Python script to rename figures

I’m currently in the process of finishing up writing my thesis. I’ve found the simplest way to name the files for the figures in a paper is in the format figure 1.jpg, figure 2.jpg…  That way all the authors know exactly what figure in the paper corresponds to what file. This works well in a paper where the number of figures is generally fixed, but if I decide want to insert a figure between figures 1 and 2 in my thesis every figure’s number increases by one, and I don’t want to rename 20 files by hand. To fix this I wrote a python script to go through a folder and increment by 1 the number of every figure after a certain figure (i.e. turn figure 1.jpg, figure 2.jpg, figure 3.jpg… into figure 1.jpg, figure 3.jpg, figure 4.jpg…).

The code uses regular expressions to find the files that should be renamed, and figure out what number they had originally. To change figure 2 and above, the command line call would be:

$python 2

Here is the script: