Batch rename files with the open source tool File Renamer Diff

Advanced Renamer is my go-to choice when I have to rename several files at once. If I had to pick one flaw in it, I’d say it is probably the interface as it makes it slightly less user-friendly.

There are several alternatives you can turn to, one such tool is File Renamer Diff. The application has a modern and colorful interface, which may be a bit too flashy for some. Drag and drop a folder onto the GUI or use the button in the top left corner of the window, to pick the directory. Oddly, the program does not allow you to add files, it is limited to working with folders.

You’ll need to drop the folders onto the path selection bar in the top-left. When you have selected a folder, the program automatically scans it and lists the files on the pane to the right side of the screen.

There are 6 columns in File Renamer Diff’s interface that show you the old file name, new name, the directory’s path, the file size, modified date and created date. The sidebar on the left is used to set the renaming rules. File Search has options that determine what the program will scan for: sub folders, folders, files and hidden files. Toggle the options as required.

File Renamer Diff example

File Renamer Diff has a blacklist setting that can be used to exclude extensions, a few are selected by default, but you can use the Add button if you want to avoid specific file types.

File Renamer Diff - file search

Delete Texts contains advanced renaming rules and supports regular expressions (RegEx). It is handy if you want to remove specific elements from file names such as copy, shortcut, etc. And yes, you can add your own RegEx to it.

File Renamer Diff - delete texts

For example, if we want to delete the word setup from the list of files, all you have to do is click on the Add button type the word in the box that appears and toggle the checkbox next to it. It’s that simple.

File Renamer Diff - delete texts example

Click on the notebook icon to view a list of supported patterns.  The + button next to each pattern can be used to quickly add the rule to your current task.

File Renamer Diff - delete texts patterns

Replace Patterns is useful for changing the case of letters, fixing typos, adding numbers, changing the file extensions, etc. Just like with Delete Texts, Replace Patterns has a set of common patterns which you can add or use as a reference.

File Renamer Diff - replace patterns

Hit the Dry Run button at the top of the window to preview the changes that you have made. The New file name column is the one you want to verify. When you’re ready to apply the modifications, click on the Save button and the files will be renamed.

File Renamer Diff - replace patterns examples

If you do not like the Dark Theme (default), you can switch to the light theme by selecting the option on the sidebar and restarting the application. File Renamer Diff has a built-in import/export system that you can use to backup and restore your settings. Collapse the sidebar by clicking on the word “Settings”, or hide each section of the sidebar by clicking on the arrow next to it.

File Renamer Diff - replace patterns example 2

File Renamer is an open source software written in .NET. The application can be installed from the Microsoft Store for Windows 10, but if you’re using Windows 7 or 8, your only choice is the portable version that can be downloaded from the GitHub page. Since the portable version is self-contained (includes .NET), the archive extracts to a chunky 170MB folder.

There is no way to clear the task list, so if you want to start over you’ll need to close and re-open the program. That and the lack of support for adding files directly (instead of a folder), are the only things I didn’t like about File Renamer Diff.

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