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AppendVersion_x64 is a simple program intended to expedite the systematic renaming of  executable
installation files, compressed installation files and Start Menu links that point to installed executable
program files.

In this discussion, 'target executable file' can refer to an uncompressed installation executable, or to the
compressed installation executable file inside a packaged compressed file (zip, 7z, rar or tar), or to the
executable file that a Start Menu link points to. A 'rename target' can refer, again, to an uncompressed
installation executable file, or to the compressed file containing a packaged target executable file, or to
a Start Menu link pointing to a target executable file.

There are four scenarios for AppendVersion processing:
An installation executable file is renamed and appended with that target executable file's own
file version number.
A compressed installation file (zip, 7z, tar, or rar) is renamed and appended with its compressed
target executable file's own file version number.
A Start Menu link pointing to its target executable file is renamed and appended with that
target executable file's own version number.
A folder is selected containing any assorted collection of rename target types.

Having an archived program installation file renamed with its target executable file's file properties
version number appended to the installation file's name, in a systematic format, aids in quickly
determining whether or not you have the latest version installed.

Having all the Start Menu program links (rename targets) appended with their target executable file's
version numbers quickly aids in determining whether or not you have the most recent published
upgrade or update of that program installed. Hovering your mouse over  a Start Menu link will
conveniently display the target executable file's version number.

Start Menu links exist in two system folders:
@ProgramsDir (%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs)
@ProgramsCommonDir (%programdata%%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs)
Renaming Start Menu links in these two folders require Administrator privilege. You can either compile
this AppendVersion.au3 script with the #RequireAdmin macro at the top of the script, or go to the
compiled executable 'AppendVersion_x64.exe' file's Properties Compatibility tab and check 'Run this
program as an administrator'.

AppendVersion can also receive full file path argument parameters via Run or the Windows terminal.
This allows for processing files from different directory locations in one AppendVersion session.

AppendVersion  is initiated via a Windows SendTo 'AppendVersion' link. Running the compiled
executable 'AppendVersion_X64.exe' once will auto-create an 'AppendVersion' link in the SendTo
subfolder if the SendTo link does not exist and will also create a default Settings.ini file in the @ScriptDir
folder if the Settings.ini file does not exist. The Settings.ini file maintains basenames and other
configuration data that AppendVersion requires.

Icon @ScripDir subfolder location directive for compiling AppendVersion_x64.au3 is:

To use AppendVersion, in Windows Explorer select one or more rename target files, rename target links
and any folders containing rename target files or links, then select the SendTo 'AppendVersion' link.

You can also right-click on a Start Menu link and select Open Location:

After Windows Explorer opens, right-click on the highlighted rename target link and then select
'AppendVersion' from the SendTo menu.

You can also process Start menu rename target links enmasse in succession by selecting one of the two
Programs folders where Windows maintains most all the Start Menu links:
%appdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
%programdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
Select one of the two Programs folders and then select 'AppendVersion' from the SendTo menu

You can process both Programs folders in one session by running the compiled executable
'AppendVersion Start Menu Links_x64.exe'.

The script maintains processed file identification data in the Settings.ini [BaseNames] section. This
section is used in identifying new updated versions of earlier files previously processed by
AppendVersion. This file identification data (key basenames and fingerprint value) is used to compare
and systematically rename later matching updated versions of the identified file.

'Basename(s)' is one or two substrings in the installation file that usually does not change in the rename
target file name from one file version to the next.

Except for file size and file/product version properties, which can change with every new file version, the
remaining available target file properties are concatenated together to create a target file properties
'fingerprint'. The fingerprint consists of file properties that usually will not change from one target file
version to the next, i.e., 'File Description', 'Product Name', 'Copyright', 'Language', 'Original File name',
'Legal Trademarks', 'Company Name' and 'DefaultLangCodePage'.

The basename(s) and fingerprint together constitute the 'identification' of a candidate file. This ID is
used to identify later downloaded versions of the file that can be automatically renamed without user

If the target executable file's properties does not have a file version number, the file's product version
number will be used instead in the version appending and renaming of the file.
If the target executable has neither a file version nor product version number, the user will be prompted
to enter the published file version number acquired from the provider's web site.

