Scripting fun: Rename files by date in Windows

When I’m working on a computer, I frequently make backups of what I’m doing. There are a lot of ways to do this, but the one I use is a bit ghetto.

1. Right click the folder with my work in it, and select “Send To > Compressed (zipped) folder”

2. Rename the resulting zip file so that the name includes the date in ISO format. You have to rename it in order to store multiple versions in the same place, so might as well add some useful data to the name.

3. Copy it to a backup drive somewhere.

I got fed up of doing the renaming manually, so I created (cobbled together from various Howtos) a batch file to do it for me. Here’s the code:
@echo off
FOR %%V IN (%1) DO FOR /F "tokens=1-6 delims=/: " %%J IN ("%%~tV") DO IF EXIST %%~nV-%%L%%K%%J-%%M%%N%%O%%~xV (ECHO Cannot rename %%V) ELSE (Rename %%V %%~nV-%%L%%K%%J-%%M%%N%%O%%~xV)

Paste that all into a text file (one long line!) and call it something like RenameByDate.bat.

Now, if you drag and drop another file onto this batch file’s icon, it should get renamed to its original name, plus the date and time of its timestamp.

If this doesn’t work, you may need to enter the following three commands at a command prompt, to enable drag and drop for batch files.
ftype batfile="%1" %*
assoc .bat=batfile
regsvr32 /i shell32.dll

(from here)

Finally, place the batch file in your Send To folder. (C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\SendTo)

Now you can rename any file, adding the date and time to the name, by right-clicking it and selecting “Send To > RenameByDate.bat”.

In other news, I’ve mostly been automating Bill Of Material generation with Perl.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *