Batch 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 powerful utility.

























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.


  1. Change 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.
  2. The 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”.
  3. In 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.
  4. In 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.
  5. I 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.






















  1. Once you have verified the preview, click on Exit, and then flick “Rename It!” With in seconds, it will be done.
  2. If you make a mistake, don’t worry, there is always the next section.


Advanced Renaming Options

  1. This 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.
  2. Here 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:” box.





  1. You 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.
  2. Notice 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 want renamed.



  1. In this last example (above) all of the files selected will have the first three characters replaced (0-2) with the new prefix.
  2. If you make a mistake, you can always change it with the these advanced options.



  1. Sometimes, 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 advanced.



  1. If 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.