Both the basename(s) and version numbers will be used for the renaming of the file.

If the rename target file is in a popular compressed format, i.e., (*.zip, *.7z, *.rar, and *.tar), the script
will use PeaZip-portable to decompress the zipped file into a temporary folder (@ScripDir & "\UnZip")
and then prompt the user to select the target executable file with file properties used in the rename
target 'identification'.
The freeware PeaZip portable can be downloaded from:
Unpack PeaZip portable into the @ScripDir & "\peazip" subfolder.

Once the target executable file properties are read from the target executable, the user will be
prompted to configure the basename(s) from the rename target file name, unless an identification
already exists in Settings.ini, in which case the rename target file will automatically be renamed by
AppendVersion. The process is not always fully automatic. If the target executable file has neither a file
nor product version in its file properties, the user will be prompted to manually enter the published file
version number.

Process example, the target file for renaming is:

Righ-click on the file. Select 'AppedVersion' from the SendTo submenu.

The script, recognizing the rename target file as a compressed file (*.zip, *.7z, *.tar, and *.rar), will decompress
the rename target file into a temporarily created @ScriptDir & '\UnZip' folder.

Then, the user will then be prompted to select from the folder or subfolder containing the target
executable file from which the file properties will be read:

Once the target executable file is selected and opened, the script will prompt the user to create one or
two basename(s) from the rename target zip file's name.

Base name(s) are created from the rename target zip file name (without extension):
Examples,   'FreeFileSync_' , '[Donation_Edition]' and '_Windows_Portable'.

Base names must be separate substrings in the rename target zip file's name.

The user can choose to use just one or two base names for file identification.

The user can also choose to use the entirety of the original rename target zip file name:


as a base name in renaming later versions of FreeFileSync. This may not be advisable with this base name, since later versions of this rename target
file name will not have version '11.14' in the name, but this naming convention is an option.

In this example, I will use the 'FreeFileSync_" and '[Donation_Edition]' substrings as base names, since
these are file name structures that are unique to the file name and will probably not change in later
published file version names.

The file properties fingerprint collected from the FreeFileSync.exe executable is:

To use two base names for later automatic file version identification, the base names must be
separated with a colon ':', i.e., 'FreeFileSync_:[Donation_Edition]'.
If a later file version of a candidate rename target file's name contains both of these substrings and
has the same target executable file properties 'fingerprint', the script will automatically identify and
rename the later-versioned file's name.

The combined file identification of [Key] base names + [Value] fingerprint is:

This identification is stored in the Settings.ini file under the [BaseNames] section.
When a new version of FreeFileSync_XX.XX_[Donation_Edition]_Windows_Portable.zip is processed by
AppendVersion, if an entry in Settings.ini [BaseNames] section can match the rename target's file name
and also match the candidate target executable's fingerprint, the script will use this to automatically rename the zip file.

Finally, the rename target file is then renamed with the base name(s) and with one of three version
prefixes to the version number:
" - fver_ "; for files with a properties file version number (preferred default)
" - pver_ "; for files without file version numbers but with product version numbers(fallback)
" - uver_ "; for files with neither file nor product numbers. User manually entered published file version number.

NOTE: These version format prefixes can be changed in Settings.ini [QuotedPrefix] section to meet your
prefix format preferences. The [QuotedPrefix] section value entries must be quoted.

In this example, FreeFileSync.exe contains a properties file version number of
The resultant AppendVersion renamed file is:
FreeFileSync_[Donation_Edition] - fver_

This systematic approach works well with most file names, but files with short file names such as 'a.exe'
and having no finger-printable file properties are problematic. In such case, perhaps renaming the
downloaded file with a longer, unique name before running this script on it is preferrable, although
renaming the file before processing it with AppendVersion circumvents the purpose of the script. This
would not be an issue if software creators would always include full file properties in their file

Settings.ini add2.ico ReadMe.pdf

AppendVersion Start Menu Links.au3 AppendVersion.au3

Edited by prizm1
Enhancements/Bug Fixes/Clarifications
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