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Batch Renaming Files for Photography using 'A Better Finder Rename'

See also: Quick Look: Batch Renaming Files with 'A Better Finder Rename'.

Still photos can sometimes benefit from renaming to add useful information, instead of the idiotically uninformative names a camera gives files (e.g., “DGLY00459.ARW” or “IMG0123.jpg”, etc)—obtuse, to say the least.

Simple example: Tags feature to add the aperture number to the filename

Different workflows vary a lot, but one thing that matters most to me is the shooting aperture, particularly for aperture series. I don’t care to do much more than that to the file name, but some photographers might want to add date, time, location, a label for the shoot, etc.

Kudos to 'A Better Finder Rename' for being smart enough to rename the XMP sidecar files along with the corresponding image files!

On minor gripe is that I cannot see any way to reference the original file name itself, or its sequence number, so I could build a full name with prefix and the original name embedded in one step. In other words, I’d like to be able to do:

SonyFE50f1_2GM-TwentyLakesBasin-DGL2934 -f5.6.ARW

Shown below, the dialog is set up to rename files by appending "-f" then the aperture number.

A Better Finder appending the aperture to the file name

Anon writes:

I'm writing in response to your latest article, to share a tip/trick for ABFR. You can indeed do multiple different rename actions in a single step; click "Show Advanced Sidebar" in the bottom left and then use the plus button to add additional steps. This way you can add a prefix, and then add your aperture setting. I've done a dozen rename steps, which is very powerful since you can see the final output before renaming (and you can use Command + R to initiate renaming from the main window, and then again to confirm all renames in the processing window.)

You can also change a preference in the preferences window to autoclear the queue when renaming is complete; this allows for rapid renaming (especially if you leave multiple steps in the sidebar window, they can be toggled on and off, so you can keep several different rename workflows on standby.)

Of course, if adding your camera name and aperture to the filename is a common workflow, you can save it as a droplet, so that all you need to do is drop the files onto the droplet and they're automatically processed. Perhaps one for each camera type?

MPG: agreed that you can string together multiple actions into one action. But that isn’t a single step. It also raises the potential problem of subsequent steps operating on a now-modified name, which might have undesirable matching.. It is rarely a good idea to “pipe” output when a single substitution can be done at once. But it does address the issue with a solution.

IMO a templatized approach is already 95% there and could be improved, just be adding a few more tags. It’s a lot of “friction” to have to create and name multiple actions—great when they’re all reusable/generic, not so great if you have to start going camera or lens specific.

All the software would have to do is add another tab “Original” or some such, and offer <basename>, <extension>, <sequence-number>. Then you could write something like this:

TwentyLakesBasin-2934-FE 50mm fF1.2 GM-f5.6.ARW

I’d want a different form of the lens name though (including brand), but that’s a tougher nut to crack—in that case I’d have to create an additional action to map the name to the normalized name (including brand) that I want.

Maybe there are tricks I am unaware of to sidestep these issues.

Sebastian B writes:

Perhaps have a look into ExifRenamer, it might be able to do what you're trying to do:

You can set up a preset with prefix and let it ask for a prefix on runtime (leaving the field empty if you don't want one). The interface is not the sleekest in the world, but once set up, it usually does what you want it to. (F-number is errantly called "Focal number" in the tag list, but "%8E" should do the trick for aperture.)

MPG: exiftool has some capabilities as well; see

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