Renamer: Batch File Renaming Made Easy

Isn’t it annoying when you import photos from your camera and they are all labelled some variation of ‘P1163954.jpg’. With Renamer, you can quickly and easily batch rename all your photos to ‘Car1.jpg’, etc, or even change the file extension. Renamer doesn’t stop there, it has the power to batch rename any type of file. Through a series of Automator like actions, your files can be renamed in a matter of seconds!

Renamer is developed by the team over at creativebe – who have also brought you some other fantastic apps such as iArchiver. The application doesn’t contain any unnecessary ‘frills’ and is excellent at what it does.

Batch Renaming

Batch renaming of files in Renamer is easy, efficient and the interface looks nice too! You are given total control the modify the name to your liking. In the examples below, I have taken pictures straight off my camera and onto my computer. As you can see they are of a generic name. With renamer, in seconds, they were a bit more organised.

If these are now brought into iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom, etc, they will have the filename you set them instead of the cameras generic setting.

The controls of Renamer are much like that of Automator. If you don’t know what I mean, open it up and have a play around! Essentially, you add a series of ‘actions’ in the sidebar.

Adding an Action

Adding an Action

Each action builds off the last one, modifying the name until you get what you want. You have four options when adding in actions. You can modify the characters, numbers, case and even find/replace items.

Batch Renaming

Batch Renaming

The main interface window is simple and intuitive. In the left pane are the files that you are renaming (files can be added and removed by clicking the + or – on the bottom left of this window) and on the right hand side is the sidebar with your actions.

Renamer has a great feature of giving you a preview of what your files will look like after you apply the actions, even before you apply them.

The actions I used in my example led from the photos being called ‘P1163954.jpg’ to ‘Photo1.jpg’. To do this I used three actions. First, I instructed Renamer to put the text ‘Photo’ in all of the files, at the front. The next action was to delete the remaining characters from the back (the P1163954). Finally, I wanted to add in a number for the photo, just as a separator to identify them.

Your Renamed Files

Your Renamed Files

Presets

If you run a batch rename often, you can create a preset to save you even more time. Simply click on the black bar on the top right and give your preset a name. From here, whenever you want to run this preset, just click on the black bar again and select it from the list.

For example: I made one called “Olympus Text –> Photo1″. This used the actions as described before.

Saving a Preset

Saving a Preset

Menu Bar

Renamer does have a menu bar that allows you to access the power of batch renaming straight from your Finder window. The menu bar icon gives you various options to convert your files names with some quick presets, or, you can even find the presets you have made in the list too!

Menu Bar App

Menu Bar App

Conclusion

Renamer is a simple utility application that serves one purpose, and serves it exceptionally well. For those who regularly work with lots of files – this application is a must have! Future improvements I would like to see, however, are more customisation in the naming (i.e. the ability to filter items), and the ability to batch colour label certain items. All in all, a great app!

What do you use for renaming files? Are you happy with the functionality built into Automator, or do you require something slightly more advanced?


Summary

A fantastic application that serves it's single purpose well. A must have for any Mac user that works with a lot of files. A great polished utility app.

9
  • Andy Couch

    While Renamer is nice, I have found that Name Mangler has pretty much all the same features, and is freeware. The only downside is the developer’s website seems to have disappeared, so I don’t know if there is any ongoing development.

    • http://twitter.com/darkangelpt Dark Angel

      Exactly, NameMangler has pretty much the same basic features just not so streamlined and polished.
      May require a few more steps for some things but it gets the job done for free.

      And the advanced section let’s you play a lot if you understand it’s language, which Renamer doesn’t seem to have.
      Also, it creates useful droplets to add to the Finder toolbar or anywhere you want.

      • Jordan

        I’ve had performance issues with NameMangler in Snow Leopard. Has anyone else had similar issues?

  • Michael J. Young

    Adobe Bridge gets my vote. Granted it takes a little more work to filter and rename, but in my experience it is just as powerful.

  • Jean Waucomont

    Hi,
    I’ve tried NameBench , A Better Finder Rename 8 and Core-Renamer.
    Renamer is nice and has a modern feel.
    That’s the only advatage I see in it…

    • Jean Waucomont

      not NameBench of course (disadvantage of using spotlight to find how that one app was called…) My apologies!

