This is a walk-through of a file renaming script that allows the user to specify the type of file to be renamed and to choose the naming convention.
import pathlib # set the directory containing the files to be renamed path = pathlib.Path("/home/joe/Pictures/examplePics/") # set the new name of the files file_name = "photos" file_list =  counter = 1 for file in sorted(path.glob("*.JPG")): # file type to rename file_list.append(file) for file in file_list: new_file = file_name + str(counter) + str(file.suffix).lower() file.rename(path / new_file) counter += 1
This directory has two file types,
.txt. For this example I only want to change the names of the
First, the script imports the
pathlib module from the standard library. Functions from this module allow the script to navigate directories, iterate by file type, and rename files. The
.Path() class tells the script where the files are that need to be renamed. It gets assigned to the
import pathlib path = pathlib.Path("/home/joe/Pictures/examplePics/")
If the script is run from the same directory as the files being renamed,
path can be written:
path = pathlib.Path().cwd()
Next, the user assigns a string to
file_name which will become the stem of the new file names.
file_list initializes an empty list.
counter starts the file numbering scheme at 1.
file_name = "photo" file_list =  counter = 1
The first 'for loop' iterates over the files that
path points to. The
.glob() method specifies the file type by matching the relative pattern (also assigned by the user). The files are sorted and appended to the
file_list that was initialized above.
for file in sorted(path.glob("*.JPG")): # file type to rename file_list.append(file)
Without this first 'for loop', there is a fringe case where the renaming script overwrites and erases some files. This happens if it is run twice in a row without changing the
file_name string. I only encountered this problem in Linux (both WSL and a Linux machine) when running the script from outside the working directory. I could not get Windows to duplicate the problem.
It doesn't seem very likely that the user would run into this file erasure issue. However, since no one likes unexpectedly losing files, I kept it in the script just to be on the safe side.
The second 'for loop' iterates over the sorted files appended to
new_file is initialized and the new file name is concatenated from the string in
file_name, the integer in
counter (converted to a string), and the file type suffix specified in the first 'for loop'.
file.suffix is converted to a string and made lowercase using the
.lower() string method.*
for file in file_list: new_file = file_name + str(counter) + str(file.suffix).lower()
*I made the file suffix conversion because I like my file extensions lowercase. If uppercase extensions are preferred, or the extensions are already lowercase, the line can be written like this:
new_file = file_name + str(counter) + file.suffix
.rename() method renames the file to the targeted directory path and returns a new Path instance pointing to target.
counter is increased by 1, and the script loops until every specified file has been renamed.
file.rename(path / new_file) counter += 1
After the script is run the directory looks like this:
Thanks for reading!
I wrote this script and this article as part of an assignment for my programming course. While I believe this script to be safe, I am a beginner and this script should be treated as an imperfect tool. If you choose to use this script, please test it on a sample or practice directory first.