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#1 2010-01-18 01:04:05

Registered: 2010-01-15
Posts: 169

Bulk Rename in Thunar - post your uses?

Thunar has a very handy and beautifully designed feature that isn't as widely promoted as it might be: Bulk Rename. You get to it by selecting two or more files in a folder, then either hitting the F2 key or choosing Rename on the Edit menu.

Bulk Rename is a graphical sub-program that you can use to change file names (and/or suffixes) for many files at the same time. By 'change' I mean insert or overwrite text strings, insert a date and/or time, add serial numbers, remove characters from text strings, change case, and search/replace text strings.

A really neat feature is that the changes you make are displayed in the Bulk Rename window as you enter them, but before the changes are actually made to the filenames. It's a sort of 'try before you buy', or 'Whoops, that's not what I meant to do, how about this instead...'

Bulk Rename was one of the reasons I switched to Thunar from Nautilus in my Gnome days. Here are three examples of Bulk Rename's usefulness:

(1) For some purposes in *nix systems, it's handy to have filenames wihout spaces. I use the Search & Replace option to replace the space between words (spacebar character) with an underscore. (I also replace the underscores with spaces when sending files to Windows users who get scared by geeky practices like underscoring...)

(2) I get monthly invoices from a certain company with a filename like 'Invoice 2459.pdf', and they're all stored in a single folder. To make that easier for my tiny brain to comprehend, I've sorted the invoices by date modified, then used the Numbering feature to add a serial number to the invoice, as in '1_Invoice_2459.pdf'. Next, I use the Insert Date/Time feature to add the date modified to the end of the string, e.g. '1_Invoice_2459_11-Feb-2009.pdf'.

Note that there are lots of options for both of these features, like what number to start with in serial numbering and where the number is placed, and strftime formatting for dates.

(3) My digital camera generates short filenames like 20100112_23.jpg, which says nothing about image content. If I have a folder full of such images in Thunar, I look at them in Icon View with image thumbnails (zoomed, usually, to make them easier to see). I then select the 12 images (let's say) which show flowers in the Botanic Garden, and use the Insert/Overwrite feature to overwrite all 12 numerical filenames with the text string 'Flowers, Botanic Garden,'. I then add a date modified and a serial number to get 'Flowers, Botanic Garden, 12 January 2010 - 1.jpg'. Very handy when you have lots of images!

If you have other uses for Bulk Rename, please post them on this thread.


#2 2010-01-18 07:01:09

From: Monte Los Angeles (Califoggia)
Registered: 2009-03-12
Posts: 47

Re: Bulk Rename in Thunar - post your uses?

Yes, man you are right!

Bulk Rename is a little great feature!, one of those hidden things that make xfce great!, in my opinion..


-linux user #483530
-registered machine 403135 --> hal9002
-registered machine 394211 --> hal9001


#3 2010-01-18 18:34:56

From: NL
Registered: 2003-11-26
Posts: 112

Re: Bulk Rename in Thunar - post your uses?

The two things I do most often are:

  • Getting case back to something manageable/easy for command-line: lowercase. Note: it can also do all upper, CamelCase.

  • Strip off text at begin/end of name (downloads sometimes have for instance resolution like 1280x972 in the name. I find that stripping off text at the end is somewhat clunky

I also see now that you can use Thunar to modify file-names based on audio tags, but (alas) not the other way around.

For the rest a true gem!


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