Renaming multiple files together on a Mac

Imagine that you have to rename a group of tens or hundreds of files. Doing it manually is very tedious and can take a lot of time. Luckily, Finder has a feature that allows you to do it in seconds.

The function to rename multiple macOS files will allow you to apply a set of rules to modify the name with very few clicks. This will allow you, for example, to remove part of the name, add a number at the end, add the date in the file name, etc, etc…

Renaming multiple files together on a Mac
Renaming multiple files together on a Mac

To use this function the first thing you have to do is open the folder containing the files in Finder, select them and then right click and access the function Rename X items (where X is the number of items you have selected).

Once this is done, a new window will appear allowing you to configure the rules for changing the names. In the first drop-down you must choose the criteria to follow (I explain the different options below) and in the other options you must cover the data that it asks you to make the change.

Change one or more words for others

The first option of the function will allow you to change one word for another (or several) in the name of the files . This is one of the most interesting and useful functions, and with a little practice you can achieve very good results.

For example, if you’re renaming a bunch of files in a photo camera, you can use this option to change the typical DCIM or IMG to a name that better identifies them while keeping the photo number assigned by the camera.

You only have to type in the Search field the word or words you want to replace and in the Replace field the one that should be changed. You can use spaces, numbers and also some symbols. For example, you can use a phrase that identifies the photos followed by a space, a dash and another space to separate the name from the numbering already set by the camera.

Look at the real-time example in the lower left corner. When you are happy with it, click on Rename to make the changes to the name of the selected files.

Add text before or after the current name

The second option in the drop-down menu is Add Text. Thanks to this option you can add one or more words both before and after the current file name.

This function is very useful if you want to keep the name it currently has but add something else that is common to all files. For example, if you have a set of photos fresh from your camera, you can add the Original tag to the end of the name and then make a copy of the files to work with the edit if you don’t have them in RAW format.

As in the previous case you can use the real-time preview in the lower left corner of how the names will change. When you are convinced, click on the rename button to change all the names.

Add index, counter or date to file name

The last option available in this Finder tool is called Format. Thanks to it you can change the format of the name and choose between name and index, name and counter or name and date.

In this case you just have to choose the format you want to use and put the custom name in the Custom format field. In addition, if you choose to add an index or a counter you can select the number in which it should start and it will increase by one.

Once again, look at the example in the lower left corner to see if the name format is appropriate and when you are sure, click on Rename to apply it definitively.

As you can see this is a very useful function and one that can be used to great advantage. There are more advanced specialized applications to perform this type of task, but I assure you that with the function integrated into macOS you will have enough in most cases.

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