There’s something so reassuring about a product with a name that describes exactly what it does. Truth in product naming is quite rare in an internet age when marketing your product means naming it with a made up word or, at the very least, with a real word spelled creatively in order to ensure that people searching the net for your product find it. The Nintendo Wii offers a very nice example of this trend. In development it was called the Revolution. And however much it may have revolutionized video gaming with its motion controllers, adding another revolution to the scores which appear in a Google search for that word wasn’t in the game maker’s best interest. Google “Wii,” however, and all your results will relate to Italian plumbers, lost princesses, and their many friends.
The fine folks who created the Bulk Rename Utility managed to steer clear of this internet marketing trap. Their Windows only program does exactly what the name suggests. It allows you to rename many files all at once. Once the free software is installed on your machine, you’ll see a context menu item when you right click on a folder that offers you the option to “Bulk Rename Here.” When you select that option, you’ll see the window pictured below. As you can see, the program goes well beyond the rename feature built into Windows. You can insert text, a series of numbers, and dates into any point in the file name. You can also keep or remove as much of the original name as you like. As a historian who uses a digital camera to gather primary source material in archives, I can come away from a research trip with literally thousands of individual jpeg images. My camera prefers to name these files IMG_0001, IMG_0002 and so on. Bulk Rename Utility allows me to select a large clump of files and to give them much more useful names. I can leave the numbers intact, for instance but replace “IMG_” with the name of the collection or the date I took the photos. I can even renumber them if, for instance, I worked with two collections in one day and wanted each group of photos numbered separately. In the screen shot below you can see that I’m replacing IMG with the acronym for the archive where I took these photos and that I’ve appended the file names with the name of the collection they represent.
I highly recommend this free download for Windows users who need to manage large quantities of individual files. Unfortunately, there’s no Mac or Linux version available. However, a quick Google search reveals a number of bulk rename programs out there for Mac. And experienced Linux users should be able to accomplish many of these changes from the command line. If you have a favorite way to rename in bulk on any platform, let us know in the comments below.
You can read more about Bulk Rename Utility’s features, download the program, or explore its user forums and documentation at http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/.