Is There A Good Free File Manager?

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  1. abrogard's Avatar
    Posts : 358

    Is There A Good Free File Manager?

    I need help organising some files.

    I have a directory of some 6000 pdf files. I need them organised by author, which is in the filename.

    I'm currently going down the list, finding an author with 50 or more to his name, creating a folder by that name and then selecting all his files and moving them there.

    Very, very slow and tedious.

    I've been at it for the last hour or more and I'm still hardly anywhere.

    There's such a lot of file managing stuff found when I google but when I get them and install them they don't seem to do what I want.

    Can anyone help by directing me to something that will do this thing perhaps? Or there's nothing known?
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  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 24,087
    Win 10 Pro (1903)

    Hi, what happens if you use the search box in file explorer?

    For example, *ee* finds all files with ee in the file name:
    Is There A Good Free File Manager?-snap-2019-06-08-05.41.18.png
    That would let you pick out a particular author.

    As to organise by file name, well, that rather depends where in the file name the author's name appears. Presumably not at the start from what you're saying.

    An alternative might be to batch rename the files, so that the author's name does appear at the beginning, then sort the files. This would depend on how the files are named of course.

    For example, Ant Renamer lets you move strings in filenames:
    Is There A Good Free File Manager?-snap-2019-06-08-05.47.10.png

    What will work for you depends on the variations in your existing file names.
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  3. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 9,054
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux

    Hi there

    I'd suggest a much better way -- it's a bit of a project though but once done it will save huge amounts of time and effort and you can apply to other large numbers of files etc -- and also you can then have these over several volumes without having to worry about where they are exactly and on what HDD.

    First simply read the directories and load into an excel spreadsheet (or equivalent in the various free office versions out there) --then you can sort any which way you want.

    In the excel spreadsheet you only really need two fields -- the file name (which has the author as part key) and the URL (where it is on local disk).

    Now you've got an easy link where you can select, copy, move etc etc.

    Now you can create a database - this can spead over multiple volumes

    This sort of stuff is actually much better handled by a database -- there's loads of decent free ones as well -- for example MySQL or MariaDB - that's 2 for starters. You can store the pdf's in this as well making a decent library system. You can also create decent queries that will return answers very quickly e.g select author,url from author db where author contains("fred") for example -- sql queries can be really simple - the exact format depends on the db system being used but essentially they are of the format I've shown.

    Start first by loading the urls as well as the file names -- then you can actually store the data objects themselves in the database -- depending on your needs I'd just store the URL's until you get used to handling the DB system.

    I'm working on creating a music DD of about 3 TB of music files I've ripped from CD's and downloaded over the years. File explorer whether on Windows or Linux isn't really suitable for the amount of files -- currently about 170,000 directories !!!

    With people storing more and more data things like Basic file explorer aren't really the best sorts of tools any more - they are great for small amounts of data handling and manipulation but as the amount and complexity of your data increases the old methods aren't really suitable any more.

    Incidentally don't even THINK of using Access as a database --it's absolutely terrible, breaks very easily and is only useable by 1 user at a time -- how Ms had the gall to call that system a database is beyond my understanding.

    Here's how to start -- from here on it's plain sailing.

    Making the Spreadsheet :

    1) Press "Win-E" to open Windows Explorer and locate the folder for which you need a file list.

    2) Hold the "Shift" key, right-click the folder and select "Open Command Window Here". Select the folder located under the library icon. If the library points to a drive, right-click the drive letter from the folder tree.

    3) Type "dir /b > dirlist.txt" without quotes and press "Enter." This creates a list containing file names only. To include file sizes and dates, type "dir > dirlist.txt" instead. To also include files in sub-directories, type "dir /b /s > dirlist.txt" to create a list of files with the full directory structure name, such as "C:\folder\subdirectory\file.txt."

    4)Open Microsoft Excel and press "Ctrl-O" to bring up the Open dialog windo1) Press "Win-E" to open Windows Explorer and locate the folder for which you need a file list.

    2) Hold the "Shift" key, right-click the folder and select "Open Command Window Here". Select the folder located under the library icon. If the library points to a drive, right-click the drive letter from the folder tree.

    3) Type "dir /b > dirlist.txt" without quotes and press "Enter." This creates a list containing file names only. To include file sizes and dates, type "dir > dirlist.txt" instead. To also include files in sub-directories, type "dir /b /s > dirlist.txt" to create a list of files with the full directory structure name, such as dogbiscuits.txt c:/dogfood/biscuits

    5)Navigate into the folder containing the files. Click the file type drop-down menu and select "Text Files (.prn,.txt,*.cvs)." Double-click "dirlist.txt" to open it.

    6)Click "Finish" in the Text Import Wizard window to use the default options and import the directory list into Excel.

