Multiple-files-rename-copy-paste

Easily rename multiple files and create a file directory to copy and paste into any document

A client asked me to help him rename multiple files of architect drawings and to generate a list of the file names in a Microsoft Word document. As this task is something that I’ll need to do often, I thought I’d spend a bit time of researching for another way of doing this. 

With fifty-plus drawings to complete, it would take a while to finish this if I used my usual and the most common way of doing this. I’m sure you know how to rename and copy the page titles but in case you don’t, here’s how.

How to rename a file, and insert its title into a document 

Use this method if you have a small number of files to do this to:  

Keyboard shortcut method

  1.  Right-click on the file and then rename
  2. Rename your document
  3. Highlight all the text
  4. Press Ctrl + c on your keyboard
  5. Go to the place you want to insert the title
  6. Press Ctrl + v on your keyboard

Non-keyboard method

  1. Right-click on the file and click rename
  2. Rename your document and press enter
  3. Right-click on the file and click copy
  4. Go to the place you want to insert the title
  5. Right-click and then click paste

Thankfully, my hunch paid off, and in the newer versions of Microsoft Windows, they have indeed made it easier to complete a job like this. I wasn’t now facing hours of repetitive work. And the bonus was that I also saved my client money as I only bill by time used. This was a win-win for both of us.  

I’m hoping this will help some of you, so here you go.

How to EASILY rename multiple filenames (with individual/different names) and copy them to any document

Stage 1: Easily rename multiple files different names

  • Right-click on the first file in the list and select rename
  • Rename your file
  • Now press the tab button on your keyboard – this will take you down to the next record.
  • Continue this process until you have completed renaming the files.

Top Tip

If you want to rename a selection of files with the same name, select all the files and then follow the above steps. This will rename all the files to your chosen name but will add a number in brackets to distinguish them.

E.g.

abc (1).doc
abc (2).doc
abc (3).doc

Stage 2: Copy multiple filenames into a document

  • Go to the folder containing the renamed files in the Navigation Pane. You can usually find this on the left-hand side of your screen where all your PC folders are listed. 
  • Hold down the shift key and right-click on the folder.
  • Click on “Open PowerShell window here”. This will open a new program which is similar to the old DOS interface.
Showing you how to open PowerShell
  • You’ll now have type in one of the following commands followed by “enter”:
    1. dir -n > dirlist.txt – this will generate a text file with just the file name
    2. dir -n -r > dirlist.txt – the resulting text file will include filenames and subdirectories.  
  • Close PowerShell and head back into your folder which should now have a new text file in it titled “dirlist.txt”
  • Open this to copy and paste your directory list into any document you want.  

I hope you found this helpful – I know I did and will definitely be using this often going forward.

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