7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 11, 2011 3:17 PM by Joel Cherney

    changing file names and relinking

    wilcrombie

      I am working for a company that has ten plus years of PDF's, JPEG's, RAW images, PSD's, Illustrator files, FLASH files, CAD drawings, and InDesign files scattered about on a hard drive. I am currently reorganizing their entire file structure. This means I will be renaming many of these files to better organize their system. When this happens I am sure that all of the Adobe links will be missing within photoshop, indesign, etc... Does anyone have a system of relinking the photos and designs after renaming them?

        • 1. Re: changing file names and relinking
          John Hawkinson Level 5

          Sounds like a nightmare -- don't do it.

          If the files had unique names before, great. Keep the names the same and change around their directory structure, but then you'll always be able to find the right file. It'll still be a pain though.

           

          If not, seriously reconsider again. I suppose I would take a snapshot of the entire directory structure and perhaps a cryptographic hash of each file, then move the files around, take another snapshot and build a mapping table. File A was here and now it is here. Then write some automation for InDesign to go and relink every link according to the mapping table.

           

          Oh, I suppose there always symbolic links and filesytem aliases, too.

           

          Sound like too much work? Well, yeah.

           

          Maybe you should consider a digital asset management system?

          • 2. Re: changing file names and relinking
            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            +1 on John's comments.

             

            It's one thing to institute a new folder and file naming convention, but quite another to try and go back and change everything.

             

            You're liable to destroy the ability to find anything.

             

            Bob

            • 3. Re: changing file names and relinking
              wilcrombie Level 1

              I have almost finished reorganizing there directory structure, without changing any of the file names that correlate to designs. Things are starting to look more organized

               

              I still have my heart set on renaming many of these files because of there lack of any organization, many are not "unique names". I intended on taking screen shots and making notes on what the files used to be named, what the files were changed to, and what program file it links to. However, there are so many different designs and photos that I know that I will miss something along the way. It is a lot of work, but thats what they are paying me to do. So, in the future, if there designer gets eaten by a bear, the new employee will easily be able to menuever through there directory. If I can change the file names in Lightroom, shouldn't there be a way in other programs?

              Am I setting myself up for trouble or just a lot of tedious work?

               

              Thanks for your comments and any other advice you can give me!!!

               

              P.s. EVERYTHING IS BACKED UP TO THE NETWORK, SO IF ALL ELSE FAILS....

              • 4. Re: changing file names and relinking
                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                wilcrombie wrote:

                 

                Am I setting myself up for trouble or just a lot of tedious work?

                Those are not mutually exclusive.

                 

                Bob

                • 5. Re: changing file names and relinking
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  wilcrombie wrote:

                  I intended on taking screen shots and making notes on what the files used to be named, what the files were changed to, and what program file it links to.

                  You don't seriously believe you can know how many files use a particular image as a link, do you? You've already set yourself up for a world of pain every time you open an old file just by moving things. Are you going to go throughthe entire collection now and fix the links? What happens two years from now when someone opens an old file and has no idea what to look for?

                  • 6. Re: changing file names and relinking
                    Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                    What happens two years from now when someone opens an old file and has no idea what to look for?

                     

                     

                    My solution, when I was in the OP's situation some years back, was to simply dupe the whole old archive, and reorganize it so all of the new filenames were human-readable, but in the new archive each project had a textfile that explained how to find the corresponding old file in the old archive, and in the old archive there was a similar textfile explaining how to find stuff in the new archive.

                     

                    Basically, both Bob and John were correct right off the bat - you could develop an insane mapping method, but it makes more sense to just start fresh and have all of the new archive obey sensible rules. I found it useful, over the years, that I had written Perl scripts that would generate instructions like this: "Find source file x in the old archive on zip-disk y and unembed the Pagemaker links there before saving with a new name in the new archive."  This allowed me to bridge the old and new archiving rules, instead of trying to automate the process of reorganizing ten years' worth of poorly organized file-stew. (I had about two thousand unique files with the name "logo.eps" to give you an idea.)

                    • 7. Re: changing file names and relinking
                      John Hawkinson Level 5

                      I guess another solution is to remember that disk space is cheap.

                      So dupe the whole tree of files, but leave the originals alone.

                      Move them where you want to for future documents, but let the old

                      documents and their links stay live.

                       

                      P.s. EVERYTHING IS BACKED UP TO THE NETWORK, SO IF ALL ELSE FAILS....

                       

                      I hate to say it, but do you know how many times we've heard that?

                      Do you know how many times it turned out to be true?

                      Not many.