Renaming Files using Rname-It!
Yes, it is spelled Rname-It…incase you want to
find it on the Internet. There are other programs that can do the same thing,
but this one program is considered the best…and it’s freeware.
Who needs this program? Anybody who takes more than
a couple of pictures a month will need this program at some point. If all you
shoot is a few pictures at Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter…you don’t need
a batch-renaming program…just do them one at a time. But if you shoot a lot of
pictures, frequently, then you definitely need this program.
Should I use Basic or Advanced? If you rename your files BEFORE you do ANYTHING else
with them, use the Basic interface. For example, you haven’t emailed them to
anybody, nor copied them to multiple locations, etc. Basic is useful to rename
the entire file. BUT, if you have already uploaded the files to a second
computer, like home and school (work), or desktop and laptop, then it is better
to use the advanced so you can leave the original index number on the file while
still allowing you to change the prefix to better describe the photo.
Here is how to use each option. It is really easy,
and extremely fast, after you get the hang of the interface. BEFORE
beginning, you MAY want to make a copy of the entire folder of files. You
won’t need to do this but once, but, until you have tried this program at
least once, you might feel better that you have a back up of your files before
renaming. Actually, you should ALWAYS have a back up of your files. On important
shoots, I back up the original files (original names and unculled) on to a CD
(or DVD), label it originals, and file it away. After I have culled the files
and renamed them all, I will back up to an external drive. But, that is another
lesson for another day. For this lesson, you MIGHT want to at least make a copy
of the folder you are about to experiment with until you get the hang of this
Basic File Renaming Options: This is best used when
you want to rename the entire file, adding a NEW numbering sequence, i.e.
Changing IMG_1034 to “Mike’s Bday 06_001”
NOTE: Renaming SHOULD be done AFTER you have culled
the DUDs…but BEFORE you do ANY rotation or other editing that is going to
change the Modified date.
the drive letter [-c-] to the drive where your files are located (ie. The
‘P’ drive here in class), then navigate to the folder containing the
images to rename. Note: Occasionally, a list of files or an entire directory
will not how up. I have found the problem to be that the folder is too far
nested and moving the folder to the root level of “My Pictures” or to
the “Desktop” solves the problem.
lower left corner is the list of files to be renamed. By default (can be
changed via “Options”) no files are selected. Click and drag across the
files to be renamed. It will NOT look like it is highlighting while you are
dragging, but it is. When you get to the end of the list, let go…and you
will see that all of the files selected. Click once on any files that should
not be renamed, like “Thumbs.db” or “Picasa.ini”.
the example above, you can see that I selected just the IMG and MVI files.
The three DC2 files are not the same subject as all of the others. I clicked
on “Replace” and clicked on “Counter for padding to Prefix” by
clicking on “Prefix”. If I have less than 99 files, I do a starting
value of 01. If I have OVER 100 files, I would set a starting value of 001.
If you have modified any of the files, you MIGHT need to change the "Date/Time (old to
new)". This is the order in which the files will be
renamed. If you changed the modified date, then you will need to change
“Sort filenames [A to Z]". The only problem with this option is if you have
a variety of image names, like images from two different cameras, or you
shot some movies, which generally use a different prefix. This is why
renaming as soon as you can BEFORE making any changes is important. If you
can’t work it out, then you might need to just use the “Advanced
Renaming Options”. Another solution is to use a “Time Stamp”
editor…but that is a different program and a different lesson.
choosing the name, it is important to identify the subject AND some sort of
a date reference. If it is an activity that is likely to happen again with
in the same year, I indicate the Month and Year.
ALWAYS click on “Full Preview” to see the effect of your naming. The
live “Preview” may look ok…but “Full Preview” will prevent some
surprises and time lost from mistakes.
you have verified the preview, click on Exit, and then flick “Rename
It!” With in seconds, it will be done.
you make a mistake, don’t worry, there is always the next section.
Advanced Renaming Options
section is great for correcting for a mistake, like you have a misspelling,
or more importantly, you want to preserve the original sequence number
because you already sent some or all of the files to somebody, or you have
the files stored in more than one location making renaming impractical. IOW,
if you have files in more than one location, DO NOT RENUMBER the
images…only change the name.
is where it gets a LITTLE more complicated IF you have different prefixes.
If all of your files BEGIN with the same prefix, all you have to do is click
on the Advanced Option “Replace”, and then type in what to replace on
the “string:” box, and then what to replace it with in the “with:”
can see in the preview above that not ALL of the files will get renamed.
Note: ONLY Full Preview works in the advanced mode, so be sure to click on
“Full Preview” to see what you are getting.
that that the original file sequence number is intact, so you can simply run
the replace renaming until you get them all. OR, you can delete the
“string” and instead, replace the character position by NUMBER instead.
If you want to replace the first 3 characters, put a “o” in
First/From” and a “2” in “Last/To”. Check the Full Preview…and
if correct, rename it. Do NOT forget to deselect any files that you do not
this last example (above) all of the files selected will have the first
three characters replaced (0-2) with the new prefix.
you make a mistake, you can always change it with the these advanced
it might be necessary to change the extension for a batch of files. This has
only rarely happened to me, but it is worth mentioning. Sometimes, we get a
batch of files that we know are jpegs. But, when you 2x click on the file,
it doesn’t open. Well, in the “Basic File Renaming Options”, you can
click on “Make changes to Extension”, and replace the existing extension
and place a “.jpg” at the end of the file name. Be careful …even
through this is listed as a Basic option, changing the extension is pretty
you want to set the defaults, or change settings, go to “Option” at the
bottom of the window. When you are done, click on “Ok & Save to ini
file” so that the settings will be remembered when you reopen the program.
Some options I like to change can be seen below.