Get Your Photo Collection Organized With Help From Batch Renaming

Get Your Photo Collection Organized With Help From Batch Renaming

Finding your photos can sometimes be very difficult. Especially when they have abstract names like DSC_9237. And yet if you just rename your photos with the right tactics, you’ll never get lost in your collection again.

Cameras give photos names made up of a fixed set of letters and a numbering sequence. It works, but it doesn’t make it easy to manage your photos. It’s better if you can tell directly from the name what album they belong in.

But renaming photos one by one is fairly time-consuming. Luckily there’s a simpler solution—Batch Renaming in Zoner Photo Studio.

Renaming Photos Individually and at Once

Naturally you can rename your photos one by one even in Zoner Photo Studio. Either by pressing F2 or double-clicking a photo’s name. But if there are lots of photos to rename, it’s an incredible amount of work.

So it’s better to use Batch Renaming, which you can find in the Manager. When you’ve selected multiple files, you can find this button in the Manager’s right pane, near the bottom, as the first item among the Batch Operations. Or just use the Ctrl+Shift+Q keyboard shortcut.

Batch renaming photos: the Batch Rename button in Zoner Photo Studio X.
Batch photo renaming.

First choose whether you want to save the renamed files to a new folder or leave them in the current one. If you just want to rename the original files, choose Save image to same folder. Then for the If file already exists option, choose Overwrite.

Set Names That Make Sense

Turn on the Rename File option, of course, and then get started renaming. The naming method that you choose is all up to you, but you should think it through and then consistently stick to whatever naming system you choose. Over time you’ll be glad you did.

Zoner Photo Studio can also take advantage of your photos’ EXIF data when renaming files. Just write the appropriate “Variable Text” codes into the proposed filenames.

Or don’t! You don’t actually have to remember which codes do what. You can just “click them into” the renaming text, by using the right-arrow button located next to the box for entering the renaming text.

Batch renaming photos: format of a new name.
Bring in variable-text codes in whatever order you want.

The naming system you pick should ideally be one where you can order each photo by time and where you can immediately tell when and where you took it. So we recommend putting the year, month, and perhaps also the day when the photo was taken at the start of the name. Then add a description that describes on what occasion you took the picture. And don’t forget to wrap up with a counter!

Your final renaming text might look something like this:


When entering the naming pattern, also check how the new filenames will look in the end. You  can see this right below the photo preview in the middle.

Batch renaming photos: checking new name.
You can check the current photo’s final name before you OK the renaming. (Use the left column to change the current photo.)

The most common mistakes when batch renaming are leaving out a counter, or leaving out the filename extension. With no counter, some or all of the pictures will likely end up with the same name. The extension, meanwhile, tells the computer that a photo is a photo. With no extension, the computer won’t see the renamed files as photo files anymore (unless you open them in Windows and give them an extension again).

Be sure to also turn on the option for removing accent marks and replacing spaces. Some software can have trouble with these in filenames.

Batch renaming photos: Remove accents, replace spaces option.
It’s better to turn on the “Remove accents, replace spaces” option.

Set the number of digits in the counter based on the number of photos in your series. But four digits will practically always be enough. You probably don’t have more than 9999 photos in a single folder, after all.


When to Rename?

The next question is when in fact you should rename your photos. You’ve got two options here.

  • You can rename them right as you’re importing them in Zoner Photo Studio. The right panel for the Import screen offers the same options as Batch Renaming, and if you use it, you’ll have your pictures named well right from the start.
  • You can also rename them as you’re sorting and editing them.

Both options have something to say for themselves.

  • Renaming during import means that the RAW and JPG files on your computer will have the same names. It also means that you’ve got everything properly organized right from the start and you don’t have to go back to it.
  • Renaming photos after editing and developing them has the advantage that you can change the listing order of the photos in ZPS before you start renaming, to move the best ones to the start of the listing—which will also make them #1, 2, 3, etc. in the renamed sequence. You’ll especially appreciate this when you’re uploading to Facebook, because most people won’t go and view your whole album.

So think through what’s the most practical for you and then get your photos organized today. Download Zoner Photo Studio, try it free for 30 days, and say goodbye to long photo searches.

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AuthorMatej Liska

I most love taking pictures of people. Weddings, portraits, graduation photos, balls... I am always in search of backlight, but I enjoy various types of lighting and mostly like to use shorter lenses. I love my Nikon, my guitar, and a kebab. You’ll find my photography on my website or on Facebook.

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