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

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While preparing a new post for chriswrites I had to rename around 50 files before uploading them to my ftp server, so instead of doing 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.


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

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About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded blurtit.com which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

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