The Bulk Rename Utility is one of these must-have tools for Windows system administrators. Windows only offers some very basic ways to perform bulk operations on files and folders. With the free Bulk Rename Utility, you can do almost any kind of change on multiple files and folders with one step. It allows you to change filenames, perform string substitutions, change the case of filenames, append dates, auto-number files, supports directory recursion, rename files using input files, and more.
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You can select files in an Explorer-like interface using the mouse. You have several options in specifying the criteria for changing filenames. For example, you can easily replace filename's extension by the current extension and add a new suffix. Check out the screenshot to see how to replace the extension .txt with .doc on all selected files. The screenshot will also give you an idea how powerful the Bulk Rename Utility is.
If you want to get the best out of this tool, you have to know how to handle regular expressions. Unfortunately, there is no easy way of learning how to work with them. As there are many fields where regular expressions are useful for sysops, it might be worth the time. The manual of the Bulk Rename Utility contains some useful examples which you can use to get started.
Basically, you use regular expressions to tell the Bulk Rename Utility which criteria those filenames that you want to change must match, and you also use them to specify in what way you want to change them. Regular expressions are so powerful that any kind of renaming you can imagine can be done with them.
However, the Bulk Rename Utility is also a useful tool if you don't know regular expressions. The manual is a bit stingy on instructions of how to use this tool. The easiest way to learn how it works is by trial and error. Probably, its best feature is that it displays immediately how the configuration would change the selected filenames. This way you can just play until you are sure that the tool will really perform the changes you intended.