How to Rename Files On Your Trading Computer

Imagine this scenario: You spent hours creating the ultimate profit/loss spreadsheet for trading last August. You’re super proud of it. There’s great promise of saving time analyzing your trades each quarter. Nearly a year later you go to look for it, but you can’t find it. After about an hour of searching your cluttered Documents folder, you locate it. Whew! Disaster averted. Flash forward. The third quarter rolls around. Once again you find yourself on a scavenger hunt for that same silly file.

How do you avoid this dilemma? There are three simple tricks to finding files fast.

1. Knowing how to search for files on your computer. We covered how to search for files on your trading computer in a past video.

2. Learning to rename files. Rename files that have hard-to-remember names, or make it difficult to use the Windows Start Menu search function.

3. Naming your files in a consistent way. You should leave yourself “clues” in the way you name your files.

Knowing how to rename files on your computer can save you a lot of time. Besides just knowing how rename your files, you should also have a method (otherwise known as a “convention”) for naming files. If you stay consistent in naming your files, you can easily find them using the Windows Start Menu search function later on.

You’ll never have to go on a scavenger hunt again, or search for more than a few seconds for a file. The trick to a stress-free computer is staying organized.

In today’s Quick Tip Video Series I’ll show you an easy, step-by-step way to rename your files and tips for how to keep your trading computer organized. (Note: Today’s video was recorded on Windows 7. However, the steps are similar on all operating system versions, such as Windows 8, 8.1, and 10).

Instructions for Renaming Files on Your Trading Computer (for Windows 7):

  1. Find the file you want to rename.
  2. Right-click on the file and choose “rename” in the grey contextual menu that pops up.
  3. Once you choose” rename” in the grey contextual menu, the name of the file will be highlighted.
  4. You can now rename the file whatever you choose.
  5. Once you finish renaming the file, hit the enter key to apply the change.

Name Your Files In A Consistent Way to Speed Up Your Search

As I mentioned earlier, when you are naming files, try to think about file names as clues for searching later.  For example, you could think about naming your computer files in a few ways.

1. By the project –  Name your file according to the project that it’s tied to. Then, just attach a date to that project name (e.g., “ProjectName-051515.docx”). This simple tip will help you remember your file’s name and find it later.

2. As as a “template” – If there’s a document your will refer to over and over, save it as a template.

For example, you create a profit/loss spreadsheet for trading. You could call it “Profit/Loss Trading Template 2015”. Then you can search easily from the Start Menu and the file search function. You can find your template by searching, “profit/loss template”. Append the current year to your search (assuming you were to make a new template each year). If you do that consistently, you won’t forget.

Here’s another example: If you were to export a report from TradeStation, to review your trading account balances at the end of every month, you could name it “TS  Account Balance Review – May 2015”. Later, if your accountant needs that report, you can use the Start Menu search function to find the file. You can find the exact report you need in just a few seconds.

However you choose to name your files, be sure to stay consistent with file names each time you create a new one.

We hope today’s Quick Tip helped you.

There are more trading computer tips like this in our buyers guide. Check out our “How To Buy a Trading Computer” e-book.

We’re also happy to answer any of your questions about trading computers via phone: 800-387-5250