Everyone has their own idea of how digital photos should be named. This might change from time to time, cameras usually produce something entirely different, and the end result can be a hard-to-browse tangle of mismatched images.
It’s a familiar story, but the open source Exif ReName tries to restore order by renaming and sorting your pictures based on the date and time they were taken.
Basic operations are very, very simple. Click Open; select your JPEGs or Canon RAW CR2s; click Open > Go. By default Exif ReName accesses each file in turn, looks for EXIF data recording the date and time of the picture, and renames the file accordingly (MyPic.jpg > 2012-09-27_16_52_12.jpg).
If the original file names contain useful information, then you can have these inserted before or after the date/ time (MyPic_2012-09-27_16_52_12.jpg).
There’s also an option to enter a brand new name, again inserting it before or after the date/ time. A randomly named set of holiday photos, for instance, could all be renamed to the location and their date/ time (California Holiday_2013-07-21….jpg).
If you’re not happy with the file naming pattern, it can be amended to a degree, changing separators, using upper/ lower save extensions, maybe dropping the date and using the file time only.
There’s an option to create folders based on EXIF dates, and sort your files accordingly. You’ll be left with folders like “2013-04-17” which contain all the images taken on that date.
By default Exif ReName works on the original files, renaming them, or moving them to new folders. That’s normally just fine, but could leave you in trouble if you accidentally rename 250 pictures with the wrong rules, especially as there’s no way to undo the last step.
Fortunately there’s a Copy option which copies the source files with their new names, allowing you to preview the results. It’s a sensible security precaution and we’d be tempted to leave it turned on.
The program is compact and easy to use, though, and if you only need to rename files based on date and time then we’ve give it a try.