How do you rename a file on your Mac? The basic way is simple and time honored.
Select the file in the Finder, press the Enter/Return key, type in a new file name, and, well, that’s it. How do you rename a hundred files on your Mac? Suddenly, the simplicity of the solution we all know and love has become an hour of mind-numbing tedium.
There must be a way to rename a bunch of files that’s easier than one at a time.
Behold, Apple to the rescue. OS X now has a context-sensitive right-click method which makes renaming many files a teeny weeny itty bit better. Select the files, right-click to Rename X-number of Files, and then try to figure out how it works. It does work, of course, but it’s a bit cumbersome unless you use Apple’s built-in method regularly.
There’s a better way. Use the simple, elegant, and free NameChanger app. Free? Well, donationware. But NameChanger is so good you’ll want to reward the developer. How it works is, well, easy. Select a bunch of files to be renamed. For example, photos.
The pull down windows in NameChanger make it a straightforward process to add numbers, words, suffix or prefix or both, to any list of files. You’ll be able to see the renamed filename before they are renamed. Numbers can be added starting with any number you choose.
Also, choose to replace characters in the file name with others, or append or prepend the name with other characters or numbers. Here’s a list of what you can change from the user interface pop-down menus.
- Replace First Occurrence
- Replace Last Occurrence
- Replace All Occurrences
- Character Removal
- Regular Expression
- Change Case
All the name changes you want to make can be previewed. When you’re satisfied the renamed files are what you want, simply click the Rename button and the file names change. Just because Apple has an integrated name change function in the Finder doesn’t mean third party apps cannot do exactly the same thing.
NameChanger runs as an OS X System Service, too. Right click the files in the Finder, and choose Services > Rename with NameChanger. Same options are available, and if you have a gazillion files* then fullscreen support makes the preview even better.
I don’t fully understand the business model of a donationware app, but if you donate, everyone wins.
*not really a ‘gazillion’.