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Purchase an upgrade to version 10.

Can I run version 9 and version 10 side-by-side?

You can run A Better Finder Rename 10 and 9 side-by-side without any problem.

Will my version 9 droplets continue to work with version 10?

Droplets created with version 9 will continue to open in A Better Finder Rename 9.

A Better Finder Rename 10 allows you to automatically migrate droplets by going to the "File" menu and choosing "Migrate Version 9 Droplet...".

How do I migrate my presets to version 10?

Just go to the file menu and select "migrate Version 9 Presets..."

After renaming the files they no longer open properly!

Don't worry, you haven't lost any data. You have probably simply removed the file extension and Mac OS X no longer knows what type of document your file represents.

You can resolve this by adding the original file extension (say .jpg) to the end of the file names. They should then open properly again.

I'm confused because file extensions (.jpg, .txt, etc.) appear or disappear.

File extensions can be tricky on Mac OS X. Under certain conditions the Finder hides file extensions: they are still there, but cannot be seen in the Finder.

You can find out the real name of a file by selecting it in the Finder, and choosing "Get Info..." from the "File" menu. The "true" name of the file can be seen in the "Name & Extension:" field.

A Better Finder Rename always shows the full name of the file, so drag & dropping the files into the preview window will also do the trick.

In general, your selection in the "Change:" popup menu determines whether ABFR will change only the file name (everything before the first period) or the file name and the extension.

You can force the Finder to always show file extensions by ticking the "Show all file extensions" check box in the "Preferences..." menu of the Finder.

You can show or hide file extensions for individual files by (un-)ticking the "Hide extension" check box in the Finder's "Get Info". A Better Finder Attributes allows to perform this operation for multiple files

Problems renaming large numbers of files?

A Better Finder Rename's powerful renaming engine can rename very large numbers of files, but is optimized for the most common usage scenarios involving no more than 10,000-30,000 files. If you need to go well beyond this order of magnitude or are working with very large image, movie or PDF files, you may want to fine-tune some of the renaming engine's settings. Version 8.59 and later of A Better Finder Rename have a special section on dealing with large files in their help book that provides all relevant information. Within A Better Finder Rename, go to the "Help" menu and select "A Better Finder Rename Help...".

How do I go about transferring files to a Windows machine?

You can use A Better Finder Rename's "Convert to valid NTFS/SMB file name" feature to ensure that your file names are valid for Windows NTFS volumes.

You may still encounter some problems when transferring files over an SMB (remotely mounted Windows drives) connection to the Windows machine. These problems are due to two factors: invisible files and SMB bugs.

You can remove invisible files before transferring your files by using A Better Finder Attributes (the companion product to A Better Finder Rename); Mac OS X's SMB implementation is plagued by bugs, but you may not run into them. If you do run into them the best course of action is to "compress" the files you want to transfer into a single zip archive using the Finders "Compress" feature, transfer the archive and then unzip it on the other side.

When renaming files I get the "You may not have sufficient access privileges.." error message.

This error message covers all cases where A Better Finder Rename attempts to rename a file, but the operating system refuses to do so.

There's a number of reasons why this can happen:

  • you don't have sufficient access privileges

On Mac OS X every file and every folder is protected by a security scheme that limits who can perform which operations on them. This is governed by so called "Access Privileges". If don't have sufficient access privileges, you won't be able to change the name of the file.

You can find out (and potentially change) what your access privileges are by selecting the file(s) in the Finder and choosing "Get Info..." from the "File" menu. The relevant information is in the "Sharing & Permissions" section.

  • the file is locked

There is a flag on Mac OS X that allows files to be protected against changes. If it is set, A Better Finder Rename will not be able to rename the file. You can unlock a file by going to the Finder and choosing "Get Info..." from the "File" menu. The relevant information is in the "General" section.

  • the file is on a read-only media

You are trying to change the names of a file on CD or DVD, which is of course impossible.

  • the file is on an incompatible external drive or unsupported remote file system

Mac OS X has a "native" file system that is called "HFS+ (Journaled)". This is the basis for all file manipulations and in theory all other file systems that Mac OS X knows about should behave in exactly the same fashion.

