Today at work I was asked how to rename multiple JPEG files on a Mac. This individual was apparently able to accomplish this amazing feet with very little effort on a Windows system. (Every time I hear someone say how easy Windows makes something my stomach turns.) I used to have an AppleScript that did just that, but I have since lost track of that file. So I looked to the internet. Surely it’ll only take a few minutes to make this happen, right?
There is one free application available for renaming files (NameChanger) and there are several tutorials about using AppleScript and/or Automator.app. The DIY script and Automator options are okay for certain types of people, but the people that really need help will struggle to understand how to use these tools. What are all of the non-geek OSX users supposed to do?
Well, here’s another one of my small contributions to society. A free Automator.app-created workflow that will add the option ‘Rename Multiple Files’ to the contextual menu in Finder.app. Just select multiple files, right-click and select ‘Rename Multiple Files’ and away you go!
Here’s how to install this Rename Multiple Files tool:
- In the Finder navigate to /Users/yourname/Library/Services/
[if “Services” doesn’t exist, create a new folder and name it likewise]
- Download the RenameMultipleFiles.zip, extract the contents onto your desktop (double-click in OSX) and copy the file “Rename Multiple Files.workflow” to the previously mentioned “Services” folder.
- Open a Finder window with multiple files. Select all of the files. Right-click on the selected files. At the bottom of the contextual menu you will find an option titled “Rename Multiple Files”. (It may take a minute or two for this new option to become available on your contextual menu.)
Shortly after you click on “Rename Multiple Files” you will be presented with a small window and several options. To save a verbose explanation I have included screenshots of the options below.
This workflow was created on a Mac running OSX 10.6. It is dependent on Automator.app. It definitely works with other 10.6 machines, but if you are running some other version of OSX it may or may not work.
Please give me feedback about whether or not this is useful or if it doesn’t work at all. Thanks.