Re: Keeping photos in a certain order

From: Yves Alarie (
Date: 10/15/04

Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 15:59:30 -0400

Files are sorted (listed) by numerical/alphabetical order.
Sure you can move thumbnails around and play a slide show with the new
order, but, when you close the folder and open it again you will see that
the thumbnails are back by numerical/alphabetical order. The same is true if
you copy them to a CD.
However, after you sort the thumbnails in the order you want, you can keep
them in this order if you are willing to do a little bit of work. The little
bit of work is simply selecting the thumbnails and then renaming the files
with a numerical system so that the order you want them in will be retained.
Here is how to do it.

If you need to batch rename and number, you can do this easily with XP.

Make a new folder on your hard drive.

Name it something easy to remember and search for: year, month, day, event,
separated by underline. For example:

2004_09_16_Summer Vacations

Copy the photos you want to place in a particular order into this new
folder. You can copy photos to this new folder from any photo folder you
have to make a new collection.

Once the photos are copied in this new folder, open the new folder. Hold the
Ctrl key down and press the letter A. This will select (highlight in blue)
all the files in the folder.

Right click on the first file (important to right click on the first file
because renaming will start from there).

Click on Rename on the opening menu.

Type in the name you want, to replace the current name of the first file.
Any system will work, such as year, month, day, event. For example type in:

2003_09_16 Virginia Beach Vacation (1).jpg

and press Enter.

XP will automatically rename all the files (1), (2), (3), etc. and they will
open in the order (1), (2), (3), etc. If you copy them to a CD, this order
will be maintained.

Two important things when renaming using the above method.

1. Look at the name of the above file, you must include a space between the
last character of the file name and (1)

2. When you rename, don't forget to add .jpg after (1). If you forget, XP
will warn you, so enter .jpg after this warning. If you don't, you will not
be able to open the file. If you still do not enter .jpg after the warning,
don't worry. Rename again and enter .jpg

You can rename any time and as many times as you want. You are not dependent
on the camera wizard to rename.

You can rename groups of files in a folder (in the example above, the date
can be 16, 17, 18, etc for each day of your vacation) just select the group
you want and right click on the first one in the group and rename from

You can do even better than this. Suppose you want a slide show and you want
the last three pictures taken to be the first three or in between some other
photos, or re-order the photos in any way. Easy to do. Open the folder in
thumbnail view, use your mouse to place the thumbnails in the order you
want. Select all the photos and rename. The (1), (2), (3), etc will be added
in the order you placed the thumbnails. They will stay in this order if you
copy to a CD because XP lists (or sorts) by file name only on a CD.

If you have many pictures in this new folder and all you want is to order
them in chronological order, moving thumbnails in the correct order is
tedious. Let XP do this for you. Change the View from Thumbnails to Details.
In the Details view, right click on the column header "Name". This will open
a list. Click on More at the bottom of the list. A list will open, check the
box "Date Picture Taken". This will add the column Date Picture Taken in
the Details view. Then you click on the column header "Date Picture taken"
and XP will now change the list of files from the name of the files (the
default) to listing files in chronological order. Now, change the View to
Thumbnails and they are in chronological order. Select them, rename them
using the above procedure and you are in business.

Convenient if you want to make a slide show of pictures from different
folders. Just make a new folder, copy the photos you want in the new folder,
place the thumbnails in the order you want and rename.

You are not restricted to only one name (you use one name for one group of
picture, another for the next group, etc.) and you can control the order in
which each group will open, by placing a number up front of the file name
for each group. You may have photos of Christmas, Easter, New Year etc. and
of different years. Once you have the thumbnails in the order you want,
select the first group, right click on the first thumbnail in the group and

1_2002 Easter (1).jpg

Then select the second group and rename

2_2002 Christmas (1).jpg

Placing 1_, 2_, etc in front will control the order of each group and (1)
controls the order within each group.

If you want to add another group later and you want the photos of this group
to be, say between 1_ and 2_, use 1a_ in front of the file name.