Other file system do of course have different constraints on file names, on path lengths, maximum file sizes, etc. but these differences should be hidden by the file system driver, so that you don't need to know about them.

Unfortunately the quality of some of those file system drivers is not always what it should be and as a result you can run into problems and you might get the above error message.

You can work around most of these problems by attempting to use a different file system "renaming mechanism". Consult the Help book (Help -> A Better Finder Rename 10 Help...) for more details.

There are occasionally problems with Buffalo TeraStations which come pre-installed with an awkward proprietary file system that limits the length of the absolute paths that can be used. Please consult Buffalo's website for instructions on how to set up your TeraStation for use with a Mac.

Another frequent culprit are Flash Cards. These drivers are extremely poor and it is much safer to move the files to your Mac's hard drive before changing any names.

When I try to add certain files to the preview table the program refuses to add them.

The short explanation is that it doesn't work and it shouldn't work. The long explanation would give you a headache.

Something isn't working and I have FruitMenu, WindowShade X, Labels X or anything else using Unsanity's Application Enhancer installed.

With Application Enhancer installed, all bets are off. This is "wicked cool" software specifically designed to undermine OS X's built-in protection features.

Uninstall it and see whether the problem persists.

Blaming other people for your bugs is plain bad manners, so in our defense let us quote George Warner from Apple Developer Technical Support:

Our (Apple's) official policy is that we don't support APE'd systems. Period. The data miner that parses all the crash logs that are sent to us automatically ignores any report that has APE api's in the backtraces or dylb lists.

Likewise If DTS receives a crash incident with API in the backtrace or dylb list we will not investigate it. Our "standard answer" in this case is to inform the developer that we don't support APE and that we'll only be able to help them if they can reproduce the problem without APE installed.

I would suggest that you do the same for your "user X". ;-)

Trouble with tab delimited file lists

This is probably the most difficult to use feature in the program as it requires some knowledge about Mac OS X internals and rigorous attention to detail.

There are two major sources of problems:

  1. the file list loads fine but nothing happens!
  2. an error message appears when I load my file list

The first problem is easily resolved. The program loads the entire file list, but does not automatically add the files and folders in the list to the preview!

You need to drag & drop the files you want to rename into the preview list as usual. The program will then use the associations in the file list to determine the correct new names. This is done for consistency with the other renaming features and allows you (if you desire to do so) to perform a partial rename, ie. rename only some of the files in the file list.

The error message in the second problem may have a number of different reasons but all indicate that your file list is incorrect.

Re-read the instructions in the manual carefully (Help -> A Better Finder Rename 10 Help...: this is one area where details really are important!

The most common errors are:

  • the left hand part is not a complete POSIX path, but only the old name. This won't work, the left hand column needs to contain the complete POSIX path
  • the file that the POSIX path points to does not exist. Spelling mistake? File deleted?
  • you have a slash in your file name. Carefully re-read the section on the "forward slash" translation.
  • if you are having trouble with international characters, make sure your file is encoded as UTF8 (and not MacRoman, etc)

If you still can't figure out what's wrong, please email us at and don't forget to attach your file list and the full text of the error message that you receive. I will try to answer as quickly as possible, but it may take a day or two..

Chinese characters turning up when you are renaming mp3s?

Some recent mp3 encoders now encode id3 tags as big-endian UTF-16 characters. The "byte order" is different and this leads older versions of A Better Finder Rename to incorrectly interpret the text as Chinese characters. You need to upgrade to version 7.9.9 or later where support for this feature was added.

Any other bug at all. Especially right after a new version is released.

Email us immediately! It could be that many other people have the same problem. We can only fix the problems that we know about.

We do test each version carefully before a release, but with so many different factors (OS version, installed products, specific hardware, installers, builds, etc..) to consider, it is always possible that a bug does get into a release.

Unfortunately occasionally a bug affecting all users goes unreported for days and causes no end of frustration for everyone. Simply dropping us a line would allow us to fix the problem immediately.. don't be afraid of getting in touch!