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Create Your Own Custom Filename Presets

Last updated Apr 25, 2008.

By Rob Sylvan

The Filename Template Editor works by using what it calls "tokens" to represent various text strings that you can assemble into any configuration you want. The text strings represented by the tokens can consist of image name data, image numbering options, date formats, information pulled from metadata, and custom text. The assembled tokens can be saved as reusable presets.

Opening the Editor

Although it’s accessible during import and export, I prefer to get to the Filename Template Editor from the Library module:

  1. Select an image and press F2 (or choose Library > Rename Photo). This action launches the Rename Photo dialog box shown in Figure 1. A number of default presets are already at your disposal. Any presets you create will be found here as well. Select any preset to see an example of how it will display as a filename.
  2. To create a new preset, click the drop-down arrow and choose Edit to launch the Filename Template Editor. When the Filename Template Editor opens, it displays the tokens of the selected preset in the window below the Preset menu. You can use these tokens as a starting point, or delete them and start fresh. In the example in Figure 1, the Date - Filename preset was selected, and it contains two tokens: {Date (YYYYMMDD)>>} and {Filename>>} (see Figure 2).

Creating a Preset

Let’s go through the steps to create a preset that consists of the date and time and a three-digit sequence number, with the elements separated by underscores. The resulting filename will look like this:

  1. With the Filename Template Editor open, remove the existing tokens from the editor by selecting them and pressing Delete.
  2. Click the date drop-down arrow and select the four-digit year token Date (YYYY). The selected token appears in the window.
  3. Click into the window and type an underscore after the year token.
  4. Return to the date drop-down list and choose Date(MM); then add an underscore.
  5. Repeat this process for each remaining date and time token, each of which should be followed by an underscore, until the token is complete. The last token to add is the sequence number.
  6. Click the Image Name drop-down arrow and choose "Sequence #(001)".
  7. To save the new preset, click the Preset drop-down arrow and choose Save as New Preset. I prefer descriptive names like YYYY_MM_DD_H_M_S_001, but you can name your preset as you like. Click Create.
  8. Click Done to return to the Rename dialog and begin the file-renaming process.

Preset Housekeeping

To remove unwanted presets, open the Filename Template Editor, click the Preset drop-down arrow, and select the preset you want to delete. Click the Preset drop-down arrow again and choose Delete preset "[preset name]".

To modify an existing preset, open the Filename Template Editor, click the Preset drop-down arrow, and select the preset to be updated. Add/remove/arrange tokens as desired, click the Preset drop-down arrow again, and choose Update preset "[preset name]". Alternatively, you could choose Save as New Preset and give the modified version a new name.

Import and Export Renaming

The Filename Template Editor accessed through the Export dialog box is the same as in the Library module. However, there are some slight differences on import:

  • On import, file naming is possible only when copying or moving files.
  • You have the option to apply an import sequence number token. The starting import sequence number can be configured under File > Catalog Settings > Import Sequence Numbers.

A Final Word

There’s an image name token called Original filename, and I recommend creating a preset using just that token. It really can come in handy!