  • http://davetaylormp.com David Taylor

    Yes, I agree with Andy. NameMangler is the bomb!

  • Geert

    Regular expression based find and replace is a must. As far as I see, Renamer has no support for it, NameMangler does.

    • Kipp

      In all fairness, this is on the Renamer homepage… “For power users Renamer offers to find and replace filenames with regular expressions.”

  • Kipp

    Name Mangler is definitely the best and easiest to work with. You can also create Automator droplets with it which is very nice.

  • Ed

    With solid free alternatives out there, I can’t see how I could ever justify dropping $29 on this. Put another way, do I got $29 worth of additional functionality out of this app compared to Name Mangler? Not as far as I can see.

    Is it me, or have Mac app costs increased sharply in the last 6 months or so? I used to think $15 was about my limit for non-Pro apps, but that doesn’t seem so realistic recently.

    • iyyy69

      Couldn’t agree more. $30 for a utility to batch rename files? I’m sure it’s no big deal to a professional web developer or somebody like that, but for the typical user who just needs it once in a while, most of these $20-$50 utilities are just too much. I think they would be much better off in the $5-$15 range and sell more copies to make up the difference.

  • http://www.dawnsrecipes.com Dawn

    Another vote for Name Mangler! it might be a tad less fancy, but it gets the job done and it’s free.

  • http://www.fai.in.th Fai

    My favorite also go for Name Mangler =]

  • http://www.twitter.com/L1TheProducer L1

    Can this edit or view ID3 tags? for music files?

    It would be handy if it got the same features as Tag2Rename on Windows machines.

    Where you could batch rename a folder based on their ID3Tags. I hate the way iTunes names my tracks, and its so tedious going through each track in a folder, and then having to open them in iTunes just to edit the ID3Tags.

  • http://digitalsimple.info Sherman Bausch

    I would go Name Mangler as well – free and almost as polished, though I’m, not happy the support site is gone.

  • http://www.joyroxas.com nowthatsmint

    half a vote for name mangler (has not been working at all lately, on snow leopard. it keeps freezing.)

  • Jeffrey

    If you are using Snow Leopard, you can actually do a lot of those things in Automator Services (which works in the finder contextual menu).

  • Aaron

    I’m partial to making my own Automator actions. They’re easy to build, work quickly, and interact with services from other applications. Plus it’s not another application to remember, rather it’s a menu drop down or right click away.

  • http://frankcurkovic.edublogs.org/ elemICT

    I will check out the above but I find NameChanger works great and is also free.
    http://web.mac.com/mickeyroberson/MRR_Software/NameChanger.html

  • http://macbundlebox.com/renamer/ Christian Owens

    Renamer is available in the Mac Bundle Box Haiti promotion for two weeks, you can get it and 5 other apps for $29 (the retail price of the app).

  • Matt

    $29 for a batch renaming utility? Does that not seem a little high to anyone? NameMangler still does the job for me (though I wish their developers were still around).

  • http://www.osxmagazine.com miniMAC
  • http://www.osxmagazine.com miniMAC
  • http://www.petruszka.com Marcin Petruszka

    Once I bought Fork Lift, a splendid FTP client my needs of batch renaming files were met. Nuff said. If you need an FTP client and also need to rename batches of files that’s where you go.

  • Antoine

    A better finder rename (ABFR) rules for me

  • http://www.constantinpotorac.com Constantin Potorac

    Got it and love it. I am a tutorial writer and writing tutorials require me to make many print screens so this app comes in handy when I rename them or when I want to remove the ‘space_copy’ text from images.

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  • Ivan

    wow, man! you’ve got a Honda Prelude!

    • http://www.matthamilton.com.au Matt Hamilton

      Yes, yes I do :D

      You do too?

  • http://www.ulfwood.net/RenameFiles/FileRenamer.aspx Ronald

    You should try this also RenameMaestro it is the easy on how to Rename Files.

  • http://www.danielkaczmarek.net Daniel

    nice and easy,i like it

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  • http://www.studiomk.com.pl Studio MK

    Very simple and nice. It’s usefull. I like it.

  • http://www.designmk.pl śmieszne koszulki z nadrukiem

    I cant get this to work. It keeps giving me an error “Prefix creation exited with error. (you find a logfile to help with debugging on you desktop)”, If anyone could help me, that would be great.

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