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Post Production Tips

How to Rename Images and Create Filename Presets in Lightroom 4

By Pye Jirsa on April 11th 2013

The following is an excerpt from the SLR Lounge Lightroom Workflow System Workshop on DVD, a system designed to increase your post production speed by 5 to 10 times. Click here to view more details.

Introduction

In this step-by-step tutorial, we will show you how to rename images and how to create a filename preset in Lightroom 4. We recommend that you rename the images you want to export so that you do not have to rename them during the export process. The images we want to export and deliver will also be renamed differently than the images that we will not deliver from our catalog. In this tutorial, we will go over the specific naming system that we use at Lin & Jirsa Photography. This naming system tells us important information about our images, such as the type of photography and the location of the shoot.

Watch the Video

How to Rename Images in Lightroom 4

First, we will go over the steps of how to rename the images we want to export out of Lightroom 4.

#1: Turn on Flagged Filter
After we have culled and edited the images in our catalog, we need to turn on the Flagged Filter to see all of the images that we flagged. The flagged images are the images that we will be exporting and delivering. To turn on the filter for flagged images, click on the first flag at the bottom of the pictures in your catalog. Next, press “Ctrl + A” to select all of these images in your catalog.

As you can see below, our mouse is hovered over the first filter, which is the filter for our flagged images.

01-lightroom-4-rename-photos-select-all-turn-on-filter

#2: Rename Photos Dialogue Box
After we have selected all of our images, press “F2” on your keyboard to bring up the Rename Photos Dialogue Box.

02-lightroom-4-rename-photos-dialogue-box

We can also bring up this Rename Photos Dialogue Box by going to the Menu at the top of Lightroom. Select Library and click on “Rename Photos.”

03-library-menu-rename-photos

#3: Rename Photos
As mentioned earlier, we have a specific naming system at Lin & Jirsa Photography. We start with the first letter of the groom’s name. Then we continue with the first letter of the bride’s name. Next, we write down the location of where the images were shot. Finally, we end with the type of photography we shot. We use “-” to separate the words.

In our example below, “pa” stands for the couple’s names and “sjc” stands for San Juan Capistrano, where these photos were shot. For the purpose of the tutorial, we just abbreviated the location but we would normally type it out. Finally, we end the name with “portrait session” to indicate what type of shoot this was. At the bottom of the dialogue box, you can see an example of how your images will be renamed. Simply click on “Ok” to rename the flagged photos in your catalog.

04-lightroom-4-rename-photo

Creating a Filename Preset

Now, we will go over the steps of how to create a filename preset in Lightroom 4.

#1: Setting Up the New Filename Preset
After we have renamed our photos, we can also create a new filename preset. Click on “Edit” from the “File Naming” dropdown menu in the Rename Photos Dialogue Box.

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Once you select “Edit,” the Filename Template Editor Dialogue Box will appear. Make sure the textbox is blank so that we can start from scratch. If the textbox is not empty, simply select all of the text and delete it.

Your textbox in the Filename Template Editor Dialogue Box should be blank, like the one shown below.

06-lightroom-4-filename-template-editor-dialogue-box

We want to add our own custom text, so click the “Insert” button next to “Custom Text” at the bottom of the Filename Template Editor Dialogue Box. Once you hit the “Insert” button, the “Custom Text” field will appear in the textbox.

07-lightroom-4-insert-custom-text

After you have selected “Custom Text,” put a “-” after the “Custom Text.” Next, go down to “Sequence and Date” and select the 4 digit sequence that starts with 0. The reason why we start with 0 instead of 1 is because certain systems have a hard time sorting images in order when the sequences do not begin with 0. Therefore, we will start with 0 to ensure that every system will put our images in the correct order.

08-lightroom-4-4-digit-sequence

Once you have selected the 4 digit sequence from the dropdown menu, hit the “Insert” button and the sequence will appear in the textbox.

09-lightroom-4-insert-sequence

#2: Saving the New Filename Preset
Next, we need to save our new filename preset. Go to the top of the Filename Template Editor Dialogue Box and select “Save Current Settings as New Preset” from the Preset dropdown menu.

10-lightroom-4-save-new-file-name-preset

Once you click on “Save Current Settings as New Preset,” the New Preset Dialogue Box will appear where you can rename the preset. We will call this new filename preset “Standard Filename.” Then hit “Create.”

11-lightroom-4-rename-new-file-name-preset

After you hit “Create,” you will be back in the Filename Template Editor Dialogue Box and the “Standard Filename” should be selected as the Preset. Then hit “Done.”

12-lightroom-4-finish-create-new-file-name-preset

After you hit “Done,” you will be back in the first dialogue box, the Rename Photos Dialogue Box. Select “Standard Filename” from the File Naming dropdown menu. Then hit the “Ok” button at the bottom of the Rename Photos Dialogue Box.

13-lightroom-4-rename-photos-dialogue-box-standard-filename

Conclusion & Learn More!

Since we only selected our flagged photos to rename, the rest of the photos in our catalog, which we will not deliver, are left with their default image names. We hope you have enjoyed this tutorial on how to rename your photos in Lightroom 4 and how to create a new filename preset.

To learn more about the SLR Lounge Workflow System Workshop on DVD or to purchase it, click on this link.

To purchase the Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection which includes A-Z Tutorials, the Preset System, and Workflow DVD, click here.

About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Good Info.

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