Master file renaming tasks with KRename

If you haven’t run into a situation where you need to rename multiple files in one go, you haven’t been using a computer for long. When the next time comes, turn to KRename. Its simple graphical interface makes renaming files easy for average users, and it offers a powerful template language for advanced users with more complex renaming tasks. Although it was written for the KDE desktop, KRename works under other Linux platforms and even on Windows.

KRename lets you specify common characteristics of the filenames you want using a template. The filenames can include numbers, the current date, meta-information from images (such as the EXIF generation date), tag information from music (such as the artist and title of an MP3 file), and other things.

One great use for KRename is to organize your music collection or digital camera images. For instance, you can rename the files in your MP3 collection by using the template string “[mp3Artist] – ## [mp3Title]“, which will rename all files to the pattern “Madonna – 01 Like a Virgin.” KRename can handle many different file types and extract meta-information from those that provide it.

Perhaps you’re a systems administrator who has to convert filenames from upper-case to lower. With KRename that’s a simple matter of using the template string “%” or selecting the option “convert to lower case” in the GUI.

Though KRename has a huge feature set, it’s easy to use. It provides a simple interface for users with simple renaming needs and a more powerful text-based renaming language for users with more advanced needs. And if you make a mistake, it let you fix it right away with an undo feature.

German developer Dominik Seichter has been working on KRename since 2000, “because there was no easy-to-use file renamer for KDE, and maybe for Linux in general, at that point in time.” He chose to use the Qt toolkit and KDE libraries under C++ “because I think it is a fantastic toolkit, with which you can create great applications in very little time. Also it is the toolset you use when you are developing for the KDE desktop, which was my target platform, as I wanted a utility that integrates nicely with my desktop.” Today the application is essentially feature-complete. Other than incorporated small patches and fixes, the only major change in the last three years has been the port to KDE4.

Seichter says anyone is welcome to help on the project. “Some areas that come to mind are help with the web page or the documentation – but of course help with the code is very welcome. If you have an idea for a new feature, contact me and I’ll try to help you dive into the code and develop it. The best way to contact me is to send e-mail to the project’s mailing list.”