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Mac Automation: Rename multiple files efficiently

Cory Bohon

With Automator, you can easily streamline common tasks. If you work with many files (i.e. pictures), then you know how easy it is to lose track because of incorrectly named files. With this Automator workflow, you'll never lose your place (or a file) again.

Building the Workflow
To create this workflow, simply add the following Automator actions (in the same order):

  • Get Specified Finder Items
  • Rename Finder Items

When you add the "Rename Finder Items" action to your workflow, Automator will ask if you want to copy the files so you don't mess with the originals. Choose "Don't Add."

Configuring the Workflow
In the "Rename Finder Items" action, you have almost unlimited choices for renaming schemes. To get started, select a scheme from the first drop-down box. You can choose from: Add Date or time, Add Text, Change Case, Make Sequential, Replace Text, Name Single Item.

Once you select your renaming scheme, choose the options you want based on the scheme. For instance, if you wanted the "Make Sequential" scheme, you could choose to use existing naming, or create a new name. You can also select options for where to place the numbers, which number to start counting from, and how to separate the number from the rest of the text.

Running the Workflow
Once you have your naming scheme figured out, it's time to run the workflow, and have Automator do the heavy-lifting. Drag and drop the files you want renamed onto the "Get Specified Finder Items" workflow. They will be added to the list of files to be renamed. You can then click the "Run" button in the top-right corner of the window. Your original files will be renamed, leaving you with perfectly renamed files. You can now save your workflow.

Want more Mac Automation or AppleScript tutorials? Visit TUAW's Mac Automation and AppleScript sections.

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