Name Dropper

Whether you take lots of pictures with a digital camera, or just have lots of files to rename, Name Dropper makes the process of renaming files easy to do.  There are other “batch renamers” out there, but there is nothing like Name Dropper!  Typical batch file renamers are often difficult or confusing to use, and they don’t offer much value when it comes to renaming very small groups of files or individual files.  While Name Dropper can quickly batch-rename hundreds or thousands of files at a time, it is its unique interface that also makes it quick and easy to rename them one at a time!

Name Dropper’s interface is simple and straight-forward, but don’t let that fool you.  Name Dropper has powerful features and functions that other batch renamers simply do not have.  A total of 12 buttons insert text that you specify, allowing you to quickly build new filenames simply by clicking on buttons.  What’s more, you can save your custom buttons as templates so that you can quickly recall them in the future.  Digital camera users will love the ability to insert the exposure date and / or time directly into the filename with a couple clicks of the mouse.  Don’t have a digital camera?  Name Dropper allows you to rename ANY type of file, and it’s easier to use than any other file renamer!

Name Dropper also provides functions to copy or move files from one place to another.  So does Windows, right?  Yes, but only Name Dropper has the powerful SmartName feature.  When enabled, you never again have to worry about failed copy or move operations due to duplicate filenames in the destination folder!  If a file being copied or moved shares the same name as a file already in the destination folder, SmartName will automatically modify the name of the file being copied by adding what is called a sub-series number.  This process not only retains the original filename (while adding a little to it to make it unique), but it also retains the order of the files in the destination folder.  Only Name Dropper has this feature!  And if you don’t usually rename your digital photos, you probably know the headaches associated with moving files from your camera to the same folder on your computer.  This usually results in duplicate filenames.  With SmartName, you will never have to worry about duplicate filenames again when copying or moving files.  

Name Dropper supports Series #s, EXIF data (such as exposure date & time), and has options that let you choose how the series #s and date or time appear in the filenames it generates.  You also have complete control over if and where the date, time, or series # is placed in your new filenames.  Because Name Dropper only renames files, your EXIF data is safe and sound.  
For advanced users, there are advanced features and functions too!  Name Dropper allows you to map (connect) network drives to a local drive letter (and un-map / disconnect them as well).  You can also execute a “Search & Replace” on a group of files… tell Name Dropper what to look for in the filename, and automatically replace it with different text.  Want to see more details about a picture you took with your digital camera?  Did the flash fire?  You can view the EXIF data of any JPG or TIF image taken with an EXIF-capable digital camera.  EXIF Date & Time can also be extracted from virtually any RAW image file, too!

Name Dropper is a must-have for all digital camera users, and it’s a must-have for anyone with lots of files to rename.  Find out for yourself why Name Dropper is like no other batch renamer!

For more information on what the different interface buttons do, see Interface.  For more information on how to use Name Dropper, see Using Name Dropper.

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Name Dropper is very easy to use, but like most new software, it may take some time to get used to it.  To help get started, we will go through a brief introduction:

Start by running Name Dropper.  If this is your first time running Name Dropper, it will be set to the Name Dropper folder (Thereafter, each time you start Name Dropper, it will start in the same folder you used last).  Browse to the folder that contains the pictures or other files that you wish to rename.  A list of files in that folder will appear in the File List.  Note that if the File Filter option is set to ‘Supported Files’, then only supported filetypes will be shown.  Click on a file to edit the name.   A preview of the image will appear, and you can now begin to edit the filename.
 
How to browse for a folder:  Name Dropper provides two ways in which to browse for a folder containing files you wish to work with.  The default method is “Simple Browsing”.  In this mode, a Drive List is shown along with a Folder List.  In “Advanced Browsing”, a [Choose Folder…] button is displayed.  To switch between modes, click the small button with a folder icon on it.  This button is located at the upper-right side of the left pane.

Simple Browsing Mode: To choose a drive, choose one from the Drive List in the upper-left corner.  To choose a folder from the chosen drive, double-click on a folder to choose it.  To choose a file from within a folder, single click on it from the file list.  If no files appear in the list, then there are no valid image files or no files at all in the folder chosen, depending on the File Filter option.

Advanced Browsing Mode: Click the [Choose Folder…] button to open the Choose Folder dialog window.  From this window, you can choose which folder to work with.  Simply choose a folder containing the files you wish to rename.  This mode of browsing allows you to easily choose folders across networks, as well as special Windows folders, such as your “Desktop”.  To choose a file from within a folder, single click on it from the file list.  If no files appear in the list, then there are no valid image files or no files at all in the folder chosen, depending on the File Filter option.  Note that when switching to Simple Browsing Mode after choosing certain network folders in Advanced Browsing Mode, the selected drive in the Drive List may appear empty.  This is normal behavior.

