Sequence Numbers When Renaming


Today’s Question: What’s the difference between “Sequence #” and “Index #” when creating a template for renaming photos in Lightroom Classic?

Tim’s Quick Answer: The Sequence Number option allows you to choose the starting number for the images you’re renaming. The Index number option renames automatically based on the number of images but starts the count at zero rather than one.

More Detail: The Sequence Number and Index Number options for renaming are very similar, but with a couple of important differences.

The Index Number option relates to the index number that is displayed with the thumbnails of each image by default in Lightroom Classic. In other words, if you include the Index Number option in a template for renaming photos, you won’t have a choice for what number is used. Each image will be numbered based on where the image falls in the order within the folder.

The main drawback of the Index Number option is that it starts counting with zero rather than one, which means the index number in the filename won’t match the index number on the thumbnail. This is a minor issue that might not both some photographers, but I do wish that the counting would start with one.

The main advantage of using Index Number is that the photos will include a number in the filename that is unique and applied automatically. You don’t have any option for altering the value for Index Number.

With the Sequence Number option, you have more flexibility, since you can specify the starting number. Unfortunately, that also means you need to remember to adjust the starting number when importing subsequent photos. For example, if you import 100 photos with the starting number set to “1”, the images will include a number in the filename that matches their order from 1 to 100. If you then import another 50 images, you need to remember to change the starting number to 101 to have numbers that properly run in a sequence.

I prefer to use the Sequence Number option, because it allows you to specify the starting number. However, the Index Number option is arguably better because it is completely automatic when it comes to setting the number for each image, with the only real drawback being that it starts counting at zero rather than one.