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A simple tip to help when renaming many files Desktop
I will often throw a bunch of files (web pictures, mostly) into a 'to be filed' folder for later renaming. The problem, however, is that when I rename a file, the Finder re-sorts the list, moving the renamed file. This forces me to scroll the window to find the next file to be renamed -- as it's now somewhere else in the window.

After all these years, I realized that if I first sort by file size in the Finder, the file list stays put and doesn't jump around so much, making the renaming task much easier.

[robg adds: As of 10.5, you can now sort a column view window, so this trick can work in those windows, too. I'll admit I'd never thought of this simple solution, despite running into the "jumping files" problem on a regular basis.]
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A simple tip to help when renaming many files
Authored by: Satinder S Sidhu on Dec 12, '07 07:54:24AM

I have used a variation of this trick in iTunes for renaming songs imported from mp3 downloads: sort on song duration (Time) and rename without having the newly-named one jumping off to somewhere else, taking you along!

As I use column view almost exclusively in Finder, I have had to switch to list view on such occasions, but can now use this method even in columns.



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A simple tip to help when renaming many files
Authored by: lar3ry on Dec 12, '07 08:06:45AM

I find the Finder to be a pretty suboptimal tool for renaming more than a single file.

I use a Perl script to do batch renaming for me. This requires the command line, but I'm not afraid of Terminal or iTerm.

What the script does is collect the file names from the command line and opens up a text editor with a file with the names in it, one file name per line. When the editor closes, the script checks the file against the original list, and where the names differ, it renames the file for me. Simple and to the point and allows me to do sophisticated search/replace, etc. using the text editor and there's no problem handling file names with spaces, which are common on the Mac.

As I said, this requires the use of the command line. Perhaps an equivalent AppleScript could be written to do the same thing (turn it into an Automator action or whatever) for those of you that are afraid of (or just don't want to use) Terminal...



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A simple tip to help when renaming many files
Authored by: fracai on Dec 12, '07 09:37:50AM

I've got my own script for regular expression renaming (it pipes filenames through sed), but I'd love to see the script you're using. I often have a file containing the names of files as they need to end up and to just paste these into another to execute the change would be great.

Please post your work.

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i am jack's amusing sig file



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Perl file name changer
Authored by: jecwobble on Dec 12, '07 10:07:52AM

I like the sound of this, too. I'd love to give it a try if you don't mind posting it. In fact, if I were you, I'd submit it as a full-fledged hint.



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A simple tip to help when renaming many files
Authored by: neuralstatic on Dec 12, '07 11:15:00AM

i know CL guys aren't into it, but for you gui folks:
i think the simplest and freest thing around is "Renamer4Mac.app" i've used it for just about everything, search & replace, trim, serialize...



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A simple tip to help when renaming many files
Authored by: nother on Dec 12, '07 10:01:24AM

Yeah, manually renaming files in the Finder sucks.

Automator has a 'Rename Finder Items' action that is pretty easy to use. It can do 'add date or time', 'add text', 'change case', 'make sequential' (numbering), or 'replace text' which probably account for 90% of the things most people need to do.



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Sorting a column view window
Authored by: rottenchops on Dec 12, '07 12:11:20PM

I see that this can be done via "Show View Options", but it's cumbersome.

Anyone know of a better way? Applescript, maybe (I spent a little while trying to write one, but I find Applescript incomprehensible)?



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A simple tip to help when renaming many files
Authored by: josephaw on Dec 13, '07 05:17:44AM

When renaming a single file in a huge list, after typing the new name and pressing return, then press up and down arrow and the file you renamed will be selected and the window will scroll to its location.



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A simple tip to help when renaming many files
Authored by: wfolta on Dec 13, '07 05:45:26AM

Not sure if it's fixed in Leopard, but I've always had problems with the top item in sort-by-size list view. On my Tiger machines, random, small files will jump to the #1 size spot and then jump away. They of course jump there long enough to get accidentally picked when I'm going for the largest file.

I've never figured this out and it's terribly, terribly annoying.



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A simple tip to help when renaming many files
Authored by: bruceb on Dec 17, '07 09:23:18PM

What's the big deal, folks? Here's a trick has been part of the Mac OS for as long as I can recall:

Just change the folder to Icon View, rename the files in the folder as you wish, then change the folder view back to List or Column View.

As long as you don't have "Keep arranged by" checked in the View Options, the icons will stay put in the folder while you're renaming them.

Too many files in the folder in Icon View? Big icons allowing only a few files to be visible at at time? Having to scroll too much? Try this:

Just set the icon size smaller, at least while you're renaming files (Finder > View > Show View Options; click "This window only;" then adjust the icon size slider to a smaller setting). Finally, when you're done renaming files, just set the icon size back to whatever it was before.


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--bruceb



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