Rename thousands of files in one click

Download a few files from the Internet and one problem you’ll soon notice is that they won’t exactly follow any sensible naming conventions. Some will leave out key information you need to tell what they are; others will add unnecessary extras, like dates or numeric IDs; and they’ll be in a mix of upper, lower or mixed case -- a real mess.

Renaming one or two names in Windows Explorer is easy enough, of course. But if there are any more then it all becomes just too tedious. Unless, that is, you install a batch processing tool such as the free Solid Renamer.

The program works by allowing you to create rules which process your existing file names in various ways. There are five options. “Trim” removes text from a given position in the current file name; “Insert Text” adds it; “Enumerate” allows you to add numbers to your files; “Replace” will replace your defined text (regular expressions are supported) with something else, and “Change Case” can change the case of each name in various ways.

Most of these options turn out to be surprisingly configurable. If you’re adding numbers to a file name, for instance, you can choose the number of leading zeros, the starting value, and the position of the number within the file name.

And importantly, you can combine as many rules as you like. So you might set up the program to remove the date from the end of your names, for instance, then insert some text, add a number, and turn everything to lower case.

This can get a little complicated, of course. And that’s an issue, because if you thought you had problems before, renaming thousands of files incorrectly is only going to make the situation worse.

Fortunately the authors understand this, though. So once you’ve dragged and dropped your target folder onto the file list, clicking “Preview” will show you precisely what effect your rules will have on each of their file names. Which means you’ve an opportunity to scroll down the list and confirm that everything is working just as you’d expect.

With that done, though, just click “Rename” and Solid Renamer will process all the files in your target folder, quickly updating them to follow your own preferred naming conventions -- a real time-saver.

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