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Post Production Tips

How to Rename Images in Lightroom 4

By Pye Jirsa on February 28th 2013


Since the metadata imported from your memory card obviously isn’t going to give you any descriptive titles for your images, renaming them is very important for overall organization. In this article, we will show you how to rename your images along with providing you with a few tips for renaming that we use in our studio.

Watch The Video

The following video is from the SLR Lounge Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD, a 14-hour workshop covering everything in Lightroom from file management to advanced artistic processing techniques.

How to Rename Your Images

I will go through the process of renaming your images step by step. First, select any group of images that you would like to rename. When the images are selected, go to Library > Rename or or hit [F2].


This pulls up the Renaming Dialog Box. The Custom Text is completely customizable. Shown below is an example Custom Text within the Renaming Dialog Box. We recommend giving using a descriptive name that explains the subject and location of the group of images.


The Custom Text is one component you can use in renaming your images, but there are other settings you can choose from to make the names more descriptive if needed. The next step is to set up a custom setting for your renaming systems to keep your workflow consistent.

Creating a Renaming Custom Preset

First, click on the “File Naming” pull-down menu and select “Edit” as shown below.


The Filename Template Editor allows you to decide the arrangement and manner in which your files are named. Don’t worry – it may look confusing at first but it’s actually pretty simple. If you look at the example located above the Text Box it will show you how each coded sequence will be manifested in the Filename. Circled in blue are both the Custom Text Coding and an example Custom Text while the Sequence Number and an example of the Sequence Number are circled in red.


Keep in mind that you don’t have to edit what is bracketed in the Text Box. It is basically the coding used to keep your file naming consistent. All you need to do is select which naming system and the order you would like them to be used from the options below. Each option has a pull-down menu with different ways to show each naming component.


We will show you how to customize your file-naming system by showing you an example of one of the renaming systems that we actually use in our studio.

To create a new preset from scratch, erase all the information within the Text Box in the Filename Template Editor.


The first thing we add into the Filename Sequence is the Custom Text which includes the client name, location, and category of photography (wedding, engagement session, etc).


Then, we insert the sequence number.


This is the exact file-naming system that we use in our studio. To create a preset for these particular settings, click on the Preset drop-down menu and select “Save Current Settings as New Preset”.


We will name this one “Typical Rename” and click on “Create”.


Then click “Done”.


We only rename the images that are finished. So after the editing process, we select just the finished keepers for renaming. This keeps our images neatly ordered when we deliver them to our clients.

While the “Typical Rename” Preset is selected, type in your Custom text that you want to include for your group of images. In this case, we used “Las-Vegas-Vacation-Photography”.


As you can see, the example of the Filename is shown on the bottom of the Rename Dialog Box so you can see exactly the name it will be saved as.

So that’s it! That’s how we set up our renaming system. Remember, you can rename as many images as you want by making a group selection of your choice such as selecting all images [ Ctrl + A ] or selecting just a few for renaming. In addition, you can select the Renaming Preset you choose at any time whether it be during import, export, or any other stage within Lightroom.

If you are interested in owning the Lightroom 4 A to Z DVD, it can be purchased in the SLR Lounge Store. Stay tuned for the next article.

Purchase the Lightroom 4 A-Z DVD Guide

The Lightroom 4 A-Z training DVD will turn any Lightroom novice into a complete master of Lightroom 4 in no time! The DVD which can be played on a Mac or Windows PC includes the following:
– 130 Video Tutorials and nearly 14 hours of content!
– Over 6 hours of tutorials dedicated to developing techniques
– Full Menu System for easy navigation through the tutorials
– Bonus DVD Content that includes Advanced Lightroom 4 Techniques
– Full HD 1080p Resolution for all Video Tutorials
– On-screen Shortcut Tooltips for Lightroom 4
– Exercise Files + Final Catalog so you can follow along during the tutorials
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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Sherry Dansby

    Thanks for the starter lesson….   Now I’m renaming over 100K images and video clips.  Here’s the setup I want.  dansbyphotography_Date (yyyymmdd)_Shoot Type_Client Name_0001   I’m doing this so the SEO factor will kicking and to match my folder structure.  

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