To make things quicker for you, you may want to edit the Custom Buttons so that you can use them to create the filenames faster.  After all, that is what Name Dropper is for!  For more information on how to edit the Custom Buttons, see Editing the Custom Buttons.

When a file is first selected, Name Dropper will automatically highlight the main portion of the filename (besides the extension- i.e.:  ‘.jpg’).  This makes it quicker to just dive in and start renaming the file.  When a portion of the new filename is highlighted, that portion of the filename is replaced with the text inserted by the button clicked.  After you initially either click a button or type into the filename text box for a ‘freshly’ selected file, clicking more buttons simply adds to the filename, which is how you build longer and more descriptive filenames.  If you need to go back and change something, such as a person’s name, simply highlight the word or name you want to replace, and click the appropriate button to change the word.  If you decide to ‘clear’ the filename after you’ve already started renaming it, simply click the ‘Clear’ button.  If you decide that you don’t want to rename it at all, you can click the ‘Revert’ button to change the filename back to it’s original name, or simply choose a different file from the list.  Note though, that this will not work once you have clicked the ‘Rename/ Done’ button after making a change to the filename.

Now let’s walk through an example of renaming some digital photos.  Let’s say that you have many pictures of you and your loved one that you want to rename.  You might program Button 1 to be your name, and Button 2 to be your loved one’s name.  If the pictures were taken in Las Vegas, you may want to program Button 3 to say “Las Vegas” (without the quotes).  Tip: To program the buttons, right-click on them!

Once this is done, you simply start clicking on the buttons to rename the file.  Perhaps the first 5 pictures are of you and your loved one together.  Click the following buttons:   [Button 1], [ Insert+], [ & ], [Button 2], [Insert+], [ at ], [Button 3].  Assuming you and your loved one’s names are Kevin and Kris, your filename should now look something like this:  Kevin & Kris at Las Vegas.JPG.  If this is picture one of a series of you and her, you may want to then click the [(Series #)] button.  This will add a “1” to the end of the filename.  The ‘Next Series #’ text box will then display a ‘2’.  When you get to the next picture that is part of the same series, click the [(Series #)] button again to place a ‘2’ at the end.  If you start a new series, you can change it back to start at “1” by double-clicking the ‘Next Series #’ text box.  If you would like to continue a series you previously started, you can manually type the number to start at into the box.  Tip:  You can adjust the number of leading zeros (0) in the series # by going to the Tools|Program Options menu, and changing the Series # Placeholders setting.  This will allow you to create a series containing a high number of images without losing the numerical order.  See Options for more information.

Once you are done editing the new filename, click the ‘Rename/ Done’ button.  This replaces the original filename with the new one.  Although the file is not moved to a different folder, it may look like it disappeared.  In fact, the File List is refreshed after you rename a file, so odds are the file is in a different position in the list, due to the name change.  If there are more files after the one you just edited, the next file is automatically chosen for you.  Note:  Windows does not allow the following characters in filenames:   \ / : * ? ” < > |.  If you try to use these characters, Name Dropper will warn you and you must remove the invalid character(s) before proceeding.

Eventually, you might get to a picture of just yourself.  Therefore, you will not want to include your loved one’s name.  Since you programmed different buttons for each person’s name, this is no problem!  To name a picture of just yourself, following the example above, you would click the following buttons:   [Button 1], [Insert+], [ at ], [Button 3].  The file would then be called:  Kevin at Las Vegas.JPG.

If you find you have a long series of similar pictures, you may not want to have to click 4 or 5 buttons just to create the new filename.  In that case, you could click the ‘Filename as Temp’ button to store the entire filename as a button.  Once you click the ‘Filename as Temp’ button, a small menu will pop up.  Choose which Temp button to store the filename in (Temp1, Temp2, or Temp3).  Now, when you click on the Temp button that you programmed, the file will be automatically changed to it.  If you are doing a series, be sure to store the filename into a Temp button BEFORE you add a Series #.  This way, for all of the following files, you would then click:  [Temp1], [(Series #)], [Rename/ Done].  Easy!  An even quicker option for renaming many files in the same series is “Batch Mode“, which allows you to rename multiple files, including series #s, in just a few simple steps!

For more information on what the buttons do, see Interface.

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Name Dropper has many keyboard shortcuts that can be used in place of using the mouse.  Below is a list of the keyboard shortcuts available.

[Enter]  –  In single-file mode, renames the current file.  In Batch Mode, batch-renames all of the selected files.  When editing the text in a custom or temporary button, it is the same as clicking OK.

