How do I replace the DSC prefix on my photo file names?

Most “Digital Still Cameras” assign the file names of the photos in this format: “DSC_nnnn.xxx”. The “nnnn” is a four-digit number and the “xxx” the file type, often “JPG”, but it can also be another extension. For example for Nikon “raw” files the extension is “NEF”. The first four characters can be changed in some cameras, but most just set the “DSC_” prefix.

Of course, you can change this by renaming the file. Doing that one at a time is not practical, so here is the procedure I use for doing “batch” renaming. I use a “Windows Batch File” to do this chore.

Creating a Windows Batch File

imageOpen Notepad and type in the Windows “command line” commands. See the illustration here. My first command starts with “REM”. That stands for “remark” and does nothing. It is just used to tell me what the batch file does.

The next command is “cd %1”. The “cd” part stands for “change directory”. This is old language dating back to the time before “folders” were called “folders”, they were “directories”. The command is equivalent to you clicking on a folder in the navigation pane of Windows Explorer. The “%1” part tells the command to use the “command line parameter” that was passed to the program. That sentence probably means nothing to you, don’t fret. You will see shortly how we pass the folder name to the batch file program – by just dragging it to the bat file icon.

The last line is “rename DSC_????.* LK6A????.*” Now here the first term is easy enough, “rename” means just that (you can also use just “ren”). This is followed by the name of the file (or files) to be renamed. The first part is clear enough. The question marks each stand for “whatever character is there”. There are four question marks to specify the four numeric characters in the photo file name. The period follows the numbers. The asterisk after the period says “whatever follows the period”.

Now the new name is entered. This is the same except for the first four characters. I use my initials followed by a “camera identifier character” (“6”) and that is followed by the letter “A” in my case. You can specify any four characters, no fewer and no more, or else the command will do “unexpected things”.

Save the file to your desktop, using Save as and giving it a name. I use “renameDSC”. imageSince you created it with Notepad is is just a plain text file, not a “batch program” yet. If the icon on the desktop shows just the name without an extension, reset the viewing options to make the next step easier: Open Windows Explorer (StartComputer). Click on Desktop (at the top in navigation pane). Click Organize then Folder and search options. In the Folder Options dialog click the View tab. imageFind the option reading “Hide extensions for known file types”. Click it to uncheck the box. Click OK then close Windows Explorer.

Now the extension of the file you created will be visible, it will say “renameDSC.txt”.

Click on the icon to select it, a moment later click on the name. This opens the rename box. image

 

 

 

 

 

Replace the “txt” extension with “bat”. The “bat” stands for “batch file” and imageindicates to Windows that it is a batch program. Press Enter. There will be a warning message. Click Yes to perform the rename operation.

You now have created a “batch program” and the icon will now show the “gears” image:

image

If you wish you can reset the option to hide the extensions of “know file types”. 

You can edit and revise the batch file by right-clicking the icon and selecting Edit – this opens Notepad. When you are finished save the file. It will remain a batch file, so there are no further hoops to jump through.

 

You are now ready to perform the renaming operation. You will find this fast and easy – now that you have a desktop program for doing so.

 

Renaming the DSC files

After importing your photos, open Windows Live Photo Gallery. Find the folder or folders of the new photos in the navigation pane.

image

Now just drag the folder name to your batch program.

image

You will see the “Command prompt” window open momentarily and carry out your instructions. If you folder contains a small number of photos you might not even notice the operation. But take a look at the thumbnails. If you have the display showing the file names, you will see that they all have been renamed.

Do this for any other folder containing photo files that need renaming. It takes just a couple of seconds, but you do have to do it one folder at a time. You will find this quick and easy and fun to do.

.

.:.

How do I import photos from my camera to my Windows 7 computer?

Windows 7 and Windows Live Photo Gallery make importing photos from your camera very quick and easy. Here is how to set up your system and how import photos quickly.

Setup camera on Windows 7

Connect your camera to your computer using a USB cable. Turn on the camera. If this is the first time that the camera is connected to the computer you will see something like this near the right end of the Taskbar.

image

Windows 7 will install the needed driver software as soon as it sees the camera. This will take but a few moments.

imageThe camera device window will open, it is show below. (If it doesn’t open automatically, click the camera icon on the Taskbar.

image

The window will show a variety of information. The illustration is for a Nikon D60 camera, for another camera the information will be similar. Of concern here is the import-06option labeled “Import pictures and videos”. Click on “Change program”.

A dialog windows opens like the illustration on the left. The default option is “Import pictures … using Windows. For much better control and more options use Windows Live Photo Gallery to import the photos. So click on “Import pictures and videos using Windows Live Photo Gallery”. Then click OK.

Next click “Change general settings”. In the next dialog, click on the option bar that says “Take no action”.

image

Click on “Import pictures and videos”, then click OK.

Windows is now set up. Turn off your camera. The camera icon will disappear from the Taskbar. Next set up options in Windows Live Photo Gallery.

Set import options in Windows Live Photo Gallery

Open Live Photo Gallery and click the blue “File” tab (upper left). Click Options. In the next dialog click the Import tab.

image

Here a number of options can be set. Since you are setting up importing from your camera, leave the setting for “Cameras” and keep the import destination of “Pictures”. Your Pictures folder is the proper place to keep photos.

As photos are imported new folders can be created for the photos. There are a number of naming conventions you can select from. I like “Date Taken + Name”, this is illustrated here.

You can also choose the file name format. My preference is to keep the file names that the camera has assigned to them.

The dialog window contains an example to show how the folder names and file names will appear according to the settings you select.

There are three other options. Check what should happen. Then click OK.

This completes the setup of your computer for importing photos. So let’s try it out. Close Windows Live Photo Gallery.

