Q) You've said that you batch-rename all your photographs prior to archiving them. Would you clarify what batch-renaming does without altering the original JPEG files? What program might you recommend for batch-renaming?
Colorado Springs, Colorado
A) First, it helps to understand how file names are changed, as batch-renaming is simply renaming many files at once. The long way would be to open the file and resave it with a new name. After reading the previous answer, you know that this would not be the best procedure, particularly for compressed file formats.
Another approach is to rename the file at the operating system level. With Windows, right-click on the file, choose Rename, and the system highlights the file name so you can type a new one. If you prefer, you can click once on the file name, wait for a second, then click again on the file name and type the new one. (You have to wait between clicks or the system will recognize this as a double-click, and the file will open.)
On a Mac, click once on the file name (not the icon) and it will highlight so you can rename. You also can select the file and use Command+I to bring up the info window with the file name highlighted so you can rename.
Notice that when you rename using either operating system, you're not opening the file; you're just changing the name. This prevents the file recompression we're trying to avoid.
To automate the task of renaming, check to see if your image-editing software has any batch or automatic functions. Many do and typically are located under the file menu (in Adobe Photoshop, check in the Automate menu). In addition, most browser programs, such as ACDSee from ACD Systems or iView MediaPro, offer extensive batch-renaming capabilities.