F1  –  Opens this Help File.  From the main window, it opens the Interface section of this Help File.  Can also be pressed in any other window with a Help button to show help pertaining to the window you are currently using.
F2  –  Rotates the Preview Window 90 degrees.  Handy if the picture is not upright in the preview window.  Name Dropper examines the EXIF data (if available) when a picture is previewed, and if the camera orientation is set to a value other than normal, the preview window is automatically rotated for you.
F3  –  Opens a window showing EXIF data (if available) for the currently selected file.  Here you can see more exposure details about the current picture.  If more than one file is selected, it shows the EXIF data for the most recently clicked file.  Currently, only EXIF Date & Time can be extracted from most RAW image files.  An alternative way to do this is to right-click on the File List area.

CTRL+A  –  Selects all files in current folder when the File List has focus.  Selects all characters in the New Filename when the New Filename text box has focus.  Note that the File List only has focus immediately after a folder is chosen.
CTRL+O  –  Opens the Program Options window.
CTRL+T  –  Opens the Manage Templates window.
CTRL+N  –  Maps (Connects) a network drive.
CTRL+U  –  “Un-Maps” (Disconnects) a network drive.
CTRL+D  –  Refreshes the Drive List.
CTRL+P  –  Refreshes the Folder (Path) List.
CTRL+F  –  Refreshes the Files List.
CTRL+S  –  Opens the Filename Search & Replace window.
CTRL+H  –  Opens the contents of this Help File
CTRL+Q  –  Exits (Quits) the program.

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To edit the Custom Buttons, RIGHT-CLICK on a Custom Button.  A small box will pop up.  This is where you type in the text for that button.  When done, click OK or press [Enter].  You can do this for all 9 Custom Buttons, as well as the 3 Temp (temporary) buttons.

Note:  Windows does not allow the following characters in filenames:   \ / : * ? ” < > |.  If you try to use these characters, Name Dropper will warn you and you must remove the invalid character(s) before proceeding.

Once you’re done editing the buttons, you may wish to save them for future use.  For more information on how to do this, see Managing Templates.

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If you take a wide variety of pictures, and tend to take pictures of similar things (pets, kids, etc.), then you may want to start using templates so that you can access custom buttons that you have already used before.  This prevents you from having to re-type the custom words or names into the buttons.

Using templates is easy, but before you can start using templates, you need to create them.  To create a template, follow these simple steps:

  • Edit the Custom Buttons by RIGHT-CLICKING on each one and typing in some text (then click OK).
  • Click on the ‘Templates|Manage Templates’ menu
  • In the ‘Save’ frame, type in a filename (for example, ‘New Template’)
  • Click the ‘Save’ button to save the template

    You’re done!  When you would like to use that template again, simply click on the ‘Tools|Manage Templates’ menu, choose the file from the list of saved files, and click Open.  The Custom Buttons will be restored.  If you would like to replace (or update) a previously saved template, simply choose the file from the list, then click ‘Save’.  You will be prompted to confirm overwriting the previous file.

    If you find that you have a template that you do not use any more, you can delete it by choosing it from the list and clicking the ‘Delete’ button.  This sends the template to the Recycle Bin, so if you delete one by accident, you can restore it from the Recycle Bin.

    Note:  When saving templates, the 9 ‘Custom Buttons’ are saved.  The 3 ‘Temp’ buttons are not saved, as these are used for ‘temporary’ things.

 

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If you have several files that are part of the same series, and therefore they will have similar names (aside from the series #), you can use Batch Mode to make it a quick and easy process!

To enter into Batch Mode, simply select multiple files from the files list (see Step 1 below for details on how to select multiple files).  You will notice that a small pane will appear where Drive & Folder Lists usually are.  Also, some buttons are disabled, which would interfere with the batch processing.  You may still use Custom Buttons to build the “base” filename (that will be explained below).
 
Steps to doing a batch file rename:

Step 1) Choose all files you wish to process – To select multiple files, hold down the [Ctrl] key while clicking on files to select.  If you accidentally select one by mistake, click it again (while still holding down [Ctrl]) to unselect it.  You may also select multiple files faster by first clicking on the starting (or ending) point, then holding [Ctrl] and [Shift] while you click on the ending (or starting) point.  All files between these two points will then be selected.  An alternative way to select multiple files is to hold down the left mouse button while dragging the mouse over the files in the list.  Although this method requires no additional keyboard input, you will still need to hold down the [Ctrl] key in order to select or unselect files ‘out of order’.

