Renaming a lot of files is a chore, even more so when the names are very different from each other. Windows Explorer / File Explorer features some basic mass-renaming options, but these don’t cut it very often as the functionality is as basic as it gets.
But when you have to rename files using a similar name pattern it’s always a good idea to use a renaming software such as Advanced Renamer to save some time.
It is one of the most advanced programs out there to rename files and has a very good interface that makes it easy to use. Speaking of which the GUI consists of 3 panes, a naming method pane, a file selection pane and an information pane.
Advanced Renamer is available as a portable version and installer for Windows. It is free to use for personal use; commercial users need to buy a license to use it in business environments. The program supports the renaming of files and folders.
Adding the Files
To add the files or folders which you want to rename, select them using the “Add” menu or drag and drop them to the right pane in the program’s interface. Each file you add is listed with its name, path and other information. The new filename is displayed there as well so that you know right away how filenames will look like with the selected renaming settings.
The toolbar that is displayed at the top of the file pane lists tools to change the order of files, customize columns, or enable or hide thumbnails.
Detailed information is displayed for the selected file in the file information pane including a file’s name, creation, modification, and accessed date, and, for some file types, a preview image, GPS data, or dimensions. There is an EXIF Tool button to open the included tool to view, edit, or remove EXIF data from files.
Configuring the renaming options
Let’s move to the left pane. This is where you will configure the renaming options; just select the “add method” button to pick one of the available options such as new name, add, replace, or renumber from the list of available presets.
For basic renaming you can use the New Name method. Type something in the text box and you will see that the “new filename” column is updated accordingly.
One example: let’s say we want to organize a photo album. Camera apps use odd naming patterns that reveal nothing about the location, people, or event captured by these images.
To change the name of photos such as P6200951.JPG to 2018 Vacation – Summer.jpg, you’d simply type the new name into the “new name” field after selecting the method from the list of presets. The preview is updated automatically to reflect the change.
If you have added more than one photo to the program you will notice that there is an issue: you have multiple files and each of them has the same new filename which will produce conflicts. To correct this, you can add a tag to the naming method, such as the increasing number tag represented by <Inc Nr:1>; this adds a unique identifier to each filename.
You can add spaces and hyphens in the name, like I have done in the screenshot, to keep the filename clean, or remove any space to avoid conflicts with certain programs or services.
Once you do this you will see that the photos in our example are named 2018 Vacation – Summer 01, 2018 Vacation – Summer 02, and so on.
One strong feature of Advanced Renamer is that you can select multiple methods for rename jobs and use all kinds of tags including ID3/MP3 Tags, Image Tags, Date/Time Tags, GPS, Videos, TV Shows, and more. The TV Shows feature pulls information from a third-party website to add these to filenames automatically.
Advanced users can use regular expressions to find and replace characters.
The renaming of photo collections is just one example where renaming software can be of use. Other examples include bringing music and video libraries in order, renaming downloaded files so that they feature the month or year in the filename, or using media tags to add information to media filenames.
The preview of the new filename is one of the most helpful options of Advanced Renamer as it reflects any change you make right away. It is easy enough to correct any mistakes you make to get the job done correctly.
Note: if you select rename as the batch mode, source files will be renamed. You may also select move or copy to prevent that the source files are renamed.
A click on the “start batch” button starts the renaming process. The program displays a confirmation prompt that lists the number of methods, files, and the batch mode. A click on start runs the operation.
Advanced Renamer displays a log of the process once you have hit the start button. It displays processes files, number of errors it encountered during operation and an option to open the error log to take a closer look at the errors.
The program renames files quickly: the entire process for 97 files took less than 30 seconds during one of the tests that I ran.
In case of issues with the renaming process, you can do one of 2 things. Use a different naming method, or the easier option which is “Undo last batch”. The latter displays a list of tasks that were completed, and lets you select the one which you can undo.
Advanced Renamer is a powerful software program for Windows to rename files. Simple rename jobs take less than a minute to configure and start thanks to the program’s use of preset methods and default tags to choose from.
Plenty of advanced options are available, from using file metatags to combining multiple methods or using regular expressions to rename files using simple or complex patterns.
Now You: Which rename software, if any, do you use?
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