Final Cut Pro X: Batch Rename Clips

Posted on by Larry

For many projects, the original media file names are just fine. And, for those that aren’t, we can quickly change a file name by selecting the clip in the browser, then pressing Return to open a file name for editing.

NOTE: File names that are changed in Final Cut are NOT changed in the Finder.

However, sometimes we need to convert a whole bunch of files given meaningless names by the camera into something that is more useful for the edit.

Hidden inside Final Cut is a batch clip renaming feature that makes this easy. We can rename a selection of clips as a batch in the browser, after the media has been imported. Final Cut Pro provides four customizable naming presets that make renaming large numbers of clips efficient and easy. We can create as many more templates as we need.

Here’s how this works.

NOTE: You can also go to Info Inspector and click Apply Custom Name at the bottom of the pane, but the Modify menu is faster. (And, yes, you can assign a keyboard shortcut to this menu item as well.)

The clips are instantly renamed according to that template.

NOTE: If you’ve taken the time to fill out any of the the Scene – Take – Camera Angle metadata using the Info Inspector > General, you can instantly convert those labels into file names using the Scene/Shot/Take/Angle preset.

CUSTOMIZE FILE NAMING

If the existing presets don’t meet your needs, you can create a new preset easily. Since the naming options are extensive, the easiest way to start is to duplicate an existing preset, then change it.

To duplicate a preset:

SUMMARY

Batch renaming can take a flock of incomprehensible file names and turn them into something that makes sense. Play with this feature to see if it can help you on your next project.

EXTRA CREDIT


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3 Responses to Final Cut Pro X: Batch Rename Clips

  1. I prefer to batch rename in the Finder with date and time to each file a unique name. A Better Finder Rename works great.

    The original FCPX did this for me when importing. I miss that feature.

    • Allen Rowell says:

      I love Better Rename app but recently found that Apple has incorporated batch renaming into the Finder … select a bunch of files, R-click, choose “Rename X Items…” where X is the number of files you selected.

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