    7) save excel file in .xlsx , csv or whatever format you want

    Manipulate the sheet by adding extra fields such as splitting the name from the address (e.g C:/dog/biscuits.txt)

    Now you've got a sheet with file name and address (url)

    Create Database on MySQL / Mariadb


    Last edited by jimbo45; 08 Jun 2019 at 02:59. Reason: added detail on creating the spreadsheet
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  4. Lugh's Avatar
    Posts : 109
    Windows 10 Home x64 1803

    A lot depends on where the author name is in the filename, and if it's uniquely separated from the rest of the filename—eg by underscore, hyphen etc.

    Can you give us a representative small sample of filenames?
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  5. abrogard's Avatar
    Posts : 358
    Thread Starter

    However I think I've not put the question right.

    I've asked hundreds of questions in my time on fora here and there and I've learned I'm not very good at it.

    I'll try again:
    I want something that will look down a directory and find all the files of the same name (i.e. first part of the name) and move them into a folder of that name, which it will create.
    Given that they're actually already sorted in the directory simply by MS alphabetic listing.

    Here's a sample:

    26-Jul-09 05:57 PM 1,094,991 Will Greenway - Reality's Plaything 01 - Reality's Plaything.pdf
    26-Jul-09 01:53 PM 958,739 Will Greenway - Reality's Plaything 02 - 'Neath Odin's Eye.pdf
    26-Jul-09 05:59 PM 974,410 Will Greenway - Reality's Plaything 02 - Savant's Ascendant.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:14 PM 1,058,817 Will Greenway - Reality's Plaything 03 - Eternal's Agenda.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:34 PM 527,701 Will Hubbell - Cretaceous Sea.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:34 PM 217,679 William Barton - Down in the Dark.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:34 PM 29,788 William Barton - In Saturn Time.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:34 PM 96,993 William Barton - In the Age of the Quiet Sun.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:34 PM 89,169 William Barton - Man Who Counts.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:24 PM 73,440 William Barton - The Rocket Into Planetary Space.pdf
    26-Jul-09 04:28 PM 377,047 William Bolton - Jesuit, Circa 2000 AD.pdf
    26-Jul-09 04:28 PM 656,014 William Breton - Ten Days to Zero Zero.pdf
    26-Jul-09 01:29 PM 564,380 William C. Dietz - By Force of Arms.pdf
    26-Jul-09 10:18 AM 1,630,903 William C. Dietz - Deathday.pdf
    26-Jul-09 10:18 AM 742,908 William C. Dietz - For More Than Glory.pdf
    26-Jul-09 10:18 AM 482,034 William C. Dietz - Halo 1 - The Flood.pdf
    26-Jul-09 10:16 AM 1,476,438 William C. Dietz - McCade on the Run.pdf
    26-Jul-09 10:17 AM 430,724 William C. Dietz - Prison Planet.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:28 PM 998,315 William C.Dietz - Sam McCade 2 - Imperial Bounty.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:22 PM 7,689 William D. Shunn - Celestial.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:22 PM 20,618 William D. Shunn - Kevin17.pdf
    25-Jan-09 06:05 PM 2,228,896 William Engdahl - A Century of War.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:56 PM 613,749 William F. Nolan - Logans Run Trilogie.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:03 PM 58,409 William F. Wu - The Hungry Ghost of Panamint.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:03 PM 24,404 William F. Wu - Wong's Lost and Found Emporium.pdf
    26-Jul-09 03:32 PM 981,558 William H. Keith Jr - Decision at Thunder Rift.pdf
    26-Jul-09 12:55 PM 672,626 William H. Keith Jr. - Warstrider 02 - Rebellion.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:28 PM 620,011 William H. Keith Jr. - Warstrider 03 - Jackers.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:28 PM 1,177,036 William K. Hartmann - Mars Underground.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:01 PM 1,838,866 William King - Deathwing.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:01 PM 52,892 William Kotzwinkle - The Magician.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:01 PM 436,742 William Kotzwinkle - The Amphora Project.pdf
    26-Jul-09 05:39 PM 1,267,825 William Mark Simmons - Dead Easy.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:28 PM 539,102 William Mark Simmons - Undead 1 - One Foot in the Grave.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:28 PM 705,564 William Mark Simmons - Undead 2 - Dead on My Feet.pdf
    26-Jul-09 03:46 PM 709,284 William Mark Simmons - Undead 3 - Habeas Corpses.pdf
    26-Jul-09 03:46 PM 717,392 William Morris - The Wood Beyond the World.pdf
    26-Jul-09 04:40 PM 454,721 William R. Forschten & Greg Morrison - Crystal Warriors 2 - Crystal Sorcerers.pdf
    26-Jul-09 12:40 PM 309,067 William R. Forstchen - Article 23.pdf
    26-Jul-09 12:40 PM 509,984 William R. Forstchen - Crystal Warriors 1 - Crystal Warriors.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:54 PM 743,310 William R. Forstchen - Into the Sea of Stars.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:54 PM 789,400 William R. Forstchen - Lost Regiment 01 - Rally Cry.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:35 PM 580,507 William R. Forstchen - Wing Commander 3 - Fleet Action.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:35 PM 678,990 William R. Forstchen - Wing Commander 4 - Heart of the Tiger.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:24 PM 481,609 William R. Forstchen - Wing Commander 6 - Action Stations.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:30 PM 586,514 William R. Forstchen & Ben Ohlander - Wing Commander 05 - The Price of Freedom.pdf
    26-Jul-09 06:30 PM 508,668 William R. Forstchen & Christopher Stasheff - Wing Commander 02 - End Run.pdf
    26-Jul-09 03:29 PM 57,583 William Sanders - Amba.pdf
    26-Jul-09 03:29 PM 19,781 William Sanders - Going to See the Beast.pdf
    26-Jul-09 03:29 PM 24,189 William Sanders - Jennifer, Just Before Midnight.pdf
    26-Jul-09 03:29 PM 37,670 William Sanders - Looking for Rhonda Honda.pdf
    26-Jul-09 03:29 PM 69,247 William Sanders - Ninekiller and the Netherworld.pdf
    26-Jul-09 03:29 PM 49,451 William Sanders - The Contractors.pdf
    26-Jul-09 03:29 PM 2,973 William Sanders - The Last Madman.pdf
    26-Jul-09 03:29 PM 49,347 William Sanders - The Undiscovered.pdf
    26-Jul-09 03:29 PM 37,896 William Sanders - When this World is All on Fire.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:22 PM 82,857 William Shunn - Dance of the Yellow - Breasted Luddites.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:56 PM 262,227 William Shunn - Inclination.pdf
    26-Jul-09 02:56 PM 18,793 William Shunn - The Practical Ramifications of Interstellar Packet Loss.pdf

