|This is a page from the Flash Renamer user manual.|
Tips & Tricks
Since most people can't be bothered to read the whole manual, I have compiled this page of useful information that will quickly help you become a master at using Flash Renamer!
Almost all input controls have tooltips that show if you place the mouse over them. You can learn a lot by reading these!
Batch renaming in all its glory, but sometimes you just need to do it by hand to get the result you want. But Flash Renamer is still your best friend! Mark a file and press F2 to start manual rename. Enter the new name and press Enter. Now Flash Renamer will automatically jump to the next file and let you rename that too!
Format Tags is an important and powerful concept of Flash Renamer. Although it is possible to use Flash Renamer without them, learning about them opens up a whole new world of renaming possibilities! Learn all about tags here.
A common questions I get is how to swap two parts of a filename with each other. For example, your filename is "AAA - BBB" and you want it to be "BBB - AAA" instead. You do this by defining the "parts" of your filenames and then using these parts to build a new filename. Continue reading this page for a full explanation, but first read the above section about format tags.
Did you know that you can use the keyboard (up/down/enter/backspace) to browse your files? Just make sure that the file list has focus. Tip: After you have renamed something, FR will automatically put focus on the file list, so you can immediately continue browsing your files! Very useful in conjuntion with F5 (rename) and F2 (manual rename)!
If you tend to do the same kind of renaming over and over again, then you should have a look at the following functions to make life a bit easier:
- Presets allow you to save several rename command into one single command!
- Don't forget to store your common Find & Replace commands in the Batch Replace function!
- By using Regular Expressions you can greatly enhance the power of your Find & Replace commands!
<ask>is a special tag that is replaced at runtime by a string that the user gets to enter each time. This way you can create general functions that adapt to the situation. A good example is the included presets called Add prefix to filename. It it simply the Add function that adds <ask> to the beginning of the filename!
Say that you want to make a list of your images and their dimensions, and for example put it on a webpage or save as a file. Open the folder in Flash Renamer and use the Free Format function to create a suitable combination, e.g.
<NAME> ( <WIDTH> x <HEIGHT> ). Do not press the Rename button. Instead, right click on the file list, go to "Copy to Clipboard" and choose "All Previews". This will generate a list and put it in the Windows Clipboard, which you can then paste into any text editor or word processor!
If you want to sort you files in a special way, then you might be able to use the preview column to your advantage. For example: Choose the Format function and type
<EXIFDATE> <EXIFTIME>. Now the Exif date will appear in the preview column. Above the preview column is the column header (the place where it says "preview"). Click on this header. The files will sort according to the Exif date!
As mentioned in the above tip, the preview columns can be used to display all kinds of information. If you right click on the file list you will get a popup menu, and there you can choose to copy the preview to the Windows clipboard. Now you can use this information in any other program you like, or paste it into Notepad and save it as a text file!
Flash Renamer has good support for Exif tags (metadata information that you find in all photos taken by digital cameras). But since it's not a separate function I though I'd mention it here as a tip so you don't miss it! You will find them in Flash Renamer as format tags.
You could say that a file has a relationship with its parent folder, and vice versa. In Flash Renamer it is possible to rename files and folders with regards to this relationship.
Again, tags are used. The tag
<Parent> will return the name of the folder a file (or folder) is located in. You can step up in the folder hierarchy by adding a number, eg
Sometimes you want to rename a folder based on its content. There are several tags available for this purpose. You can get the number of files contained in the folder by using
<DirFiles> or the size of the files with
<DirSize>. There are many variations to these; Look at the tag menu to see them all.
The tags that extract information from Music and Exif images act in a special way if you use them on a folder. They will locate the first file inside the folder and try to extract the requested information from that file. So you can for for example rename folders containing music as
<Artist> - <Album> to automatically name your folders based on the music inside!
You can figure out how long your filenames are by using the Remove function. This can be useful if you have a limit on how long they can be, for example when burning Cd's. Set the function to remove 999 chars at pos NN from The beginning of the filename, where NN is the number of letters you have set as maximum. Make sure that both "process filename" and "process extension" are enabled. Now look at the preview column. Any file being listed there is longer than NN!
Amazon, Wikipedia and other sites can be a great place to find titles for the tracks on your music albums. If you have all the tracks from an album, but the filenames are bad, simply look up the album on a site and copy the track names to the clipboard. Now start Flash Renamer and paste the names into the filename editor and rename your music!
Did you know that Flash Renamer has some limited file moving capabilities? Here's how: Use the Free Format function and add the tag
<\>. It can be used several times, and each time it will move the file into a sub-folder. Example:
<ExifDate><\><Name>will move your photos into folders based on the dates the pictures were taken. Another example:
<Artist><\><Album><\><Name>will move each mp3 into a sub-folder named after the artist, and then into one more sub-folder named after the album!
Sometimes you end up with files that have no or incorrect filetype extension. These files usually do not open correctly in Windows. But don't worry - Flash Renamer can help you!
If you use the format tag
<DetectedExt>, Flash Renamer will read inside the files to try and figure out what kind of file it is and replace the tag with the correct extension. I recommend using the Free Format function like this:
<Name>.<DetectedExt>. You should have both "Process Name" and "Process Extension" in the common options turned on.
Currently Flash Renamer correctly identifies 30 file formats: ZIP, GIF, EXE, JPG, HTML, MP3, BMP, TIF, PSD, RAR, ARJ, PSP, 7Z, FLV, MID, AGP, PNG, ASF, CAB, AI, SWF, MPG, LZH, MOV, IFF, AVI, WAV, ACE, EMF & TGA!
When you right click on files in Windows Explorer to send them to Flash Renamer, the files arrive in the order that Explorer sends them in. The order does not correspond to the order you see in Explorer. Usually the files are sent in the order shown in Explorer, except for the first file! The first file will instead be the file that you right clicked on...
In order to solve this problem, Flash Renamer will (since v6.1) automatically sort the filenames alphabetically before renaming, since this is what most users expect. If this does not suit you, for example if you have the files in Windows Explorer sorted according to date, then you can turn this feature off by modifying the "Auto Sort Command Line Files" in the advanced settings.
If you turn this off, then here is a tip on how to avoid sorting problems: After you have selected files in Windows Explorer, always right click on the first file! This will make sure that the files are processed in the correct order. This is a good habit to learn, since it applies to all programs, not just Flash Renamer!