Filename Truncation In Directory

I have been searching around and haven’t found the exact PowerShell command that I think I need. I am completely new to Powershell but have some programming background. I am looking for a simple PowerShell code that will act on all files in a directory and truncate the filename beyond a specific amount of characters. I find all over the internet where the last part of the file is kept while truncating the first part of the file but I’m looking to do the opposite. So, for example, the code I’ve come across for doing the opposite on a file like “test” would look like this to get “”:

gci *.xyz | rename-item -newname {string.substring($ -5)}

I’m looking for something similar only instead of say “length -5” to have something like “length +9” to get me the filename
“test” truncating the “_w”.

My exact situation is always knowing a fixed set of characters at the beginning of the filename but beyond my fixed number the character count can vary…In which case those characters get cut off the filename.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


as you have a programming background following sites should have all the information you need. :wink:

Keep in mind that you should consider testing if files exist before renaming. Take a look at a basic example just testing that your parsing is working before you attempt rename operations:

$files = Get-ChildItem -Path "C:\Users\Rob\Desktop\Archive\Temp\*.xyz"
$files | Select BaseName, Extension, @{Name="ParsedName";Expression={"{0}{1}" -f $_.BaseName.SubString(0,9), $_.Extension}}

Thank you all for the quick replies and help. Based on Olaf’s links I modified the above code to this:

gci *.xyz |rename-item -newname {string.substring(0,9)}

However, this strips off the file extensions. Is there an easy way to add that back on with the above code?

Thanks again.

Funny you ask that. There is almost allways someone who already asked a question like the one you have in mind :wink: : save extension before renaming and use it after renaming

Thanks again. It appears all I need to do is the following to get the extensions back:

gci *.xyz |rename-item -newname {string.substring(0,9) +".xyz"}

…in case someone is looking for a compact way to do something similar…

You should be using something like this:

Get-ChildItem "E:\ttt" | rename-item -newname {[string]($_.basename).substring(0,9) + $_.Extension}


hmmmm … even if that does the job in this particular case because you’re just treating files with the same extension. That’s not what I wanted to show to you. If you want to handle different file types you will need a little more sofisticated approach.
As of in Powershell is actually everything an object you can use this for your good and let powershell do the magic for you.
Let’s pick a file from your windows and try to figure out what information we can get and use:

$path = 'C:\Windows\notepad.exe'
Get-Item -Path $path | Select-Object -Property *

PSPath            : Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem::C:\Windows\notepad.exe
PSParentPath      : Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem::C:\Windows
PSChildName       : notepad.exe
PSDrive           : C
PSProvider        : Microsoft.PowerShell.Core\FileSystem
PSIsContainer     : False
Mode              : -a---l
VersionInfo       : File:             C:\Windows\notepad.exe
                    InternalName:     Notepad
                    OriginalFilename: NOTEPAD.EXE.MUI
                    FileVersion:      6.1.7601.17514 (win7sp1_rtm.101119-1850)
                    FileDescription:  Editor
                    Product:          Betriebssystem Microsoft® Windows®
                    ProductVersion:   6.1.7601.17514
                    Debug:            False
                    Patched:          False
                    PreRelease:       False
                    PrivateBuild:     False
                    SpecialBuild:     False
                    Language:         Deutsch (Deutschland)

BaseName          : notepad
Target            : {C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-notepadwin_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.18917_none_a0f2c3fc11a9f24c\notepad.exe}
LinkType          : HardLink
Name              : notepad.exe
Length            : 193536
DirectoryName     : C:\Windows
Directory         : C:\Windows
IsReadOnly        : False
Exists            : True
FullName          : C:\Windows\notepad.exe
Extension         : .exe
CreationTime      : Do 04.02.2016 10:00:09
CreationTimeUtc   : Do 04.02.2016 09:00:09
LastAccessTime    : Do 04.02.2016 10:00:09
LastAccessTimeUtc : Do 04.02.2016 09:00:09
LastWriteTime     : Do 04.02.2016 10:00:09
LastWriteTimeUtc  : Do 04.02.2016 09:00:09
Attributes        : Archive

As you can see Powershell gives you a cornucopia of information. And you don’t have to do that much for it. And of course you can use all these information at your will. If you want to rename some files but the extension should stay the same you just ‘save’ it before you rename the file and attach it afterwards. Just as Mohit Goyal showed.

If all that information is too confusing or needless you just pick what you need

Get-Item -Path $path | Select-Object -Property Directory, BaseName, Extension

Directory  BaseName Extension
---------  -------- ---------
C:\Windows notepad  .exe

Now you have exactly what you need to rename any file.

AND I would urgently recommend you to read this post: How to Format Code in the Forums and if you have a little more time left to improve your Powershell skills you can watch this: (I think it’s really entertaining) Time to Get Serious

Have a nice Weekend and a lot of fun