Monday, December 23, 2013

Batch renaming of files in OSX using Automator

While I was organizing my photos, I encountered many instances where the filenames of different photos were the same, so I couldn't place them in the same folder without renaming them. It was fine at first when there only a handful of duplicate filenames, but there had to be better way. There was another scenario where I wanted to insert the year before each video so that I could easily group them.

In OSX, there is a built-in tool called Automator, which is found in Applications. Just open it and create an Application. When it opens, just search for rename and drag "Rename Finder Items" to the main window, which will ask you if you want a copy or not. In my case, I did not need a copy. You can change the parameters to something like below. Then save it to your Desktop for easy access.
Inserts the year in front of the files.
To use this, in Finder, select the files you wish to rename and drag them to the Automator icon that you just saved in your Desktop. I have two such icons handy: Append isodate and Prepend Year. After dragging the files from Finder to the Automator icon, your files will have been renamed.

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