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Jiri Eischmann's Blog

Batch file renaming in Nautilus

I and Carlos Soriano, the upstream maintainer of Nautilus, have been discussing if batch file renaming is a feature that makes a sense for the default file browser in GNOME and Fedora.

I’ve seen quite a few users complaining/wishing for the feature and competition has it. Finder in OS X has probably the most advanced batch file renaming, but Windows Explorer and Dolphin can do it to some degree, too.

There are a couple of plugins that add the feature to Nautilus, but they’re not actively maintained, they haven’t been for years. So if we want to make this feature available to users, it’s probably better to include it in Nautilus directly than relying on any of these plugins.

Is is something you miss in Nautilus? Do you use any other tool or even the Nautilus plugins to perform such a task? What are use cases typical Nautilus users have for such a feature?

11 responses to “Batch file renaming in Nautilus”

  1. Neville A. Cross Avatar

    I use file renaming when it came to photography. Two scenarios. One I would like to add name to group of pictures related to the activity or place. Like substitute IMG by FUDCon_Cordoba. I use gnome and nautilus, but installed thunar renaming tool for this. The other case is more complex. I leave cheese taking pictures one each second to do a time lapse. The result is that the names are like 1, 10, 100 instead of 001, 010, 100 … so making them be listed in order is trickier. I resorted to use midnight commander and renamed by groups.
    I will love to have more power in nautilus. Thanks for taking this into consideration.

  2. Luya Tshimbalanga Avatar

    That will be a welcome addition. I use pyRenamer which allows group renaming files or images. Maybe you can view pyRename strengths and weaknesses when implementing similar ideas and methods.

  3. Alexander Avatar

    It would be a helpful addition. Last time I tried Xfce, Thunar had the feature and it seemed to work well.

  4. Jyrki Tikka Avatar
    Jyrki Tikka

    I actually do miss most of the features that have been removed from Nautilus in the past few years. The latest grievance is this missing delete-option in the right click menu.

    As for the file renaming, I have always used Emacs dired mode for that.

  5. J.B. Nicholson-Owens Avatar

    I use a perl regex rename program so I can rename with powerful Perl expressions including Perl’s capable regular expression implementation. This command lets me preview what the renamed filenames would be without committing myself to the renamed filenames, and this command defaults to not accidentally losing a file by renaming a file to the same name as an extant file (this default can be overridden).

    I’m not sure precisely how to identify this rename command (there appear to be several such commands that do comparable things):

    $ rename -V
    /usr/bin/rename using File::Rename version 0.20

  6. mcepl (@mcepl) Avatar

    I usually end up “for file in *“ shell command, but imho the most user-friendly renaming I know about is in MC. ‘*blabla’ becomes ‘*’. Done.

  7. davidnielsen Avatar

    I really enjoy how OS X’s Finders renaming tool works. I’ve end up using it a lot to fix up folders of images to have correct naming and ordering to conform with the standard used in compressed comic books formats. Followed of course by renaming compressed versions of those folders to have the right extension (e.g. rar to cbr).

    The Finder tool is well integrated and very easy to use, despite being surprisingly powerful. It’s a really great design and implementation, I hope to see Nautilus providing something similar.

    Some screenshots and useful notes on the way this tool works can be found here.

    1. liam Avatar

      The Finder tool is well integrated and very easy to use, despite being surprisingly powerful. It’s a really great design and implementation…

      This is something I’ve noticed about the osx shell that I REALLY wish GNOME would adopt.
      Carefully chosen defaults are great, but how those defaults are chosen is important, and, beyond defaults, additional capability, especially something that like the osx “custom format” or midnight commander shell globbing would be a real win for GNOME.

  8. Rick Gagne Avatar

    Batch renaming would definitely be useful on occasion, particularly when dealing with photo files, etc.

    On a slightly different note, it would also sure be nice to see emblems return to nautilus. I know the ability still exists to store that attribute because I have some old files from the gnome 2 days with emblems still present, but the ability to manage them has gone.

  9. rabinio Avatar

    I personally love Total Commander/Double Commander multi file rename options, which also allow you to use plugins to use the file metadata (mp3/id tags, images exif info) as part of the name.

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