Step 2) Enter the “base” filename for all files into the ‘New Filename’ box, by either typing it in or using the custom buttons – What this means is to simply enter the filename you want to use for these files.  When in batch mode, inserting EXIF date/time or SERIES #s inserts a variable.  This variable is replaced with the actual data as each file is renamed.  If you are using Series #s, you should examine the ‘Next Series #’ box and be sure that the number you wish the series to start at is the same as in this box.  If not, you can double-click the box to reset it to 1, or manually change the number by typing in the box.  When renaming files, especially in Batch Mode, it is important that the new filenames will be unique.  Under most circumstances, you will want to click the [Series #] button to insert a series # into the new ‘base’ filename.  Inserting a Series # into the new filenames is the easiest way to ensure that the filenames will be unique.  Generally this is inserted at the end of the filename (before the extension, such as .jpg).  An example of a new base filename in Batch Mode would be:  Birthday Party %SERIES%.JPG.  To easily insert the %SERIES% variable, simply click on the [SERIES #] button.

Step 3) If desired, check the ‘Randomize Series #s’ option – Ordinarily, you would leave this option unchecked so that series #s are added in order.  However, if you would like to put the files in a random order, select this option before clicking the ‘Start Batch Renaming’ button.  This is handy if you would like to randomize the files in a folder for things such as a slide show, screen saver, or photo CD.  With a little creativity, you can adjust how random the files are.  As you might assume, this option will only work if the base filename contains a series #.  For some examples on how this works, keep reading.
  To randomize all the files in a folder, select all the files, then set the base name as Pictures %SERIES%.jpg.  Even if you have photos from several different occasions in the folder, they will all be mixed up randomly.
  To randomize all files in the folder without changing their names (and possibly losing some descriptive filenames), try this:  Select all of the files, then set the base name as %SERIES% %ORIGFN%.jpg.  Now all of the original filenames will be retained, but the random numbers at the beginning of the filenames will place them in a random order.
  If you’d rather keep groups of occasions together, but randomly mix the pictures in each group, select all files in a group, then set the base name as Group A %SERIES%.jpg, where Group A is whatever you want to call that group.  Repeat for all groups.  The files will now be in alphabetical order by group, but the individual pictures in each group will be random.
  Note that to prevent accidental random series #s, this option unchecks itself every time Batch Mode is ended.  This option is not recommended when batch-renaming file sets, such as Canon CRW & THM files.  For more information, see File Sets.

Step 4) Click the ‘Start Batch Renaming’ button – When you’re ready to rename the selected files using the base name you entered, starting with the series # in the Next Series # box (if using Series #s), click the ‘Start Batch Renaming’ button.  The files will be renamed in seconds.  Once it is done processing, Batch Mode will turn itself off and Name Dropper will return to normal operations.

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Here’s a handy list of the menu items that can be found in the Tools menu, and what they do.  Hyperlinks indicate you can find out more about the feature by clicking on the link:

Program Options  –  Change the program options
Manage Templates  –  Open, Save, or Delete a template
Map (Connect) Network Drive  –  Map a local drive letter to a drive or folder on your network
Disconnect Network Drive  –  Remove a local drive letter created by mapping a network drive
Refresh> Drive List/ Folder (Path) List/ Files List  –  Refreshes the chosen item to reflect any changes that may have occurred since Name Dropper was started
Filename Search & Replace  –  Search for words or phrases in the selected files and replace them with something else
Rotate Preview 90 degrees  –  Rotates the preview window… handy if the picture appears sideways in the preview window
View EXIF Data (Current File)  –  View the EXIF data (exposure information) about the currently selected file

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Preview Window
[ ] Automatically show preview – With this option checked, Name Dropper will automatically load the file chosen into the preview window.  It is recommended that you leave this option checked.  However, if you take extremely large pictures (or have a sluggish computer), it may take a short while for the preview to load.  If this becomes a problem, you can try unchecking this option.  You may also wish to disable Auto Preview when renaming MP3s or videos.  When this option is disabled (unchecked), a button will appear in the upper lefthand corner of the preview window.  Click that button to manually load the currently chosen file into the preview window.  If the file chosen is not directly supported by Name Dropper (for example, a text file), a button will appear that allows you to preview the file externally (‘External Preview’ button).

( ) Large View (ignores proportion) – Displays the image preview in a pretty large window, however, the image may appear stretched horizontally or vertically (this does not affect the file… just the preview).  This is the larger view, and is recommended.  Videos, while about as large as still images, will maintain their proportions.  Therefore, it is normal to see black areas along the top/bottom or sides of the video clip in the preview window.
( ) Thumbnail View (maintains proportion) – If the inaccurate proportions of the Large View bother you, select this option to show them in true proportion.  Due to the way the thumbnail preview works though, this will result in a smaller preview window.  Videos will always play in the larger view, though their proportions will remain intact.

Tool Tips
[ ] Show Tool Tips – When checked, Name Dropper will show “Tool Tips” when the mouse is over buttons or other functional areas of Name Dropper.  This can help someone new to Name Dropper learn how to use it faster.  Once you get the hang of things, you can turn them off if you find them distracting.

