Batch rename files using search and replace, regex with the SmartRename shell extension for Windows

There are some ways to batch rename files, e.g. by using applications equivalent to Rename Us or Advanced Renamer. But have you ever thought-about  using a shell extension program?

Batch rename files using search and replace, regex with the SmartRename shell extension for Windows

SmartRename is one such utility, which provides some attention-grabbing choices. Note that the program has been built-in into Microsoft’s PowerToys collection of tools. You can set up PowerToys and get entry to it, or, obtain the standalone when you want that and keep away from the bigger footprint of PowerToys and some Telemetry that comes alongside with it.

Open Windows Explorer and right-click on a file that you just need to rename, and choose the “SmartRename” choice from the Explorer context menu. A pop-up window ought to open, that is the program’s interface.

SmartRename menu

It’s fairly easy to make use of. The part at the backside of the window is the preview pane, and it shows the listing of chosen files with their unique identify and the Renamed (new identify). Click the field subsequent to a file to exclude it from the renaming course of. The whole variety of files, and the variety of files which might be renamed are displayed in the backside left nook of the window.

There are two choices at prime of the SmartRename GUI, that are labeled “Search for” and “Replace with”. Start typing in the “Search for” discipline, and the program will spotlight the matched file in the preview pane. This works in realtime on an as-you-type foundation. What it does otherwise is that, it removes the key phrase that you just typed, from the identify. Type the new phrase you need to embrace in the “Replace with” discipline. And it is going to seem as a substitute of the key phrase you typed in “Search for”. The remainder of the identify will not be affected.

For e.g. I chosen a number of pictures which comprise the letters “WPD” in the identify. If I had been to “Search for” WPD and change it with “Windows Privacy Dashboard”, SmartRename shows the preview of the new identify that incorporates the three phrases as a part of the filename. Click on the rename button at the backside of the window to use the modifications.

Is that each one it could actually do? That appears fairly primary. Not fairly, Smart Rename helps common expressions.

Advanced Renaming

If you are acquainted with regex metacharacters, you need to be good to go. But for those that aren’t, I will describe a couple of examples right here for primary utilization.

How so as to add a Prefix or Suffix in SmartRename

You can add a Prefix to a reputation by together with a caret image ^ in the “Search For” discipline. Similarly, add a Suffix by using $. You could embrace areas or separators earlier than or after the new phrase in the Replace with column.

SmartRename prefix

Let’s take a look at an instance. I need to add the phrase “Ghacks” as a prefix to the files. So I add the caret in the “Search For” discipline, and sort “Ghacks ” (there’s a area after the phrase). SmartRename will rename the files by including Ghacks adopted by an area at the begin of every file’s identify.

SmartRename suffix

Rename files fully

If you need to rename the listing fully, for e.g. a bunch of images with random names, use the .* search command, and sort the new identify in the change discipline.

SmartRename rename all

SmartRename can rename files on a case delicate foundation, during which case the identify is just modified for excellent matches. In our instance, WPD is a match whereas wpd is not. Add an incremental quantity to every file using the “Enumerate Files” choice. Example: .$ will add a quantity inside parentheses at the finish of each file identify. (refer the 1st screenshot).

You can exclude files to solely rename folders in the listing, or exclude folders to rename files. SmartRename helps subfolders as effectively. Enable the “Item identify solely” toggle to make the utility protect the extension. Or change the “Item extension solely” to alter the file extensions with out enhancing the identify.

SmartRename replace extension

While the program doesn’t have an undo choice or a historical past operate, you could undo the modifications using Windows Explorer. The caveat right here is that it solely works till you make one other file operation in Explorer.

SmartRename is an open supply utility. It is on the market in 32-bit and 64-bit variations, however neither of those are moveable.

SmartRename is an effective program, however provided that you employ it with regex.

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