I’ve been sorting through a number of digital photos this morning. Over the past few weeks, I’ve taken close to 500 photos over various days. Luckily, my Eye-Fi card automatically uploads them to a folder in my Dropbox so that’s not the tricky part. Since I updated the Eye-Fi card, the date stamp on the directories was reversed so my directories are no longer in sync with older directories. Keeping consistency in a file system is important when sorting through large amounts of files or directories.
Current directory: 1-2-2010
Required directory: 2010-2-1 (directory name reversed)
Name Mangler is my preferred method of batching renaming files. I don’t use it daily, but it’s like a Swiss Army Knife – you need it for certain situations. If you have it at the right moment, it can save a lot of time and energy.
I haven’t needed to dive into the advanced options in the past. I usually just use the basic options for replacing spaces in files or converting files to lowercase. Today was an exception since I needed to extract the day, month and year and reverse the order in which they appear. The advanced options allow you to use regex or regular expressions to apply a complex search and manipulate the results.
Update: The guys at Many Tricks sent me a better option to achieving this within 4 hours of my posting this:
Find: ^(\d+)-(\d+)-(\d+)$ Replace: $3-$2-$1
Here’s my code to achieve this (the hard way):
[concatenate [findRegularExpression "^[0-9]*-[0-9]*-(.*)?$" in <name> replace with "$1" ],[findRegularExpression "^\d+-(.*)-\d+$" in <name> replace with "-$1" ],[findRegularExpression "^(.*)-\d+-\d+$" in <name> replace with "-$1 " ] ]
Here’s a breakdown of what’s going on:
- “concatenate” allows strings to be added together. Like taking the words “holy” and “smokes” and making them one expression: “holy smokes”
- findRegularExpression allows you to use regular expressions to find and replace text
- The crazy looking code is what is used to match what needs to be replaced. The important part is [0-9]*- matches any number between 0 and 9 up to a hyphen. (.*) allows that part of the expression to be stored in the variable $1.
- The rest should be self-explanatory.
I’m using the demo mode for all of this. It allows you to open and close it 25-times before you have to pay for it. The software costs only $10 and can be found on the Many Tricks website or at the Mac Store. I highly recommend it for anyone that needs to organize other people’s files (sent in by clients) or are closet librarians.