File Filter & Extensions
( ) Typical Image Files – With this option selected, The File List only shows supported filetypes found in the chosen folder.  This limits the files listed to typical still image files only.  This option is ideal if you keep image files in the same folder as other types of files, and you only wish to work with still images in Name Dropper.  If you will be working with proprietary RAW images created by a digital camera, MP3s, or videos in Name Dropper, you must choose the All Files option.
( ) All Files – With this option selected, The Files List shows all files found in the chosen folder.  This allows you to work with, and rename, any type of file. For digital camera users, this is particularly handy if you wish to rename proprietary raw image filetypes (such as Nikon .nef, Canon .raw, Olympus .orf, etc) orvideo clips.  Most RAW images can be viewed with Name Dropper, but if the file cannot be internally previewed (for example, a text file), there will be a button for an ‘External Preview’.  Clicking that button will open the file with the Windows application associated with that filetype.  If no Windows application is associated with that filetype, you will receive a message stating that.

[ ] Force lower-case extensions – With this option checked, Name Dropper will automatically convert the extension for each file to lower-case when renaming.  For example, MyPicture.JPG would become MyPicture.jpg.  This option was included for those who feel all upper-case extensions look unbalanced next to mixed-case filenames.

Main Window Resizing
[ ] Resize fonts too – With this option checked, the font size will increase or decrease along with the size of the main Name Dropper window when it is resized.  Turning this option OFF will allow more text to be visible when the main window is made larger.  This is particularly useful when you have a lot of text programmed into the Custom Buttons, or when you are working with extremely long filenames, as the File List will show more characters.  Note that when you turn this option OFF (unchecked), you must restart Name Dropper before the change will take effect.

Series #s
Auto-Spacing
  ( ) Insert a space before the series # – When inserting series numbers into the filenames, insert a space before the series #.  (Example:  Filename 001.JPG)
  ( ) Insert a dash before the series # – When inserting series numbers into the filenames, insert a dash before the series #.  (Example:  Filename-001.JPG)
  ( ) No spacing – When inserting series numbers into the filenames, do not insert anything before the series #.  (Example:  Filename001.JPG)

Series # Placeholders – When appending series numbers to filenames, you probably want to keep them in a logical order.  However, Windows Explorer does not sort files in true numerical order.  In order for Windows to sort them correctly, you may need to have leading 0s in front of the series #.  How many 0s depends on how many files will be in the series.  If your series will contain more than 9, but less than 100 files, choose 2 placeholders.  If more than 99, but less than 1000, choose 3 placeholders, etc.  The default option is 2, which should be good for most purposes, unless you have a large number of pictures in a single “series”.
(2) – 2 digits  (Example: Filename 01.JPG)
(3) – 3 digits  (Example: Filename 001.JPG)
(4) – 4 digits  (Example: Filename 0001.JPG)
(5) – 5 digits  (Example: Filename 00001.JPG)
(No placeholders) – No leading 0s will be inserted.  If the series contains over 9 pictures, they will not appear in the correct order within Windows Explorer.

[ ] Automatically reset the ‘Next Series #’ to 1 after completing a batch renaming operation – When checked, Name Dropper will automatically reset the ‘Next Series #’ to 1 after completing a batch renaming operation.  By default, this option is off, but it is especially handy if you do a lot of batch renaming, as it saves you from having to adjust the series # manually each time.

EXIF Date & Time Format
Name Dropper allows you to insert the date and/or time that is contained in many digital camera images into your filenames.  Using the drop-down listboxes, you can choose the formatting of the date and time to suit your tastes or needs.  If a file being renamed does not contain EXIF data, then the file’s ‘Created’ or ‘Modified’ date/time (whichever is oldest) is used instead.  If you like to insert the date and/or time into the filenames so that the files remain in chronological order, you should note that the following formats are the most accurate for retaining such order:  For the date, yyyymmdd.  For the time, hhmmss.  You can choose any fillers (such as yyyymmdd, yyyy.mm.dd, etc), but keeping the letters in that order when choosing the date & time formats will ensure that they remain in chronological order in Windows Explorer.  Also, if you do insert both the date and time into the filenames, the date should be inserted first.

Quick Tips
Name Dropper utilizes “Quick Tips”, which are windows that pop up at various times providing you with handy and informative tips related to what you are currently doing.  The tips can be turned off individually or altogether through checkboxes in the Quick Tip windows.  Should you want to restore all Quick Tips, simply click the [Restore Quick Tips] button.

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Image Files
Name Dropper directly supports many major image file formats, including major image formats used by digital cameras.  Name Dropper can also view many RAW image formats created by cameras, but if you would like to rename files other than the typical image files listed below (such as proprietary RAW formats or even non-image formats, such as MP3s or videos), change the File Filter to ‘All Files’ in the Program Options.  This option is found by clicking on the ‘Tools|Program Options‘ menu.  File types in bold are the most common types used by digital cameras:

ART, BMP, CUR, CUT, DIB, EMF, GEM, GIF, HRZ, ICO, IFF, IMG, JPG, LBM, MAC, MSP, PBM, PCX, PGM, PIC, PNG, PNM, PPM, PSD, RAS, RLE, TGA, TIF, WMF, and WPG.

