Today’s Question: [As a follow-up to the questions recently about renaming photos in Lightroom:] Adobe Bridge has more robust renaming capabilities than Lightroom. Is there a way to use Adobe Bridge to rename photos without breaking the Lightroom catalog?
Tim’s Quick Answer: No, you cannot use Adobe Bridge to rename photos that are being managed in Lightroom. Doing so would cause the file names on your hard drive to be changed, but those changes would not be reflected in Lightroom. As a result, the photos you rename outside of Lightroom would appear as “missing” photos within Lightroom.
More Detail: Both Lightroom and Adobe Bridge employ what is essentially a template-based method of renaming photos. Both offer most of the same features, but there are a few additional options available in Adobe Bridge that are not available in Lightroom. For example, the Batch Rename feature in Adobe Bridge allows you to use a “String Substitution” option where you can essentially “search and replace” text within existing file names.
However, as noted above, if you are using Lightroom to manage your photos, you cannot use Adobe Bridge or any software tool outside of Lightroom to rename your photos. In essence, once you’re using Lightroom to manage your photos, all tasks that relate to your photos should be initiated within Lightroom. That is especially important as it relates to image-management tasks.