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How can I replace this character (_) with this one (:) in a list of filenames? The filenames are like this: 1_0_1_1AE1_7F6_2_11A0000_0_0_0.png The problem with character replacement programs is that the : character is illegal for filenames so they return errors.

Any ideas on how to bypass this?

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Please include the operating system you are working with. – terdon Jan 15 '13 at 15:51
You want to actually rename the files, or to get a textual list and replace the characthers in a text editor or something? – That Brazilian Guy Jan 15 '13 at 16:22

This is how you would write the script, but, as you mention in the OP, you still have the issue of the : being an illegal character. And IMO there is no way around this on Windows, illegal characters cannot be used!

@echo off
echo Enter Filename
set /p name=
set newName=%name:_=:%
ren %name% %newNname%

This is within a loop

@echo off
setlocal enabledelayedexpansion
for /f "delims=;" %%name in ('dir /b FOLDERNAME') do (
set newName=%%name
set newName=!newName:_=:!
ren %%name !newName!
share|improve this answer
You need to add setlocal enabledelayedexpansion and change the %newName%'s to !newName! in the for loop version :) – Bali C Jan 15 '13 at 15:53
Just move the setlocal line above the for and change %newName:_=:% to !newName:_=:! and your good to go :) However, I don't know if this will allow colon's in filenames? At least on windows. – Bali C Jan 15 '13 at 15:56
ah man.. I just actually tried it - instant fail! Thanks @BaliC – Dave Jan 15 '13 at 15:58
%variable - Specifies a single letter replaceable parameter, so %%name is actually incorrect (it might work since it's being truncated to a single letter, but it is incorrect). – Karan Jan 16 '13 at 1:51

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