Of the typical image files listed above, only JPG and TIF images can contain EXIF data (date and time), and the EXIF data is only stored in the file if the digital camera used to take the picture supports it (most do).  Note that with most image editors, if a digital camera image is edited and saved, EXIF data is usually lost, unless the image editor supports and retains EXIF data.  Since Name Dropper only renames images, any EXIF data that the images contain is retained!  Name Dropper can also extract EXIF date & time from virtually all RAW image files.  To see if your proprietary RAW image format is supported, simply select it from the file list and press F3 to view EXIF data.  If your camera creates file sets (2 files for each picture taken), be sure to look at File Sets for important information.

Audio & Video Files
Name Dropper can also internally play many audio and video formats too, which can be helpful when renaming those types of files.  Remember that in order to even see files other than the image files listed above, the File Filter option must be set to All Files.  The following audio/video files can be previewed internally.  File types in bold are the most common types used by digital cameras for motion video:

AVI, MID, MP3, MPEG (MPE/MPG/MPEG), WAV, Windows Media (ASF, WMA, WMV).

Note: Depending on other software installed on your computer *, QuickTime MOV files as well as Real Media Files (RA, RM, RAM) might play.  Name Dropper will try to play them.  If they do not play, or play incorrectly, you can right-click on the Preview Window and choose ‘Open with external viewer’ to load it with an external program.  Any other files can be previewed externally using the default viewer for those types of files as setup on your machine as well.  Keep in mind that whenever a file is previewed externally, you should close that file in the other program before attempting to rename the file in Name Dropper.  Failure to do so could cause a duplicate file to be created with the old filename or a ‘File Access’ error, meaning the file is in-use by another application.

*  Built-in preview support for all Quicktime and Real Media files are not guaranteed 100%, but most of these files will play correctly in Name Dropper if the appropriate DirectShow Filters are installed.  There are free alternatives to Quicktime and Real Player that include DirectShow Filters as well as IE plugins

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Some digital cameras create files in sets when a picture is taken.  An example of this is the Canon 10D.  When a picture is taken, two files with the same “base filename” are created:  A .CRW file and a .THM file.  The CRW file is the raw image of the picture taken, and the THM file is a JPG thumbnail of the raw image.  The CRW file does not contain any EXIF data, but the THM file does.  Below are the file sets that Name Dropper currently recognizes and how Name Dropper handles them.

Canon CRW / THM
EXIF – When renaming a CRW file, Name Dropper looks for a THM file in the same folder with the same filename.  If one is found, the EXIF date & time (if being inserted into the new filename) is extracted from the THM file.  If the THM file is not found, Name Dropper will use the CRW file’s “Created” or “Modified” Date & Time (whichever is oldest) instead.  Under most circumstances, this is the same as the EXIF Date & Time anyway.
Batch Renaming – If both files of the set are selected to be renamed, Name Dropper will automatically keep the ‘new filename’ the same for both the CRW and THM files, even if using Series #s.  Because files in sets should always have the same base filename, it is not recommended to name them individually, even if you are only renaming one “picture”.  In that case, you should choose both the CRW and THM files in the set and do a “Batch Rename”.  Special Note:  Using the Randomize Series #s option  (see Batch Mode for more) is not recommended when working with file sets.  This is because the random numbers are generated prior to renaming, based on the number of files being renamed.  Since files in a set will share the same series #, this will cause some of the randomly generated series #s to be unused, resulting in gaps in the series #s.  Random Series #s are generally used prior to creating Photo CDs to mix up the images.  Since Photo CDs cannot display RAW images, this option is not generally used anyway when working with RAW file sets.

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Name Dropper has the built-in ability to move or copy files from one drive or folder to another.  So does Windows… but Name Dropper has a built-in feature which automatically eliminates duplicate filenames!  Interested?  Read on, and be sure to take a look at the SmartName option below!

To get started, in the main Name Dropper window browse to the folder containing the files you want to move or copy then select the file(s) you wish to move or copy.  Then click on the [Transfer] button.  That brings you to the ‘Move or copy files’ window.

Click the [Choose Destination Folder] to tell Name Dropper where you want to move or copy the selected files.  As you use Name Dropper, it will remember that last 15 folders chosen using this button.  This will make it easier to choose often-used folders on your computer.  If you’d like to clear this history, just click the [Clear History] button.

