File renaming might not seem like a big deal if you need to change the name of a small number of files, but what about those situations when you have a large collection of music, videos or documents containing hundreds or thousands of files that have “messy” names?
The simplest way of having all of your files renamed with the same, organized pattern without being forced to manually sift through them is using a file renaming tool, such as Advanced Renamer. While this free application does not provide the much desired “one-click task”, it comes with lots of renaming options that will help you change the name of your files automatically, such as getting rid of certain characters, replacing user-defined character strings, add incremental numbers and much more.
Advanced Renamer may be a feature-rich, comprehensive program but its installation is an expeditious process. The only settings you have to perform are choosing the install folder’s location and if you want to create a desktop icon and/or associate .aren files (Advanced Renamer files containing program settings) with the program. The rest of the install process lasts seconds and no annoying adware is present.
Advanced Renamer is a small utility with a low memory footprint so it’s only requirements are the OS itself. The program was designed to run on Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7.
While the interface couldn’t be called “crowded”, at first glance the multitude of options and settings may be overwhelming for many users. This exactly why in the main area of the GUI there is a large “Need help getting started?” button that sends you to the online documentation webpage where you can read usage examples, explained functions and anything else you would need to get the most out of this time-saving tool.
The top menu provides some of the most used functions such as Refresh, Test Batch, Auto Test (enabled by default), Start Batch and Undo Previous Batch but also the Settings and Help menus. The main area of the program is the place where you can add the files/folders that you wish to rename and choose the Batch mode (Rename, Move or Copy). Once you added some files you can customize the displayed info (from the Customize Columns menu) and the view mode. From the List menu you can load a previously saved list, save/clear the current one and remove specific items.
The Add Method menu located at the top of the left sidebar provides a large list of renaming methods for you to choose from, such as New Name/Case, Remove/Remove Pattern, Replace, Add, Attributes, Timestamp and others. If you have trouble understanding what some of these renaming methods do, you can either select one and view its effect in the main area under the “New Filename” column or read about them in the online documentation. As it would be expected from a solid file renamer, the program allows you to select multiple methods and apply them simultaneously during a single batch process as well as save your defined method list to reuse it at a later time.
In its wide array of renaming tags, Advanced Renamer also supports the most commonly used ones such as datetime, datetime created/modified, GPS location, ID3, image and video. Since there are so many and knowing what they all mean is virtually impossible, you can find them all in the online documentation page along with detailed explanations of their significance. And if you make a mistake, rest assured, the “Undo previous batch” function from the top menu and the “Undo last batch” button (both of them do the same thing) located below the main area are quietly waiting to be used.
- Small and easy to install program.
- Provides multiple renaming methods and supports applying multiple methods during the same renaming process.
- Three different batch modes are available: Rename, Move and Copy.
- Very fast renaming process.
- Interface comes with a large number of options and can be confusing for beginners.
Even if Advanced Renamer is a highly capable application and 100% freeware there are other free file renamers available and it’s always good to know your options. ReNamer is a very popular alternative that comes with a cleaner, more user-friendly GUI and Bulk Rename Utility has similar capabilities with Advanced Renamer, but a more cluttered interface that can make users turn away from this product despite its solid documentation.
Advanced Renamer is one of those free tools created strictly from the joy of providing users with a high-quality free product so you’ll get full functionality with no adware and a great set of tools to rename your files in more ways than you can possibly imagine. Its only problem is the interface which could be more straightforward and requires you to read the program’s documentation. However, the learning curve is short and the benefits are totally worth the effort.