File Management Principles & Shortcuts Part 2 of 3

File ManagementWelcome back to the second part of our series on file management.

If you missed the first part, we covered file properties, moving, deleting/restoring, and ordering, so go back and check that out.

In this part we will cover renaming, bulk renaming, and shortcuts, so let’s get to it!

How to Rename Files and Folders

There are many methods that can be used to rename a file; it seems like a popular activity!

Please note that although I will be talking about files, the concept is the same for folders, shortcuts, program files, and any other objects that you choose to rename.

When renaming, the entire file name will be selected. If you only want to edit the name rather than re-write it entirely, tap a few arrow keys or use the mouse to deselect the name before you begin to edit.

1. Right-click the file and select Rename.

2. Select the file and use the F2 keyboard shortcut to open the file name for editing.

3. Right-click, select Properties, and you will see an editable field with the file name in it. Click Ok when you’re done editing.

4. In Windows, after a file is selected, clicking it again (single click) will usually open the file name for editing. I like to call this a “delayed double click”.

5. Open the file and select File > Save As from the menu. (Note: Although this allows you to give the file a completely different name — and even a different extension, in most cases — it will do so by making a copy of the file. Your original file — with it’s original file name — will still be where you left it.)

How to Rename Multiple Files Simultaneously

It is possible to rename multiple files simultaneously, which is very useful in instances such as needing to rename a batch of photos just off a camera, etc.

The files will all have the name that you assign, with a “(1)”, “(2)”, etc. appended to the end of each file name.

To rename multiple files, simply select more than one file and use one of the file-renaming methods to rename what looks like a single file, but will be applied to all files selected.

Remember that you can click empty space and drag the mouse over files before letting go, or hold down the Ctrl or Shift keys while clicking on files to select multiple files.

How to Create Shortcuts

Shortcuts give you a way to access a single file/directory/etc. from multiple locations.

This can either be very useful (no more searching all over for that one file, if you have shortcuts to it all over the place!) or very annoying (there are all these shortcuts cluttering up my work-space!).

A happy balance may see a few shortcuts scattered around in ways that help you the most — so let’s learn how to make them.

In Windows, shortcuts can be created any one of several ways:

1. Right-click on a file or folder and select Create shortcut. The shortcut will instantly appear in your current location, and you can move it wherever you want it.

2. Hold down the Ctrl + Shift keys while dragging a file/folder just a short distance, then let go of it before you release the keys. Move the shortcut anywhere you want.

3. Right-click empty space in a location where you want a shortcut, and select New > Shortcut. Browse to the file/folder you want a shortcut to, click next, and give your shortcut a name.

In Linux, shortcuts are called links. They can also be created using several different methods, which are very similar, if not identical, to the Windows methods:

1. Right-click a file/folder and drag it a short distance, then let go and select “Link Here”. Give the link a name, then move the link file/icon anywhere you want.

2. Hold down the Ctrl + Shift keys while dragging a file/folder just a short distance, then let go of it before you release the keys. Give the link a name, then move the link file/icon anywhere you want.

3. Right-click empty space and select Create New > Link to Location (URL). This requires that you not only name your link, but be able to provide or browse to the file/location that you want to link to.

Try out a few links/shortcuts and see what you think. Are their very existence confusing, or helpful?


Have you learned anything yet? Some of these topics may be too basic for many readers, but I like to cover all my bases.

After all, you can skip over the parts you know, and focus on what you don’t know.

One more part of the series is coming right up!

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