You will notice that there are several options available.  Below is what they do:

If a file being moved or copied already exists in the destination folder…
( ) Ask if I want to overwrite the existing file – If a file being copied or moved shares the same name as a file in the destination folder, Name Dropper will ask you what to do.  You can tell it to overwrite it, not to overwrite it, or cancel the entire operation.
( ) Never overwrite the existing file – If a file being copied or moved shares the same name as a file in the destination folder, Name Dropper will skip that file.  It will not be copied or moved to the destination folder.  The original file in the destination folder will remain the same, and the source file will remain where it is.
( ) Always overwrite the existing file – If a file being copied or moved shares the same name as a file in the destination folder, Name Dropper will automatically replace the existing file with the one being moved or copied.  Name Dropper will NOT warn you about it.  Use extreme caution if using this setting.
( ) Use SmartName – If a file being copied or moved shares the same name as a file in the destination folder, Name Dropper will automatically adjust the filename of the source file (the file being moved or copied) so that it does not overwrite an existing file in the destination folder.  If SmartName does make changes to any filenames, the results of those changes will be shown after the copy or move operation is complete.  Although this is not the default setting, it is the recommended setting, so long as you are familiar with how it works.  Here’s how it works:
If the last character of the main portion of the filename (not the extension) is not a number, then a number is added to the end of the filename.  If the last character of the main portion of the filename IS a number, Name Dropper searches backwards through the filename until it finds a non-numerical character.  At this point in the filename, it inserts a new number, called a sub-series.  Below are some examples:
Let’s say you are attempting to move a file called DSC0004.JPG, and it already exists in the destination folder.  With SmartName, the filename will be changed to DSC010004.JPG.  If that already exists, it would be named DSC020004.JPG, and so on.  So long as the filenames contain a type of series #, as in the example, SmartName will always retain the order of the files up to 99 times for what was essentially the same filename!
If the file being moved does not have numbers at the end, then SmartName will just append the numbers to the end of the main portion of the filename.  For example, MyPicture.JPG would be changed to MyPicture01.JPG.  If that already existed, it would be named MyPicture02.JPG, and so on.
SmartName does not work well, however, if you use filenames that contain dates or time at the end of the filename.  For example, MyPicture 2004-12-25.JPG would become MyPicture 2004-12-0125.JPG.  Bear in mind, SmartName only changes the filename if the filename already exists in the destination folder.  If you do use dates and/or time for filenames, you should not have duplicates.

Once you’ve decided on which option to use, select which mode to use.  Move will move the selected file(s) to the destination folder and delete the original one from the source folder.  Copy will copy the selected file(s) to the destination folder while leaving the original one in the source folder where it is.
When ready, simply click the [Transfer File(s)] button to move or copy the files.

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If you would like to work with files located on another computer that is a part of your home or local network, you can map a local drive letter to it using this window.  This creates a new drive letter on your computer (starting with Z, and working down to the next free letter) which is linked directly to the drive or folder it is mapped to, residing on another computer in your network.  To access that drive or folder in Name Dropper (or even from Windows Explorer), simply choose the drive letter created when mapping the network drive.  Any time you wish to access this mapped drive, the networked computer that the drive physically resides in must be turned on and logged into Windows.  Although you may be able to map ANY drive or folder on a networked computer, you may not be able to access it.  This depends on the folder’s network permissions (see below).  If you do not have permission to access the network folder you chose, a message box will inform you of this when you first attempt to access it.

To map a network drive, first ensure that the networked computer is turned on and logged into Windows.  From the Map Network Drive window in Name Dropper, click the [Choose network drive or folder to map…] button.  A small window will appear where you can navigate to the desired folder.  To go directly to a specific computer on your network, typically it would be as follows:  Click My Network Places>Entire Network>Microsoft Windows Network>*Your Network Name*>*Computer Name*.  This should then bring you to a list of shared folders on the computer in question.  Choose which folder to map and click [OK].  You must choose a folder residing on a networked computer or it will not be accepted.  Once back at the Map Network Drive window, the folder you chose will be displayed in the window.  Click [OK] to map this drive or folder, or [Cancel] to cancel.  Note that depending on the speed of your computers and the network, it can take several moments to map the network drive.  Once mapped, a message box will appear stating whether or not it was successful, and if so, the drive letter mapped to the network drive or folder.  To access the networked drive or folder, you can simply choose that drive letter from the Name Dropper Drive List, or even Windows Explorer.

If you plan to access this network drive often, there is no harm in leaving it mapped (connected).  However, if you would like to disconnect it after you’ve finished, click on the ‘Tools|Disconnect Network Drive’ menu to disconnect the drive.

Folder Permissions

Drives and folders on networked computers have permission settings for them.  These permissions can affect their availability across your network.  By default, the only shared folder on a multi-user computer or network is the ‘Shared Documents’ folder.  You can either keep files to rename in that folder on each computer (or at least the computer you would like to access over your network), or change the permission settings for other folders.  For information on how to do that, consult the help documentation that came with Windows and try searching for “folder permissions”.

