A reader asked me simply “How to rename a bunch of files?” but left a clearly fake email address, so I couldn’t reply directly to them. Instead, I’ll reply to you, dear readers.
One can rename a bunch of files in myriad ways, using plain
bash scripts, software like A Better Finder Rename (Mac OS), and tools like
zmv. Most people satisfice here: they learn one way to do it that works well enough that they can perform effortlessly enough, then they just use it. I learned another way to do it in the past year and this has become my current favorite: using the
bulkrename command in
ranger, a file manager that feels like
rangeron a folder.
- Mark the files to rename.
- Enter the command
:bulkrename. This opens an editor with each file name on a separate line.
- Edit the file. The first line becomes the new name of the first file, the second line becomes the new name of the second file, and so on.
- Save the file and exit the editor. This opens and editor with a summary of the rename commands that correspond to the changes I made to the filenames.
- Save the file and exit the editor once more. This renames the files.
This allows me to bring the full power of my editor to renaming files: creating sequence numbers, matching regular expressions, whatever I need. I can even use some general algorithm to rename 90% of the files then patch the other 10% by hand. I love the flexibility of it and you might, too.