You may also want to add some more photos in a particular group at a later
time, say your Christmas group. No problem. Copy the files you want to add
in the folder, move the thumbnails in the group you want to add them to
where you want them. Select all the thumbnails in the group, right click on
the first one and rename. When you rename, you must change the name in order
for rename to take place. Add something like XYZ after Christmas. Once
renaming is done, select the same files again and rename again. Remove the
XYZ and you will be back to the original name.

Note: There is a disadvantage to changing the original name of files. This
is why I recommend at the start to make a new folder and copy your original
files in the new folder before renaming. The disadvantage is this. Many have
the option of video out from the camera to display the pictures from the
memory card to a TV for a slide show. If you change the file names and copy
the files back to your memory card to display on your TV (or even to just
look at them on the LCD of the camera) your camera will not be able to read
the files. You can always rename, using the same format (8 characters) that
your camera uses, but now you have to rename each file. So, be careful what
you do with your original files.

Note: Although I recommend making a new folder and copying your files there
before renaming, there is also another way to do this and you may prefer
this once you are comfortable with renaming. Here is how to do it.

Open the folder to see your files. Hold the Ctrl key down and press the
letter A to select (highlight in blue) all the files. Hold the Ctrl key down
and press the letter C. This makes a copy of all the files to your
clipboard. Hold the Ctrl key down and press the letter V. This copies
(pastes) all the files back in your folder. The file names will be the same,
but the words "Copy of" will be in front of the file names. You then rename
Copy of files.

This way your original files and renamed files are in the same folder.

This is also very useful when you want to edit a photo with software. You
always edit "Copy of", never edit your original file.

You can also use the free Irfanview software to batch rename, available

Note about irfanview (version 3.92). As you will read below, XP has a "new
way" of listing files by numerical/alphabetical order. It is important to
understand how the XP way works vs the old way if you want to read files in
devices using the old way instead of the XP way. XP will read both the old
and XP way, but will sort (or list) them differently.

Here is the explanation.

When you use the above batch renaming system on XP, everything will work
fine as long as you are on XP. This means your XP hard drive, copy to CD
etc. However if you go out of XP you will encounter some problems. For
example, you made a photo CD on XP using the above renaming system and you
now play this CD in your DVD. Your DVD player will not play the files in the
same order as displayed on your XP computer. You made the files:

Image (1).jpg

Image (2).jpg

Image (10).jpg

Image (20).jpg

They will be displayed in this order on XP but your DVD player will display
them in this order:

Image (1).jpg

Image (10).jpg

Image (2).jpg

Image (20).jpg

If you want to upload these files to a Web site, some server will refuse
files with ( ) in the file name while others will accept them but will
display them the same way as your DVD player will, as shown above. So, the
XP way (1),(2), etc. of listing files is not retained.

So, what are you supposed to do with this conflict between XP and everything

This is what I do.

1. Rename with XP with the system given above.

2. If I want to copy to a CD to play to a DVD or upload to a Web site, I
then use Irfanview. With Irfanview I rename my XP files using the default in
Irfanview (the "old way"):




Since Irfanview does not actually rename your original XP file names, it
only adds new file names in the same folder, I now have two sets of names
for the same files. I simply copy the Irfanview set of file names to a CD to
play on a DVD player or to upload to a Web site and once done just delete
them. When you delete them, they go to the Recycle bin. Open it and delete
them from the Recycle bin. Or, after you select them for deletion, hold the
Shift key down and press the Delete key. Holding the shift key down will
prevent the files to go to the Recycle bin.

All this renaming may seem a little complicated, but you can really
manipulate things very well by just sitting down and understanding the
system. With a little practice you can get what you want.

However, before renaming, make sure you make a new folder and copy some
photo files there so you can practice with no danger to your original files.

"pcpc" <> wrote in message
> I have copied some photos in to a file in "my pictures" I made a new
> went to Properties and on the customize tab I selected "photo album". I
> started to put the pictures in in order that I want to show them and burn
> them on a cd. When I burn the cd, because I have some number and some
> titles, it saves them numbers first and then alphabetically. I want to
> how I can keep them in the order that I want, and then burn them in that
> order. I am really frustrated with this. I am sure there is a very
> way to do this-----HELP