Ever tried to rename multiple files on your computer? Well, editing just a few of them won’t necessarily flip your anger switch, but when there are hundreds or thousands of files to be renamed, it got to be a little inconvenient.
Recently, while working with my new Free image hosting website, I ran into some problems. Apparently, I decided to use Amazon S3 as my underlying storage solution to scale the platform in order to serve the anticipated surge in service demand. To achieve this, I had to rename more than 9,000 files, which includes the full-size image, thumbnail and resized pictures. This particular migration required me to add a ‘suffix’ to each and every image before uploading them to Amazon S3. I was certain that I could edit all of these files manually, one-by-one. However, after going through the first few hundred images in 30 minutes it became clear to me that it is not going to be an easy task. So, I started calculating and concluded that to rename all those 9,000 images, it would require 40 hours of continuous editing. Can you believe that?
TL;DR: I needed something to edit more than 9,000 files to add a suffix to them.
Hunt for the solution
I have a separate droplet (VPS instance) for my image hosting website, which gives me the flexibility to provide better service to the users as it often gets too crowded at times. First, I thought I would do it on my server itself using the command line, as my main VPS server provided by digitalocean runs latest Ubuntu distro. Linux is very powerful Operating system, and one can achieve anything, given it falls right into its programming capabilities. However, doing so would totally kill the motive of writing this article. If publishing this article means helping many others who is struggling to find the solution to the same problem, then why give up?
First, I tried to find out if Windows Operating system natively supports this feature. I am well aware that you can rename multiple files at once with desired suffix and incremental numbering by simply selecting all the files to be renamed and pressing F2 key on the keyboard, but it is nowhere near what we actually want to achieve here. That leaves us with the tedious command prompt or new the WindowsShell to execute some command based instructions. However, I won’t touch this segment in this article as it will be a little overkill for this simple task.
That brings me to the next phase of ‘solution hunt’ – The search for a dedicated third party software/application. A simple google query lead me to multiple websites which claimed to provide the solution. However, when tested individually, I concluded there are two simple yet powerful tools which is capable of achieving just what we want. The best thing is that they’re all free.
The solution I found are still an overkill for what we wanted to achieve, but they’re a complete solution to anything that requires batch renaming of files on windows. In fact, they’re so powerful that even an old school command line junky would say goodbye to all those nifty codes.
Bulk Rename Utility
Bulk Rename Utility immediately became one of my favorite tools as it helped me rename all my 9,000 files with the click of a button.
All I had to do it select the folder where my files were located, put the keyword I wanted to an add to all the files in the “Suffix” box.
There is a huge list of options that makes it one of the most powerful file renaming tool atm. You can rename multiple files quickly in any manner you want, rename photos (even the exif metadata), rename mp3 files, change file creation and modification time stamps and so on.
Advanced Renamer is a free program for renaming multiple files and folders at once. By configuring renaming methods the names can be manipulated in various ways. You can setup advanced batch job using this powerful tool in minutes. There are 14 different methods that enables you to change the names, attributes, and timestamps of files in one go.
Advanced Renamer is pretty much same as the tool mentioned above, but I personally felt it was little less newbie friendly. However, there is nothing it can’t achieve that you can do on BulkRenameUtility.