Trying to organize your hard drive using Windows Explorer or other built-in applications that comes with operating systems can be counter-productive at times. And the renaming files part is often equivalent to raking leaves on a windy day. It’s annoying, tiring, and it takes quite a lot of time. So if you find yourself renaming files often, you’ll fall in love with Total Commander’s Multi-Rename tool.
Total Commander is a file manager that comes with two file windows, easy shortcut keys for moving and copying files and folders, and tools to make your life easier. ( You can download it at Ghisler.com  )
Starting the Multi-Rename tool
To open up the tool, navigate first into the folder containing the files you want to rename (use Up and Down Arrows and the Enter key if you don’t want to use the mouse.), choose the files with Right Click or Space Bar then press Ctrl+M.
Here’s a quick look at the Multi-Rename tool and its features.
On the left is masking area you’ll use to to rename files. The changes you make show up under the “New name” section in the above screenshot.
[N] Name: This option lets you choose the whole filename. As you see, not much is changed under the “New Name” section.
[N #-#] Range: This is used to pick out a range of letters. [N8-10] for example, but you don’t have to manually enter the numbers. A window opens up and you can click and choose the range you want.
[C] Counter: This one adds a counter to the filename.
Also you can tweak with counter options here.
[YMD] Date: [YMD] appends the filename with the file date. The standard option gives you something like this.
It’s not really easy to read, but you can use [Y], [M], [D] separately and format the date as you want.
[hms] Time: Similar to the [YMD] tag, this one adds time to the filename.
[=?] Plugin: This one offers access to options like path, file type.
Under the extension section you can similarly work with the file extensions. And “Search and Replace” is very helpful getting rid of annoying underscores (_) and dots in the middle of a filename.
You also have a chance to tweak with uppercase and lowercase options.
Example: How to rename MP3 files
In this part, we’ll look into how to rename MP3 files. For this, we’ll assume we have a list of songs, each one annoyingly named like this for some reason.
01_-_Super_duper_artist_-_My song is So COOL.mP3
I admit you won’t often stumble upon filenames like this (unless you’re the culprit), but it’s a good example to show how to use most of the features mentioned before.
Let’s say that we want the files look something like this.
Super Duper Artist –  – My Song Is So Cool.mp3
Here are the steps you need to take in order to do this. Keep in mind that you don’t have to go through the steps in this order. They can be done in any order.
01. Sorting it out:
02. Replacing underscores with a single space:
03. Using the Range option:
The artist name:
Our Range masking now looks like this: Artist Name – [Track] – The Song
And the filename is finally the way we want it.
For a single file this is obviously harder than just right clicking and changing the filename. But if you have a certain amount of files you want renamed, then Multi-Rename tool can be a perfect time-saver.
What else can you use it for?
– Photograph and image archives.
– Batch renaming extensions.
– Comic files.