    Does that help?

    So there I'd need directories created for Greenway, Barton, Dietz, etc....

    I've nearly got it done. Over 7000 files. Don't ever want to do it again. It's a job for a computer.

    Something should be able to run down that list and create directories as required and move files (or even just copy them) over into those directories.
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  6. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 24,087
    Win 10 Pro (1903)

    Sounds like a scripting job- for example, Directory Opus supports scripting (not free).

    I've already addressed that sort of format in my previous replies. Don't expect it to be an existing feature you can configure with a few clicks.

    This may be of interest:
    Auto Sort Files Based on Rules | RoboBasket

    You can try to find more - I searched for
    'sort and file by rule'
    for you.
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  7. abrogard's Avatar
    Posts : 358
    Thread Starter

    Yep, no worries, thanks.
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  8. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 9,054
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux

    Hi there

    @dalchina -- you might like this method too !!!

    the Excel method is easy

    save your directory via notepad

    open EXCEL use the csv,txt,prn file

    now you'll see something like this

    choose the start postitions of each column you want (or you could use tabs or whatever delimiter you like between fields - the source output directory list can be csv !!! the separated variable - field delimiter doesn't have to be a comma of course) !!.

    Is There A Good Free File Manager?-excel.png

    split off columns you don't want and remove duplicate names (file names) - standard EXCEL functions
    EXCEL is so flexible - most people never realize it's one of the most useful programs ever invented (or any spreadsheet) !!!! - there's zillions of things like this you can do with it that are never taught unfortunately in classes etc.

    now you've got a listing sorted by directory which you can now use to create / move etc via Windows explorer

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  9. Kyhi's Avatar
    Posts : 3,105
    Windows 3.1 to Windows 10

    Search directory for - Will Greenway
    Select All in the results
    Cut and then Paste into "Will Greenway" Folder
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  10. abrogard's Avatar
    Posts : 358
    Thread Starter

    Yes, Jimbo, thank you for that. I have a lot of respect for Excel.

    Any spreadsheet in fact.

    Years ago I used to use Lotus for many things and enjoyed its macro function at that time.

    Nowadays its all very different but more powerful, not less.

    But unless I've missed your point somewhere what you're directing me to is something I don't have a problem with in any case.

    As you can see in the listing I supplied in that earlier post all the books by one author are already together in the listing.

    I only have to highlight them to select them and drag and drop them into a directory made for them.

    But what I'm complaining about is the tedious repetitive work of selecting them, creating a directory for them and then dragging and dropping them.

    Once or twice, okay, ten or twenty times maybe not too bad - but hundreds of times?

    So I hoped someone might have done the hard yards and written a function.

    But it looks like it still needs doing...

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