DON'S FREEWARE CORNER -- APR 2013
FILE RENAMING PROGRAMS

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DON'S FREEWARE CORNER  2013-04
FILE RENAMING PROGRAMS

2014 Donald R. Snow

My Freeware Corner Notes are printed in our Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group monthly newsletter TAGGology and posted on my Family History Class Notes webpage http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html , sometimes with updated information there.

FILE RENAMING PROGRAMS
This month I'll describe two free programs that I use for file renaming, one primarily for photos and the other for any type of file.

1.     NAMEXIF
EXIF stands for Exchangeable Image File (see  http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/E/EXIF.html ) and is the name for the part of an image file that stores the metadata about the photo, the camera setting, date and time taken, etc.  The program NamEXIF takes the date and time from the metadata and puts it in the title of the file.  I usually have it place the date and time at the front of the name of the file using the format 2013-03-06-14h34m10s-IMG-3345.  I keep the original name in the title since I store copies of all the photos in the original format on a second hard drive with no editing and this helps if I ever need to go back and get a copy of the original  With the date and time at the start the photos sort in chronological order in whatever folder they are in.  Later I add words after the date and time to describe the people, place, and event.  This naming process helps organize my photos, but requires that I make sure that my camera's date and time are set correctly.  This also helps when several people have taken photos of the same event, but requires that each camera have its date and time set correctly.  I store my photos in folders by the year and month, so I have a folder 2013 with a subfolder 2013-03 containing all the March 2013 photos and these are all sorted in chronological order.  You can download NameEXIF free from  http://www.digicamsoft.com/softnamexif.html .

2.    BULK RENAME UTILITY
This free utility program allows you to batch rename any number of files.  "Batch rename" means you can do many file names at once.  The program shows the names and what they will be after the changes, so you can be sure the names will be the way you want before you actually change them.  When you run the program, you open the folder containing the files, and select the particular files you want to rename.  Then the program allows you to work with renaming properties by replacing, editing, adding, and removing characters until the file names are the way you want.  Then you click Rename and the program actually applies the name changes.  For complicated name changes it takes some getting used to it to do the entire change all at once.  I have found it easier to make the changes in steps, e.g. first add or remove parts of the names to get to an intermediate set of names and then do another change.  For example, as a start I might add words to describe an event at the location 15 characters in from the start of the file name.  Then do another step and add, edit, or remove additional characters and keep working in steps until the names are the way I want them.  You can do the full change at once, if you figure out the combination of changes you need, but I have found that I can usually do it easier and more quickly by doing it in steps.  You can download Bulk Rename Utility free from  http://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/Main_Intro.php .  Note that you need to the 32-bit or the 64-bit version, depending on your operating system.  The website has a list of features, FAQ's, and a tutorial, and a 37-page pdf manual that you can download.  The program also has a feature of renaming with the EXIF data like NAMEXIF does, but it is more complicated and I haven't learned how to do that, so I usually use the other program for the EXIF data.

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