How to do a find replace on file names within a directory with a script.

Posted on 2011-03-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a an excel sheet that will have first/last name and an account number.

I have a directory of files that are named via acct number, I would like to script a way to rename all those account numbers to first/last name.  For example find replace "account number" with the name listed by the account number.

Does anybody know of a good way to do that, or have a working script
Question by:Preston55
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions

Accepted Solution

McOz earned 250 total points
ID: 35182813
Here is a very simple code which should do what you need:
Sub renameFiles()
    myPath = "C:\New Folder\" 'the path to your directory (remember backslash at end)
    i = 2 'start on second row, assuming you have headers
    On Error Resume Next 'if a matching file is not found in the directory, skip it
    Do Until Cells(i, 1).Value = "" 'loop down the excel sheet until the first empty cell
        oldName = myPath & Cells(i, 1).Value & ".xlsx" 
        Name oldName As myPath & Cells(i, 2).Value & Cells(i, 3).Value & ".xlsx"
        i = i + 1
End Sub

Open in new window

It works with a sheet such as the one attached. Book2.xlsx
LVL 32

Assisted Solution

DrDamnit earned 250 total points
ID: 35182850

Find And Replace Text.

You can do a find and replace on file names, their contents, type, etc...

Easily run from a batch file, or from a single command line.

Author Comment

ID: 35189222
side question on that, some of the files have extended names for example

john smith is account number 34576,

so he may have two files which would be 34576_abcdef.tif and 34576_mnop.tif

With using those scripts can it preserver the _abcdef, yet change the 34576 to John Smith

Hope that makes sense, Thanks Again.

Get 15 Days FREE Full-Featured Trial

Benefit from a mission critical IT monitoring with Monitis Premium or get it FREE for your entry level monitoring needs.
-Over 200,000 users
-More than 300,000 websites monitored
-Used in 197 countries
-Recommended by 98% of users


Expert Comment

ID: 35189472
OK, if that is the case you will need to use this code:
Sub renameFiles()
    myPath = "C:\New Folder\" 'the path to your directory (remember backslash at end)
    i = 2 'start on second row, assuming you have headers
    Do Until Cells(i, 1).Value = "" 'loop down the excel sheet until the first empty cell
        strFile = Dir(myPath & Cells(i, 1).Value & "*.xls*", vbNormal)
        Do While strFile <> ""
            Name strFile As Replace(strFile, Cells(i, 1).Value, Cells(i, 2).Value & Cells(i, 3).Value)
            strFile = Dir
        i = i + 1
End Sub

Open in new window

This will replace the account number in any filename that begins with the account number.

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 35199222
Is this Excel--as in .xls/.xslx--or .csv?  Also, do you have a preference on which scripting language?  I see you put several.

Also, as someone who has a predilection for using Excel to manipulate stuff in a pinch, I am wondering why not try this low-rent solution: assuming your have columns A (first name), B (last name) and C (account number), why not use something this is in column D:

="ren C:\your\folder\path\"&C1&".ext C:\your\folder\path\"&A1&B1&".ext"

Open in new window

The output would be:

A: Will
B: Steele
C: 12345
D: ren C:\your\folder\path\12345.ext C:\your\folder\path\WillSteele.ext

Drag this down to your last row and then copy/paste Column D values into a .bat file.  Double-click the .bat file and renaming is complete.  I would also STRONGLY recommend testing and backing up your directory before running this.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 35199232
Sorry, posted too soon.  The command in traditional cmd shell would be:
="ren C:\your\folder\path\"&C1&".ext "&A1&B1&".ext"

Open in new window

Do not use the full path to prefix the second file name.

Featured Post

Are your AD admin tools letting you down?

Managing Active Directory can get complicated.  Often, the native tools for managing AD are just not up to the task.  The largest Active Directory installations in the world have relied on one tool to manage their day-to-day administration tasks: Hyena. Start your trial today.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Windows 10 came with  a lot of built in applications, Some organisations leave them there, some will control them using GPO's. This Article is useful for those who do not want to have any applications in their image (example:me).
With User Account Control (UAC) enabled in Windows 7, one needs to open an elevated Command Prompt in order to run scripts under administrative privileges. Although the elevated Command Prompt accomplishes the task, the question How to run as script…
Two types of users will appreciate AOMEI Backupper Pro: 1 - Those with PCIe drives (and haven't found cloning software that works on them). 2 - Those who want a fast clone of their boot drive (no re-boots needed) and it can clone your drive wh…
Exchange organizations may use the Journaling Agent of the Transport Service to archive messages going through Exchange. However, if the Transport Service is integrated with some email content management application (such as an antispam), the admini…

623 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question