Importing photos from the Camera

Connect the camera with a USB cable to the computer. Turn on the camera.

Windows will recognize the camera and start carrying out the option that you have set import-01up. Momentarily you will see a window telling you that Windows is “looking for photos and videos…”.

As soon as it has finished analyzing the photo files on the camera, an new dialog window with more options opens up.import-11

This may look like the one illustrated here. It will show the number of photos on the camera and display two options. I like, and recommend, the “review” option. There are additional choices that can be made using that approach.

Make your selection and click Next.

If you chose the review option you get something like this:

import-12

Photos will be grouped by date. You can change the grouping with the slider control on the bottom. You can enter a names for the folders that will be created for each group. You can also specify tags that will be common to all the photos in a group. This can really help you get your organizing of the photos underway. Click on “Enter a name” to enter the folder name (or the name part of the folder name). Click on Add tags to get this started.

Separate different tags with semicolons. Here is an example with information filled in:

import-15

Note that you can inspect the photos in each group – click “View all … items”, and can even check or uncheck the individual photos to be imported.

To proceed, click Import.

Windows Live Photo Gallery now imports your selected photos, creates folders named in accordance with your settings, and places the grouped photos into the folders. If you have set the “Open … Photo Gallery after importing…” option, Windows Live Photo Gallery will open once the photos have been imported showing the photos.

.

.:.

How can I see my SkyDrive photos in Windows Explorer?

You Windows Live SkyDrive photos are stored “in the cloud” on Microsoft servers. Normally you access them through a browser like Internet Explorer.

It is possible to map a SkyDrive album to a drive letter in Windows Explorer. Then you can see what photos you have stored in that album.

NOTE: This method works in Windows 7. Windows Vista also supports mapping with this procedure, other operating system do not, sorry.

Here is how:

Obtain your Windows Live account “cid” number. Once you have that you may want to save it in a file for future use.

  • Sign in to you Windows Live account by going to home.live.com.
  • Click on profile underneath your name in the upper right.

The address in the browser address window contains your “cid” number. It is the number following “cid-“ up to the next period (“.”) as shown highlighted in this example:

image

Of course, the number will be your own unique number, not mine as shown here.

  • Copy this number for later use.
  • Get the name of the SkyDrive album that you wish to map.

Next proceed on your computer.

  • Click Start – Computer. Windows Explorer open showing your drives.
  • On the menu bar click Map network drive.

image

A “Map network drive” dialog opens.

  • Select the drive letter you wish to use. By default the selection is the highest drive letter available, normally Z:.
  • In the Folders box enter this text (without the quotes) “\\docs.live.net@SSL\” ,followed by your cid number, followed by a back-slash, followed by the album name.

image

  • Click Finish.

imageimage

You will see a “Map Network Drive” dialog. It may take a while for this process to complete.

When the “Windows Security” dialog opens enter your Windows Live ID – the complete email address and your password.

After another delay a new Windows Explorer window opens showing your SkyDrive album (as illustrated here).

image

You can see thumbnails of your photos and you can see the properties of a selected photo in the properties pane.

Can you use this mapped folder like any other? Alas, at the present time (October 2010) when you drag a photo to this folder it seems to work at first. Then you get an error message.

image

imageThe error message may say that the file is too large, regardless of how small it actually may be. Maybe soon Microsoft will enable the functionality that is so close to reality.

For now you will have to settle for just seeing your photos in the album. Use Windows Live Photo Gallery to upload photos to the album (see: How do I upload photos to SkyDrive using Windows Live Photo Gallery?) or upload from the SkyDrive side (see: How do I upload photos to SkyDrive?)

How do I upload photos to SkyDrive using Windows Live Photo Gallery?

SkyDrive is your free storage and sharing location provided by Windows Live. A number of applications “know” how to upload to SkyDrive and make the process very easy. Windows Live Photo Gallery is one of those programs.image

To tell Photo Gallery about your SkyDrive, simply sign in to Photo Gallery. Over on the upper right side there is a Sign in link.

Click Sign in, then sign in with your Windows Live ID. Once signed in, Photo Gallery will remember and you need not sign in each time.

To upload photos, select them – just click the thumbnail image. If you wish to select more than one, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on the desired thumbnails. If you have a group of photos in consecutive order you can click the first one, then hold down the Shift key and click the last one. imageTo select all the photos shown in the gallery click Select all on the Ribbon with the Home tab selected (or hold down the Ctrl key and press A ). Be careful with that. This will select thumbnails that are scrolled off the view.image

Selected thumbnails will be highlighted so you can see which ones are selected.

To upload the selected photos click on SkyDrive in the Share group on the Ribbon. If you are not signed in, you will get a sign in dialog here. Then you will see a dialog somewhat like this:

image

There are a number of choices to make in this dialog. Note the Photo upload size – the default is “Large (1600 px)”. Click the down arrowhead for other size options. Note that you can also select Original to upload the photos in their full size. The option Medium (600 px) is ok for photos that are meant only for online viewing. When you select other than Original your photos will be scaled down if the horizontal or vertical picture dimension is larger that the number shown. Smaller photos will not be resized.

In the main area of the dialog you can select one of your existing albums on the SkyDrive, you may need to scroll down if you have many.

The default is to create a new album. Note the text entry box wimageith the flashing cursor. Just type the name that you want to assign to the new album. For a new album, there is also a sharing selector. You can specify sharing here. Of course, you can change that later in SkyDrive.

When you have made your choices, click the Publish button which will now be available in the lower right of the dialog.

imageA dialog will show the progress of the upload process. Remember that this may take some time depending on the number and size of the photos selected.

It really is that simple. You can upload to an existing album or create a new one right from Windows Live Photo Gallery.