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Using Automator to Rename Files and Folders

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Using Automator: Running And Saving The Workflow
Automator - Using Automator to Rename Files and Folders

The two dialog boxes the finished workflow will show when you run it.

The Rename Files and Folders workflow is complete. Now it's time to run the workflow to see if it works properly. To test the workflow, I created a test folder that I filled with half a dozen text files. You can create your own dummy files by saving a blank text document a number of times to the folder you will use for testing.

Running the Rename Files and Folders Workflow

  1. From within Automator, click the 'Run' button located in the top right corner.

  2. The Get Specified Finder Items dialog box will open. Use the 'Add' button or drag and drop the list of test files to the dialog box.

  3. Click 'Continue.'

  4. The 'Make Finder Item Names Sequential' dialog box will open.

  5. Enter a new name for the files and folders, such as 2009 Yosemite Trip.

  6. Click the 'Continue' button.

The workflow will run and change all of the test files to the new name plus a sequential number appended to the file or folder name, for example, 2009 Yosemite Trip 1, 2009 Yosemite Trip 2, 2009 Yosemite Trip 3, etc.

Saving the Workflow as an Application

Now that we know the workflow works, it's time to save it in the form of an application, so we can use it any time.

I intend to use this workflow as a drag-and-drop application, so I don't want the Get Specified Finder Items dialog box to open. I will just drop files onto the application's icon instead. To make this change, click the 'Option' button in the Get Specified Finder Items action and remove the check mark from 'Show this action when the workflow runs.'

  1. To save the workflow, select File, Save. Enter a name for the workflow and a location to save it to, then use the dropdown menu to set the file format to Application.

  2. Click the 'Save' button.

That's it. You've created your first Automator workflow, which will allow you to easily rename a group of files and folders.

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