you type. You can also prefix a criterion with the exclamation mark (!) to perform a “not” expression. So “* !.doc !.mp3″ will select everything except Word documents and MP3 files.
  • Match Case – Match case when applying the filter.
  • RegEx – The Filter is a regular expression.
  • Folders – Include folders in the listing.
  • Files – Include files in the listing.
  • Subfolders – If the subfolders option is checked, Bulk Rename Utility will process the contents of all sub-folders in the selected branch of the file hierarchy. Care should be taken when using this feature as the utility can potentially list every file on your system.
  • Hidden – Checking this option will mean that hidden files will be displayed and selectable. Important: you should be careful using this option as many Windows system files are hidden and renaming them could have a detrimental effect on the functionality of your system.
  • Min. Len. – Only files/folders whose names are greater than (or equal to) this length will be displayed and selectable. Useful if you want to rename files greater than 64 characters for putting onto a CD, for example, .N.B. This will exclude files and folders if the file/folder name is shorter than the nominated length. However, in a recursive scan, sub-folders will still be scanned regardless of the length of the subfolder’s name.
  • Max. Len. – Only files/folders whose names are lesser than (or equal to) this length will be processed. However, in a recursive scan, sub-folders will still be scanned regardless of the length of the subfolder name.
  • Condition – Here you can enter a Javascript condition to filter files/folders. If the condition evaluates to ‘true’for an object, then that object is included in the file list, otherwise, it is not. Using a condition you can include/filter files based on name, date, exif, size, attributes, length, etc.

New Location (13) – This section allows you to leave the original files intact, but create copies of the files (with the new names) ina separate folder. This option will honor the “Overwrite Target Files” menu option.

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