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Batch Renaming

Been using your favorite digital camera for a while, have you? Done any organizing? Well it's not going to organize itself. Folders are easy enough to create of course. You might have even named your folders coherently. But still those blasted file names. Who has time for renaming thousands of files individually.

Digital Cameras just number files

Most cameras give you photo names like DSC000345 and P001-10100. These won't be very helpful when you are looking for your shots of Grandma when she got her black eye after being hit with the frisbee. You want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. Later your searches will be much easier too.

Renaming a picture is kind of a hassle. Windows does allow you to multiple file rename at once. In a folder, you can select multiple files holding the shift key. After they are highlighted you can either right-click or click File > Rename. You will rename the file (you may need to add the original file extension like .jpg back on the file) and once you click enter, all the selected files will be renamed and sequentially numbered. This is OK, but not great. Other utilities can do more.

Batch Renaming Programs | Windows

I have five favorite utilities for renaming files on Windows.

  • Ant Renamer - the best ever in my opinion
  • Rename-it - Previous favorite
  • IrfanView - image viewer with renaming feature
  • XnView - another image viewer with renaming feature
  • ReNamer - Haven't used this but it's full featured and current

Ant Renamer

This is the best. It does absolutely everything, including allowing you to rename based on a text list. It's hard to explain the usefulness of this until you need it. One thing Ant Renamer has I have used many times is the undo feature. If your batch rename comes out faulty, no harm done.


I still have an affinity for this program, but I think ReNamer surpasses it. I've linked to that above. Still this is a useful program.

IrfanView Rename Feature

I love irfanview image viewer. In the thumbnails window, you can initiate a batch rename of selected files. It's part of a number of other "batch" settings. You know the more I hear the word "batch" in my head the stranger it gets.

XnView Rename Feature

I always say this, but XnView is pretty much a more beautiful competitor to Irfanview. Who will win? Probably the one that goes open source first.

Batch Renaming | Mac

I know now that Automator will do renaming, and that's built into 10.5 and above, but seems that if you aren't using Automator regularly, then you might get a little gun shy with it. Thankfully some good standalone file renamer utilities exist for Mac.

Name Mangler (Mac)

I think this one is my favorite. Looks good. Smells good.

NameChanger (Mac)

Ok, ok this one looks good too.

Batch Renaming | Linux (Ubuntu) / Linux Mint

  • Metamorphose Best I've used so far, works in Gnome
  • Pyrenamer Nicely done, certain things weren't obvious
  • KRename (Short for KDE Rename) is a popular app.
  • DigiKam is a Linux picture manager with a rename plugin.

I'm actually surprised there aren't a motherload of utility programs for renaming on Linux. I'll have to look a little harder in forums to see what I'm missing.



Batch Renaming | Adobe Bridge

It makes sense that Adobe Bridge, a file organizer would do batch renaming. I don't like the interface as much as Ant Renamer, but it can get the job done for most needs. Adobe Help Page for Renaming in Bridge.