Batch-Renaming Files in a Sequence in Mac OS X

Keeping your photographic library neat and searchable is a time consuming but important chore. Renaming your files in Finder is a must for an organized computer filing system. The most useful step towards total file organization is batch-renaming files. This photography tutorial will use Apple’s Automator and the Finder to create a simple service-script to rename multiple files in an ordered sequence. Photography tutorials on Photistoric.


Step 1: Automator Service

Open Automator. A pop-up will ask you to select a type for your document. Select Service.


Step 2: Rename Finder Items

In the search bar begin typing Rename Finder Items. Click and drag Rename Finder Items into the right window pane.


Step 3: Action Options

a. Delete the Copy Finder Items action
b. At the top of the right pane, select files or folders from the Service Receives Selected menu
c. At the top of the right pane, select in the In menu
d. The action box will say Add Date or Time, change this action to Make Sequential
e. Check New Name in the Make Sequential action box
f. Check the Make All Numbers box and change to 3
g. Select the options tab at the bottom of the Make Sequential action box and select Show this action when the workflow runs


Step 4

File > save the document and name it Batch Rename


Step 5

a. Select all files to rename and press cmd & left-click or right-click on a mouse to show the context menu
b. The Batch Rename service will now appear at the bottom of the context menu
c. Click to initiate the batch-rename


Step 6

a. Enter a new name such as year_event and all the files that have been selected will now be sequentially renamed


The Rename Finder Items action in Automator is the easiest and fastest way to batch-rename files in Mac OS X. This method can be applied to any type or number of files. Be sure to pick a file naming sequence such as date_event_name, and stick with it.

For other file questions, please post on the Digital Editing Forum. Requests and suggestions are encouraged for future tutorial topics and should be submitted to the Requests topic.