Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
 Product Review 

Batch File Renaming
by Alan German


I am amazed at how often I can find a piece of free software to accomplish precisely the task I wish – seemingly no matter how obscure the requirements.  Suppose, for example, I wanted to remove all the hyphens from the names of multiple files and, at the same time, standardize the file names to use just the first eight characters.  No doubt, that with sufficient time and effort, I could write some sort of script to undertake this task, but is there an existing utility program that can do the job?

As it happens, I did need precisely this capability – with the additional requirement to have the renaming process work for both file and folder names.  I tried a number of batch file renaming programs before I found Bulk Rename Utility which could handle my specific tasks – and much more!

Running the program produces a main screen with a seemingly bewildering number of choices.  However, the basic operation is fairly simple once you take the trouble to scan through the individual components.

The file directory tree allows selection of a folder, at which point the names of the files inside the folder are displayed in the large window.  The non-intuitive part of the process is that you need to select one, or more, or all of the files within this window on which the renaming operations are to be conducted.

 In the example shown in the screenshot, I have selected all four files in the \agtemp2 folder.  In the “Replace (3)” section of the window I have opted to replace the hyphen character with nothing.  And, in the “Remove (5)” section, I have chosen to remove characters in the file name “From” 9 “to” 23. 

As can be seen in the preview of the new file names (shown in green) this removes all the hyphens and retains the first eight characters of the file names, while leaving the file extensions unchanged.  The really useful part of this process is that, with the files selected, the preview is dynamic so you can see what effect your particular renaming selections will have.

Pressing the “Rename” button in the lower-right corner of the window brings up a warning message to double check that the selections are correct.  Continue and the files are renamed – there is no undo feature!

The program comes with an extensive, 41-page manual, and an offer of on-line support by E-mail.  However, once you get over the shock of having so many renaming options available, a little study will allow you to readily tailor the program’s operation to your specific purposes.

Note that, in addition to removing characters, Bulk Rename Utility will allow you to add text, numbers and dates to file names and let you change the case,  And, yes, it does rename multiple folders in the same manner as files.


Bottom Line:

Bulk Rename Utility (Freeware)
Jim Willsher

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Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON  K2G 1S6

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