How To Use Automator In Mac Os X To Mass Rename Files

While preparing a new post for chriswrites I had to rename around 50 files before uploading them to my ftp server, so instead of┬ádoing it manually or using a paid software ( I can recommend File Renamer for Mac if this is the route you decide to go) I decided to give Automator a try. Although I had a rough idea what Automator was, I really wasn’t sure what it was capable of, so I was really pleased to discover that its a pretty powerful tool.


As it turned out mass renaming files with Automator is really simple, select the files then choose; More, Automator, Create Workflow, this will open the application and specify the files you want to work with. Select the Files and Folders heading from the library and the Rename Finder Items in the next column and click add on the pop up.

You should now have two new objects in the Automator workflow, in the first “Copy Finder Items” you can choose where to copy the renamed files to, and if you wish replace the existing files with the new ones. The second “Rename Finder Items” is where you define what changes you wish to make to your file names.

Automator2

For my project I just needed to change the file names to lower case and remove spaces. To make them lower case just choose Change Case from the first drop down menu then select Full name then lower case. To remove the spaces you need to create a new action by clicking the Rename Finder Items in the second column as before but this time select don’t add on the pop up. Choose replace text and enter a space in the Find field. When you are done just click the run button, thats it your files are now renamed.

As I mentioned at the start of this post if your are in a hurry and are looking for a more comprehensive tool I suggest you try out File Renamer.
Also see: How to Batch Rename Files in Mac OS X

Comments

  1. Anton says

    I find automater annoying because I keep trying to rename picture files but I want to keep them sorted by date created. Automater keeps renaming them randomly. Frustrating.

  2. Stig says

    A great tip, thanks. Worked like a charm to rename older photos taken with a phone when I wanted to add new ones that had the same names. No way to define the naming on the phone.

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