Use Automator To Rename Multiple Files
How to use Automator to rename multiple files on your Mac. This program ships with macOS and is designed to help us complete tedious time consuming tasks in minutes. Automator is also great for renaming a large amount of files or resizing a large number of images. Another use case is to automate your daily workflow and create shortcuts to do miscellaneous tasks automatically.
Let your Mac do repetitive tasks for you
Create a workflow in Automator on Mac
To create an Automator workflow, you choose the type of workflow you want, and then add actions to it.
How to choose a workflow
In the Automator app, choose File > New.
Select a type of workflow:
- Workflow: A workflow you can run within the Automator app.
- Application: A standalone workflow that runs when you open it or drop files or folders on it.
- Quick Action: A workflow that you can add to Finder windows, the Touch Bar, and the Services menu. For more information about using Quick Action workflows, see the help section on how to Use Quick Action workflows on Mac.
- Print Plugin: A workflow that’s available in the Print dialog.
- Folder Action: A workflow attached to a folder in the Finder. When items are added to the folder, the workflow runs and the files are used as input to the workflow.
- Calendar Alarm: A workflow that runs when a calendar event occurs.
- Image Capture Plugin: A workflow that’s available in the Image Capture app on your Mac.
- Dictation Command: A workflow that runs when dictation is used.
After you choose a workflow, you add actions to it.
How to add actions to a workflow
Actions in the Automator Library are grouped into categories by app or type of file or data. Each action is a single step in a workflow.
In the Automator app on your Mac, find an action by doing any of the following:
- See all available actions: Click the arrow to expand the Library.
- See actions related to a specific category: Select the category in the Library column.
- Search for a particular action: Enter a word in the search field. If you click a category in the Library and then enter a search term in the search field, only the actions related to the category are searched.
- Record your own action: Click the Record button and complete the task you want to automate. When finished, click the Stop button.
To add an action to your workflow, double-click it. To save your workflow, choose File > Save.
Note: If you record an action, it automatically appears in your workflow.
If you created a specific type of workflow, such as an Application or Calendar Alarm, the workflow is saved as that type. For example, if you chose the Calendar Alarm workflow, when you save it, Automator automatically opens Calendar and creates a Calendar alarm event.
How to add scripts to your own actions
How to add AppleScripts to a workflow in Automator
Automator lets you create automation without scripting, but you’re not limited to just the actions available in the Library. You can use the Run AppleScript action to add AppleScript scripts to your Automator workflow.
The AppleScript script can interact with the other actions in your workflow. It can receive input from the previous action, and return results to the following action.
Click Actions in the top-left corner of the Automator window, then select Utilities in the Library. Drag the Run AppleScript action into your workflow. You can edit, compile, and test your script inside the action, or you can develop your script in Script Editor.
Use Automator workflows with the Shortcuts app
This is not something I use, but have experimented with it. You are able to import Automator workflows into Shortcuts. Then your workflows automatically become a collection of shortcuts ready to run. This can be a huge time saver. Shortcuts are able to convert most Automator workflows into shortcuts that carry out similar functions, events, and automations. You simply drag a workflow file into Shortcuts and the conversion happens automatically. Your imported workflow appears as a new shortcut.
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