Changing many file names at once using Bulk Rename Utility

One of the many tasks I do with my privileges as the LMS person is to dip into each course to pull out the Syllabus for the archives.  This can’t be done by an automatic script, as some of our faculty simply load their syllabi into the content tab of the course.  (Some of our faculty don’t load a syllabus at all, but that’s an entirely different problem.)

We used to simply collect the syllabi on paper in the archives, but now we have this electronic collection on our shared network drive.  Our file naming convention, that I am mostly happy with is course number, dot section, space instructor last name.   There is some variety, such as two sections taught by a single instructor, with the same syllabus would have two sections.  Sometime a first initial needs to be thrown into the mix, but mostly this works. 

(EN101.A Jones.docx or CH111.B Smith.pdf for example)

Except. I noticed that there probably should be some sort of semester indicator in the file name, for the times when the files are sent out of the nice folder structure that indicates year and semester. 

How to do this?  I found a wonderful little program called Bulk Rename Utility.

It may look intimidating, but there is a lot of flexibility packed into that one window.

All you do is open the program and browse over to the folder that holds the files you need to rename.


Then select the files that you wish to alter (Ctrl-click will allow you to select non-consecutive files). Next, in the bottom half of the program window, figure out what changes you’d like to have happen.   I was simply adding a prefix of a semester and year code, but you could do many different things such as a remove, a replace, add a date, or number your files.  And before you click the large “Rename” button, you can see exactly what your changes are going to look like in the “New Name” column.


Just to be sure you’re serious about changing these file names, you have one more button to click.


Then you’re done!  So easy!

I was happy to find this program.  Otherwise, I was looking a lot of right clicks in my future. So glad that didn’t happen.  (Also, just for your information, simply selecting all files and trying to change the name once only changes all the file names to a single file name.  Just so you know.)


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