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3 Ways to Rename Your Files in Lightroom

In most programs there is more than one way to do something.  And that is definitely true for renaming your files in Lightroom.  Today I am going to share with you the three ways there are to rename your files in Lightroom and when you might use each one.

Renaming on Import

To rename your photos when importing, go to the File Renaming Tab on the right-hand side of the Import dialog box.

I import all my photos via Lightroom and I rename all my files on import to get rid of the letters my camera places at the beginning of each filename—DSC (Nikon) or IMG (Canon).  These just bug me and I don’t want to see them.

This is just the type of renaming that you want to do on import—a process that you do for EVERY photo you import.  

Follow these steps to create your own preset that renames your photos like this.

1) Choose “Edit” from the drop-down menu with in the File Renaming Tab on the right-hand side of the import dialog box.

2) A new box will open up.  Delete all the text in the white box.  Then choose “Filename number suffix” from the drop-down menu under the “Image Name” section.

3) To save these settings as a preset, go back up to the top drop-down menu and choose “Save Current Settings as New Preset”.  Give your preset a name and click “Create.”

Renaming After Selecting Favorites

This is the type of renaming that I like to use for client photos.  I typically don’t really love the long sequence of numbers that most of my files are left with after they have been taken.  So once I have chosen my favorites, I select them and rename them.

To do this, you need to be in the Library module.  Then just select the photos you want to rename and then hit F2 or choose Rename Photos from the Library drop-down menu.  

This will open a dialog box that will give you several options for renaming your files.  “Custom Name-Sequence” is the one that I choose most often.  Using this method, I can add the client’s name (custom name) and start the numbering of these favorites at 1 (sequence).

The reason I choose this import method over the next one I will tell you about is that I want the files I give my client to have the same name on my hard drive.  Things just get too confusing otherwise if I am trying to look up a photo to edit later on.


Renaming on Export

This is another way that I rename photos, but I don’t use it frequently for Client photos for the reason I just mentioned above.  I sometimes use this renaming technique on files that I am printing (to differentiate them from other files) or posting to my blog or social media (to have keywords in my photo title).

To take advantage of this type of renaming, select the files that you want to export.  Right-click and choose “Export” or click ctrl (cmd) + shift + E.  Then scroll down the section that gives you the options for file renaming.  Click the box next to “Rename to:” and choose the options that you want and as your photos are exporting.  Once you click “Export”, they will also be renamed.

Happy Editing!!

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