Thursday, 2 October 2014

Easily Rename/resize Loads of Files



As we are increasingly relying on Google Drive storage for storing our files, we are also increasingly reliant on search rather than digging through folders to find our files.

For search to work, you need smarter file names, unfortunately, most of the time, especially with images, we get a load of files called something really unhelpful like IMG456789.jpg not exactly the most searchable of names.

With a geeky Application on your Mac called Automator you can set up a workflow to rename a load of files with a few clicks, and if you really dig it, you can even use a similar process to use Automator to set up other workflows, like I have another one for scaling images to a set size.

Don't be put off by its geekiness, you set this up once and use it forever!

Here's a short video tutorial I made to show how this works:




Here is the set up as written instructions, so hopefully I have all the 'learning styles' covered.

  1. Open Automator and create a new workflow file (press Command-N or choose New from the File menu). Then choose Service from the window of available workflow types (this option will look like a gear).
  2. Adjust Service inputs - so be sure to choose "files or folders" from the first drop-down menu at the top of the workflow, and then choose Finder from the second menu. 
  3. Drag the Rename Finder Items option from the action library (to the left of the window, under the Files & Folders category) to the workflow window. When you do this, Automator will issue a warning that this action will alter existing files, and provide you with an option to add an action to first copy the files instead of altering them. At this point click Don't Add.
  4. I would tweak it here and choose 'Make Sequential' from the drop down menu.
  5. Under options click 'Show his action when the workflow runs" so you have the choice to decide what and how you wish to rename the files.
  6. Save - name it something like 'Rename Files'
  7. Now whenever you go to the Finder, you can select a group of files or folders, and then right-click them and select your workflow from the Services submenu of the contextual menu.

Batch Resize Images

The same technique works for images, just use the 'Photos > Scale Images' workflow:

Click to enlarge
Or you can Google and install the R-Name App.

Yosemite Update

The good folks at Apple have heard my cry, and added this feature automatically with an right/side click - about time!



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