By BetterPhoto Instructor Kevin Moss
As an instructor with BetterPhoto.com, I experience many questions from students regarding file management. In my Photoshop and Elements for Nature Photographers course, I recommend to my students a specific system to managing our ever-growing libraries of digital images. Most important, is the practice of keeping your original images separate from images you work with, and prepare for output.
Another good practice in file management is renaming your files and then saving these files to other folders, again, separate from your originals. You want to protect your original digital files pristine, like you treated film negatives before you had digital cameras. When renaming digital images, one tool I recommend to my Photoshop students is the Bridge Batch Rename function.
Selecting Images to Rename in Bridge
After uploading your image files to your computer, you can then view these image thumbnails using Bridge. You can start bridge from your Photoshop File Menu by selecting Browse, or by clicking on the Go to Bridge button on the Photoshop Option bar. Select the images you want to rename and save to another folder by holding the CTRL (CMD on a MAC) key while clicking on the selected thumbnails.
Selecting files in Bridge
To rename your selected files and save these in another folder:
1. Start the Batch Rename command in Bridge by selecting Batch Rename from the Tools menu.
2. From the Batch Rename menu, you’ll see three sections; Destination folder, New Filenames, Options, and Preview. In the Destination Folder section, select whether you wish to rename the files in the current folder, move the files to another folder, or copy the renamed files to another folder. I recommend that you copy the files to another folder to keep the originals intact. Click the Browse button to select an existing folder to copy these renamed images to, or to even create a new folder to store these files.
The Batch Rename window
3. In the New Filenames section, select Text in the first field, and in the blank field, type in the text you wish to describe each file. Click on the + to display another naming convention. In my example, I always like to follow up the first part of a filename with a date as shown in my example. Click on the + to bring up another naming field that you can choose. I always like to number my filenames sequentially, as shown here.
4. In the Options section, click on Preserve current filename in XMP Metatada, this will keep the original file name stored with other file data.
5. In the Preview section, you can see how your filename will now appear.
6. Click the Rename button when you are completed making your naming changes.
In Photoshop, there are a thousand different ways of doing just about anything, and that includes image management. My suggestion, is to keep your image management solution simple, and always make sure your originals are always intact, and backed up to CD or DVD for long-term protection.
Check out my BetterPhoto course Photoshop and Elements for Nature Photographers
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