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I have about 15k files in a flat folder. All are named something like blah blah - whatever.png. Basically, I'd like to move them all into folders named blah blah. I don't want to rename any of them, just bump them into their respective folders. I imagine I need to do this with some kind of regex, but I can't seem to workout how to apply regex in this context.

  • I just tried for %A IN (*.docx) DO move "%A" "^[^-]*[^ -]/%A" And it didn't work :/ – LincM Sep 19 '18 at 6:14
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The for command does not support regular expressions.

Assuming all files contain a - character, you could probably use this code in a batch file:

for /f "delims=- tokens=1* usebackq" %%a in (`dir /b *.png`) do (
    if not exist "%%a" mkdir "%%a"
    move "%%a-%%b" "%%a"
)

delims=- will split the filenames on -, giving you the directory name which will be created if it doesn't exist yet. Next, the original filename, %%a-%%b, will be moved to that directory.

  • I tried that and the output was to create directories named blah blah - (including the hyphen), and it didn't move anything (presumably because the naming convention of the directory didn't align). I've tried munging through it a bit, but haven't been able to make that work fully. – LincM Sep 19 '18 at 22:44
  • @LincM That is strange. By definition the - shouldn't be part of %%a, because the filename is split on it. Could it be that it's not really a hyphen but another utf dash symbol? – Berend Sep 20 '18 at 7:38
  • I don't believe it's another UTF. What is might do is use this as a batch instead of as a command and see if it works differently. – LincM Sep 20 '18 at 8:04
  • @LincM, yes this code was meant as a batch. I'll add that to my answer – Berend Sep 20 '18 at 8:13
  • Ah, okay well that works. I was hoping to be able to understand the structure of how one may do this directly through commandline instead of running a batch, but this achieves what I'm after, thanks! – LincM Sep 20 '18 at 23:44

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