[R] Rename multiple files in a directory and write renamed files back to directory

Zilefac Elvis zilefacelvis at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 5 05:54:48 CET 2014

Hi Chel,
Thanks for the timely reply.
It works but a minor problem remains.
Here is the modified version of your code:

file_names<- list.files(pattern="Sim1971-2000_Daily_") 
new_names <- paste("rcp45_Daily_Sim",format(seq(length(file_names)), width=3, flag="00"), ".dat", sep="") 

#files <-  paste(paste(getwd(),lfile,sep="/"), list.files(lfile),sep="/")# getwd of these files/contents 
file.rename(from=file_names, to=new_names) 

I changed width =3 and flag=00 because my output has to be 001.dat...200.dat. However, this is what i got:

[1] "rcp45_Daily_Sim  1.dat" "rcp45_Daily_Sim  2.dat" "rcp45_Daily_Sim  3.dat" "rcp45_Daily_Sim  4.dat" 
[5] "rcp45_Daily_Sim  5.dat" "rcp45_Daily_Sim  6.dat" "rcp45_Daily_Sim  7.dat" "rcp45_Daily_Sim  8.dat" 
[9] "rcp45_Daily_Sim  9.dat" "rcp45_Daily_Sim 10.dat"

The zeros disappear but I need them.

Please help.

On Thursday, December 4, 2014 10:16 PM, Chel Hee Lee <chl948 at mail.usask.ca> wrote:
I put five data files (example1.dat, example2.dat, example3.dat, 
example4.dat, example5.dat, example6.dat) in my working directory.

> file_names <- list.files(pattern="*.dat")
> file_names
[1] "example1.dat" "example2.dat" "example3.dat" "example4.dat" 
[6] "example6.dat"
> new_names <- paste("new_example_",
+ formatC(seq(length(file_names)), width=2, flag="0"),
+ ".dat", sep="")
> new_names
[1] "new_example_01.dat" "new_example_02.dat" "new_example_03.dat"
[4] "new_example_04.dat" "new_example_05.dat" "new_example_06.dat"
> file.rename(from=file_names, to=new_names)
> list.files(pattern="*.dat")
[1] "new_example_01.dat" "new_example_02.dat" "new_example_03.dat"
[4] "new_example_04.dat" "new_example_05.dat" "new_example_06.dat"

Is this what you are looking for?  I hope this helps.

Chel Hee Lee

On 12/04/2014 09:44 PM, Zilefac Elvis via R-help wrote:
> Hello,
> I would like to rename multiple files in a directory. Filenames are read using:
> lfile <- list.files(pattern="rcp45_Daily_")
> files <-  paste(paste(getwd(),lfile,sep="/"), list.files(lfile),sep="/")# getwd of these files
> dput(lfile)
> c("rcp45_Daily_Sim001.dat", "rcp45_Daily_Sim002.dat")
> - How can I rename these files (200 in number) using something like:
>    file.rename(lfile, paste0("rcp45_Daily_Sim", 1:200))?The new filenames should be rcp45_Daily_Sim001, rcp45_Daily_Sim002, ..., rcp45_Daily_Sim200.
> - I would like to write the new file names to the directory.
> The data files contain huge amounts of data and should not be read into R. Only the file names should change.
> Many thanks for your helpful answers.
> Asong.
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