Digital Focus: Fake a Soft Background

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Dave's Favorites: Easy Renaming With Name Dropper

Peer into Ernest Hemingway's soul and you'll find morose, whisky-fueled nihilism, tinged with self-doubt and regret for the missed opportunities of youth. Peer into your computer's soul, and you'll find something almost as bad: hundreds of images with generic, automated names like DSC45001 and DSC45002. While there's not much we can do about Hemingway, we can help your computer. Cognitial Software's Name Dropper is a handy way to clear up all those anonymous, hard-to-identify digital pictures.

A friend recently told me about Name Dropper, and I've found it to be a cool way to rename digital pictures. Sure, you can batch rename in Windows or many image editors, but Name Dropper is better because it lets you assemble compound names just by clicking on preprogrammed buttons.

What do I mean? Suppose you have a bunch of vacation pictures--some from Disney World, others taken at the beach. Select the Disney snapshots in Name Dropper and click a button marked "Vacation-," then click a button marked "Disney." All the pictures will be named Vacation-Disney and numbered. Then choose the second set of images and click "Vacation-" followed by "Beach." You'll get a bunch of "Vacation-Beach" photos.

Name Dropper has a mercifully simple interface--to change any of the dozen buttons, just right-click and type. There are preset buttons for common terms like "&," "with," and "at." You can even see a preview of the selected picture so you know what you're renaming.

Name Dropper is a one-trick pony, to be sure. But it's amazingly good at what it does, which makes it worth its $20 price tag. Download it from Cognitial.com.

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