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February 21, 2012 8:25 PM   Subscribe

Mac OS... I want a file I rename, that has the same name as another file, to automatically label it as 2nd, 3rd, etc. Windows does this automatically, but in the Finder it says I need to give the file another name.

I am doing a work project that involves renaming a few thousand photos and they are by category -- so I'll have "photoX" "photoX (2)" "photoX (3)".

I've been using my old HP, and on Windows this is very simple because it automatically adds the (2) (3) etc. when I try to give the files the same name. On my new MacBook (also my first Mac so I'm still figuring things out) it basically says "sorry, no, try again." I can type the numbers manually, but it's so much faster to get the program to do it for me.

I don't want to install a third party application (at least not right now -- I might consider it for future similar projects). I'm in the middle of this project and don't have the time to go figure out a new app. Is there a way I can do what I want in the Finder? Or am I stuck with typing everything in individually?
posted by DoubleLune to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This page has a great way to use Automator to get what you want. I found it by googling "os x sequential file naming," which has some other results you might try if that doesn't do what you want - but I think it will.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:05 PM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

I am a bit confused as to what you have going on here. Are the photos extant in in a single folder already? If so they are already named differently. There are some nifty tricks you can do via command line if you are just wanting to rename a directory of pictures. Check out the "apply" command via Terminal. Launch Terminal and type: man apply

There's an app called "better finder rename" or some such that may be helpful. I know you said you wanted to stay away from other apps, but those are my two suggestions without knowing the problem you're facing.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:25 PM on February 21, 2012

Can you use the command line? This can be done pretty easily with a bash script if you're comfortable with a wee bit of programming, but perhaps you'd prefer to do it with a gui app.
posted by theyexpectresults at 9:53 PM on February 21, 2012

(Sorry, I see cjorgensen already suggested using Terminal.)
posted by theyexpectresults at 9:54 PM on February 21, 2012

There is an app called name mangler that will do what you want and much much more
posted by rockindata at 4:51 AM on February 22, 2012

Another has a longer name: A Better Finder Rename. Sometimes you have to go third-party.
posted by megatherium at 4:54 AM on February 22, 2012

Hm, I'm not sure any of those will do what I need more simply than by hand. All the photos are in one folder, but only 2-10 at a time get the same name. it's kind of like "View 1" "View 1 (2)" "View 2" "View 2 (2)" "View 2 (3)" "View 3" "View 3 (3)" (not actually that but you know, confidentially work-type data). I'll check them out for my next project, when I have time to learn the apps I might find something that would make this simpler.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:37 AM on February 22, 2012

You can probably set up an Automator script to do what you want with about a half hour of work. Once it's set up, you'll have a tool that you can adapt to future projects.

If you're under a deadline, maybe not this time, but check Automator out because it can save you lots of work.
posted by gauche at 8:13 AM on February 22, 2012

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