I have had more than my share of Mac utilities and tools over the past nearly 24 years. Some good, some not so good, some required.
For almost 10 of those years I’ve used one tool that is crazy handy but has the worst name ever for a Mac utility.
What does it do? It renames files in OS X. Sure, you can click on a file, then type in whatever new name you want. OS X Leopard makes it easier in the Finder by lifting the file name when editing or renaming.
Let’s face it—naming files, renaming files, editing file names is a tedious process. Select file, click on file, but don’t double click—click just enough to highlight the file and make it ready for editing. Easy, huh?
Sure, it’s easy for a couple of files. But what about a dozen files that need to be renamed or edited. Now it’s a tedious chore. What about dozens of files that need to be renamed, or numbered, or alphabetized in a particular sequence. I’d rather have my toenails swapped out.
Years ago I figured out that renaming files in the Finder was a chore and there had to be a better way. There was a better way then, and there’s still a better way now, despite obvious improvements in the Finder.
Enter “A Better Finder Rename” now at version 7 for Mac OS X. See?
Worst product name ever, for what might be one of the handiest utilities you’ll ever have on your Mac.
What you get is both tool and utility that helps you rename files on your Mac. It’s a power tool that’s actually easy to use and makes short work of the drudgery of naming, renaming, editing file names for a folder full of files.
The options to rename a file are what you would expect, and plenty of what you won’t expect, but that you’ll find you need. Remove, add, replace, insert characters and text in file names. Not just a single file, but a folder full of files. Dozens. Hundreds. Thousands.
ABFRX also changes, adds, formats, and inserts sequential numbers, and creates numbered lists on a folder full of files. If that’s not enough, you can rename files to a specified date, add file time and date, even perform case conversions on files. Dozens. Hundreds. Thousands.
Sometimes there’s an issue with file names that are exchanged between Mac OS X, Mac Classic, DOS, SMB, and the various flavors of Windows. ABFRX converts files names between the platforms with ease.
ABFRX is handy, yes, but complicated? No. You get two flavors, hence the monicker utility and tool. ABFRX as utility is a stand-alone application. Drag and drop the files you want right into ABFRX’s preview window, and use the handy interface to make changes to file names, even seen what the file’s new names will be before the change.
Stand-alone is fine, but even handier is the ABFRX’s context menu which you can use right from the Finder or via a hot key combination. Select the files you want to rename, then right click on your mouse Voila! A menu of options pops up, ready for you to make changes.
What makes ABFRX such a bargain is that it has been and is continually updated as new requirements come into the scope of users.
10 years ago not many people cared much about MP3 file names or digital photo files names. ABFRX handles both with ease.
Organize all your music, MP3 and AAC files, with a consistent music naming convention. ABFRX reads track info, as well as album and artist information embedded in your music files.
Wait. There’s more. ABFRX does magic on industry standard EXIF digital camera metadata in your photo files. That includes files from the most popular formats and cameras. JPEG, RAW, CR2, NEF, TIFF, DNG, and others from Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, and Minolta.
Whether you act now or not, there’s still more in ABFRX. Renaming or editing files requires precision, and, in the case of many files or folders, a few steps to get everything named or changed appropriately. Wouldn’t it be cool to save the steps and then link them together to be reused? Yes. A thousand times yes.
There’s all kinds of other power goodies built in to A Better Finder Rename, but you get the idea. Once you install it and use it, you’ll feel like the drug addict who’s been handed a free fix from your neighborhood dealer. You can’t live without it.
Got a handier-than-thou Mac utility or tool you can’t live without? Share your perspective, opinion, and experience in the Comments section below.