Your Mac, but more specifically, the Finder itself, makes it drop dead easy for users to rename files and folders. Select the file in the Finder, press Return (or Enter), type in a new name. Easy peasy, right?
What if you want to rename four or five files? Easy peasy again. Just repeat the process. OS X Yosemite and El Capitan make it easier to rename multiple files, too, but only up to a point. Where that ease dissipates is when you have a few dozen or a few hundred files that need to be renamed or renumbered or prefix and suffix added. Then it gets tedious to the point of mind-numbing. Here’s an easy way.
Scroll Like Butter
Way back in the days before the iPhone, back to 2006, then Apple CEO Steve Jobs coined the phrase ‘scroll like butter.’ He was describing how fast the new iPhoto was and probably meant to say it was like ‘a knife through warm butter.’
Today, the phrase ‘scroll like butter‘ has come to mean any application that works fast and easy, simple and smooth vs. convoluted steps. When you need to rename a few hundred files on your Mac, that’s what you want. Smooth. Like a knife through warm butter. The Mac app A Better Finder Rename scrolls like butter through the file renaming process no matter how many files you need to rename or how complicated the renaming process.
I’ve used ABFRX since the late 1990s, long before OS X arrived on the scene, and there’s not a better or more complete utility for file renaming on the Mac. And not just the general, mundane files and folders you can rename in OS X. ABFRX does files, folders, photos, and even MP3 file renaming. In batches. By the hundreds or thousands.
Drag and drop files from the Finder onto ABFRX, and step through the almost self explanatory renaming options. Any kind of naming convention you can think of can be handled in one window, complete with a preview of name changes.
The key benefits to using ABFRX to rename files in bulk are these basic functions; the Instant Preview, the number of renaming options, speed of renaming, and the options to rename MP3 and photo files based upon meta data. That’s right meta data.
The Instant Preview lets you see what the names will be after renaming. The speed is very fast; seconds on hundreds of files. The number of renaming options is extensive and include over a dozen categories that cover text, position, character, conversion, truncation and numbering, plus options for suffix and prefix, either text or numbers.
Wait. There’s more!
Sequence number and date and time features are perfect for photographers (ABFRX automatically extracts EXIF data for date and time; and can extract camera, lens, photo, and color metadata and use them in the renaming process.
The same capability can be used to exploit ID3 metadata tags in MP3 files, auto conversion to Windows compatible names, and even an option to import file names from a database or spreadsheet and apply the names to files. Save a preset and use it again.
That’s some serious renaming, folks.
For power renamers (you know who you are), ABFRX lets you set up Droplets and Presets which will automatically rename files according to your custom configurations. While not inexpensive, ABFRX is as fast as they come, and carries far more features than cheaper renames. This latest version looks better than previous versions but there’s a try-before-you-buy option. The upgrade price isn’t steep, but seems ominously close to the retail price for new users.