Batch Rename After Import


Today’s Question: Can you rename and sequence photos in batch mode after import [into Lightroom Classic] for which you forgot to do during initial import?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can rename photos in a batch process within Lightroom Classic even after importing photos into the catalog. The process is very similar to configuring the renaming during import.

More Detail: It can be helpful to rename photos if for no other reason than to simply have more meaningful filenames. You can rename photos right at the time of importing the images into Lightroom Classic, but some photographers prefer to wait until later in their workflow. For example, if you delete outtakes after renaming, you would have gaps in the numbering for your filenames if you used a sequence number as part of the filename structure.

To rename after photos have already been imported into your Lightroom Classic catalog, first navigate in the Library module to the folder or collection containing the photos you want to rename. Make sure there aren’t any filters set that would cause only a portion of the images to be displayed (unless you only want to rename photos based on specific filter criteria). Select the photos you want to rename, such as by choosing Edit > Select All from the menu if you want to rename all photos that are currently displayed based on the folder or collection and the established filter criteria. Then choose Library > Rename Photos from the menu to bring up the Rename Photos dialog.

In the Rename Photos dialog you can then specify the template you want to use for renaming the images using the File Naming popup. If an existing template doesn’t fit your preference for the filename structure, you can choose the template that best matches your preference, and then choose Edit from the File Naming popup.

In the Filename Template Editor dialog, you can then define a structure for the way you want to rename your photos, both by typing in specific text you want to include in the filename for each photo and choosing among the available variables with the popups and Insert buttons below. After defining an updated template, you can save it by choosing “Save Current Settings as New Template” from the Preset popup, entering a name, and clicking the Create button. Then click Done to close the Filename Template Editor dialog.

At this point you can update the values for the Custom Text and Start Number fields if those are included in the filename structure template you’ve selected. Then click OK and the selected photos will be renamed based on the settings you established.