How do I put picture files in Chronological order?

by admin on November 19, 2009

A friend recently asked me a good question, “How do I put picture files in Chronological order to print out on a CD for a Christmas gift?”  So I decided to focus on this question today because I’m sure there are others who might have the same kinds of questions.

This friend went on to explain that she had used a program and put it in the order she wanted but when she went to write a CD it put it back in the order she started with.

Most file browsers and listers will, by default, list files in a sorted order, usually by name. Since numbers come before the alphabet in ASCII, files with numbers at the beginning of their names tend to get listed first. So, the trick would be to put number prefixes in front of each file name to force them to be sorted into a desired order.

So let’s see; one might have a list on their disk that looks like this:
1928GrandpaJoe
AnitaSueJumping
DadMurray
GrandmaWillerson
GreatGrandmaAge18
GreatGrandmaAge45
MomAge2

But they want it in a another order…say like this:
GreatGrandmaAge18
GreatGrandmaAge45
GrandmaWillerson
1928GrandpaJoe
DadMurray
MomAge2
AnitaSueJumping

So how do you get it to list out the way you want it rather than what the computer does? Well I add an extension to the front of the file names to force it into the order that I want it to list out in.

So here is an example of how I would do that (notice the numbers added on the front of the file name):
01_GreatGrandmaAge18
02_GreatGrandmaAge45
03_GrandmaWillerson
04_1928GrandpaJoe
05_DadMurray
06_MomAge2
07_AnitaSueJumping

Ok…so this friend had about 150 files to sort. So of course you’ll want to make it work for 3 places.

You don’t want to do this:
5_nameoffile
12_nameoffile
130_nameoffile

Why? Because remember the computer will sort it numerically first and then alphabetical. So the group up above will sort like this:
12_nameoffile
130_nameoffile
5_nameoffile

To prevent this I add zero’s for the number of places I expect to use. In this case she has 150 files. So I only need three slots. So the above example will then look like this:
005_nameoffile
012_nameoffile
130_nameoffile

To sort a large number of files like a 150 of them I would make it simplier by creating folders that I can stick the files in as I go through them to quick sort and then I’ll detail sort later. So I might create a folder like this:
001_Great Grandparents
002_Grandparents
003_Parents
004_Children
005_andsoforth

Then I would sort those by creating a folder within with the details I want similar to the one above. Then when I have it narrowed down I would start adding my numbers to the file in the order I want them to show up with.

When this process is all done and the files sorted in the order that I put them in (by adding the number extention in front) then I would move them all into the one folder. Delete the now empty ones. Then you have your pictures now in the order you want them to show up.

I’m sure there are other methods or ways to do this and so if you know of one then feel free to share that with us.

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