Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Renaming Groups of Files in Windows

Renaming large numbers of files can be a real pain. While there are many reasons why you may need (or want) to rename large groups of files, one of the most common is with digital photos. By default, your digital camera probably gives every picture you take an image file name like DSC1003.jpg, incrementing the ending number for each subsequent photo. Obviously, this isn’t terribly handy from an identification standpoint when you’re looking a particular picture from last year’s vacation.

Thankfully, Windows makes it easy to rename large groups of files in at once, avoiding the need to rename similar files individually. To do this, begin by selecting all of the files that you want to rename. If it’s all of the files in a particular folder, click Edit > Select All. If it’s only a select group of files you want to rename, highlight those files by pressing down the Ctrl or Shift key and then clicking on the files in question. Release the Ctrl or Shift key once all required files are selected.

Next, press the F2 button and give the first file a new name, for example vacation 2005. After pressing Enter, all of the selected files will be renamed according to this convention, bearing names like vacation 2005 (1), vacation 2005 (2), and so forth. While it’s not the most glamorous solution, it makes small work of bulk renaming files in a simple fashion on a Windows system.

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