By Dan Moren
September 23, 2015 6:36 AM PT
Tip: Simple batch file renames in the Finder
Isn’t it funny how you can use an operating system, day in, day out, for a year or more and not notice certain features?
The other day I had to rename a bunch of screenshots; in the past that would have sent me to a tool like Name Mangler or A Better Finder Rename, but I didn’t happen to have either of these tools installed on the Mac I was using at the time.
On a whim, I selected a bunch of the images and right clicked: imagine my surprise when I saw an option to “Rename 7 files…” Selecting that yielded a dialog box with a variety of simple transforms, including replacing one string in all those filenames with another–exactly what I was looking for. You can also opt to add text to all the file names, or format them all based on certain criteria: by name and index, name and counter, or name and date.
None of this will, of course, match the capabilities of the two aforementioned utilities, which provide all of those features and much, much more.1 But if you’re looking to make quick work of a folder of files without the hassle or expense of installing another app, the Finder’s built-in renaming powers can handle some basic renaming tasks without too much trouble.
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His latest novel, The Aleph Extraction, is out now and available in fine book stores everywhere, so be sure to pick up a copy.]
If you appreciate articles like this one, support us by becoming a Six Colors subscriber. Subscribers get access to an exclusive podcast, members-only stories, and a special community.