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If you have previously mapped (connected) a network drive, you can disconnect it here.  If you plan to access the network drive often, there is no need to disconnect it.  Disconnecting a mapped/connected network drive does not delete the real drive or folder, affect it in any way, nor physically disconnect anything.  It simply removes the drive letter assigned to it from your computer.  You can always reconnect later if you choose.

To disconnect a network drive, simply choose it from the list and click [Disconnect].  The list box only shows network drives, so if the list is empty, then you have no network drives connected. 

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Filename Search & Replace is a powerful function which lets you search selected filenames for specific words or phrases and replace them with other text.  It is recommended for advanced users who are comfortable with search & replace tools.  After a search & replace is executed, a results window will be shown when it is finished if any filenames were changed.

You may choose up to 6 search terms.  Leave search terms blank if not needed.  Below is an example:

Search Term #1
If the filename contains Bill replace it with William

This would replace all instances of the word Bill with William.  For example, Bill & Joan 001.JPG would become William & Joan 001.JPG.

But you need to use caution with search & replace.  With the above example, if you had also selected a file such as Billy at work 004.JPG, it would then become Williamy at work 004.JPG.  Not exactly what you had in mind, huh?  Keep in mind that the search term need only be in the filename as you typed it….even if it is only a part of a larger word.

If you ever find that you have made such a mistake, you can easily correct it though.  Start a new Search & Replace, and replace Williamy with Billy.  This will only change Williamy to Billy… it would not affect William.

Bearing all of this in mind, it is best to select only the files you wish to search before you start the Search & Replace.  This can prevent a lot of accidental changes.

You can also remove words too.  For instance, if you had several files starting with Bill & Joan at zoo XXXX.JPG, where XXXX was a series #, and wanted to remove at zoo, you would do the following:

Search Term #1
If the filename contains at zoo replace it with 

Note that we’ve left the ‘Replace it with’ field empty.  This will cause any instances of the search term to be replaced with nothing…. in other words, the search term is removed from the filename.  Remember though that leaving a search term blank (the ‘If the filename contains’ field) will cause that search term to be skipped.

With a little practice you will find that Search & Replace can be a very handy tool.  It can speed up the process of renaming some files that have already been renamed before, and can often be a part of a multi-stage renaming process.

Category: Name Dropper
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  • While editing the Custom Buttons, you can clear the current text by double-clicking on the text box.
  • If you plan to name a series of files, you can click the ‘Filename as Temp’ button to assign the current filename to one of the Temp Buttons.  This allows you to quickly rename the other files in the series.  Then you can click the ‘Series #’ button to add a series #, then click ‘Rename/ Done’!
  • While you can always adjust the ‘Next Series #’ by typing into the textbox, you can also quickly reset it to ‘1’ by double-clicking on the text box.
  • If you are naming pictures in a series, you may want to skip other pictures that aren’t part of the series until you finish the series you started.  That way, you will not have to keep changing the ‘Next Series #’.
  • No changes are made to the filename UNTIL you click on the ‘Rename/ Done’ button (or ‘Start Batch Renaming’ button, when in Batch Mode).  Also, doing this ONLY changes the filename.  It doesn’t change the size or file type.  If you decide not to change a filename that you started editing, simply choose another picture without clicking ‘Rename/ Done’ (or ‘Start Batch Renaming’ button), and no changes will be made.
  • Name Dropper remembers the folder that you were using when you last ran it.
  • Name Dropper remembers the contents of your Custom Buttons when you last ran it- whether you saved them as a template or not.
  • If a file being renamed does not contain EXIF information, but you are attempting to insert the EXIF date and/or time, the date and/or time that the file was created or modified on (whichever is oldest) will be used instead.
  • When renaming a group of MP3s using ID3 Tags contained in the files, be sure that all files being renamed do in fact contain the tag fields being used, otherwise duplicate filenames could occur.
  • Keep in mind that whenever a file is previewed externally, you should close that file in the other program before attempting to rename the file in Name Dropper.  Failure to do so could cause a duplicate file to be created with the old filename or a ‘File Access’ error, meaning the file is in-use by another application.

 

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If you find Name Dropper useful, please support it by purchasing (registering) it!  By purchasing, you not only get the FULL unlimited version, but your support also ensures future (and improved) versions of Name Dropper.  All future version upgrades are absolutely FREE to registered users… you will never be charged for an upgrade!

Name Dropper costs $10 (US).  To purchase/register, please click here.

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Your experience with Name Dropper is extremely important!  If you find yourself needing help, or would just like to drop a question, comment, or suggestion, please contact us.

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