Announcing Version 9 of A Better Finder Rename

Introducing A Better Finder Rename 9 for Mac

We are thrilled to announce the release of A Better Finder Rename 9. We are excited about this new release and hope that you will enjoy the new version.

Refined Single Window User Interface

As befits a major new release, we have updated and refined the single window user interface introduced in version 8. We are rather pleased with the update and hope you will like as much as we do.

Manual Ordering

This has long been the Number 1 request for A Better Finder Rename and we have finally found a truly intuitive way to implement it.

You can now re-arrange the order of the files in the preview list simply through drag and drop. The sequence numbers, roman numerals or alphabetical sequences will automatically change to take into account the new ordering.

Tag-Based Renaming

Over the years, we kept getting requests for adding this or that type of meta-data. We wanted to find a really great way to integrate all kinds of file meta-data into the product without sacrificing the simplicity and elegance of the interface. The new tag-based renaming feature adds over one hundred tags allowing you to exploit camera, lens, image, color, music & date meta-data in your naming schemes.

Version 9 is but a new beginning

Customers who have been with us since A Better Finder Rename’s humble beginnings in 1996 will know that every new release is only the beginning of a new cycle of iterative refinements. Over the past 16 years, few months have gone by without a point update to A Better Finder Rename and this will of course continue unabated with version 9. We have come a long way in the three and half years between version 8.0 and version 8.95 and we intend to continue developing A Better Finder Rename aggressively.

Free & Discounted Upgrades

A Better Finder Rename 9 is free for all customers who have bought the product after the 1st of January 2011 or who own a forever license.

Upgrades to the version 9 are available at the discounted price of $9.95 (Single User License) from our web store. You can also take the opportunity to upgrade to a family/small business license covering up to 5 individuals or a business license covering up to 100 users.

Better Rename 9 & the Mac App Store

Better Rename 9 is available on the Mac App Store for $19.95 and some of you may prefer using this opportunity to “crossgrade” to the Mac App Store version.

At present Better Rename 9.0 maintains feature parity with A Better Finder Rename 9 and we would like to keep it that way. Note however that on the Mac App Store, everybody plays by Apple’s rules and those rules may at any moment force us to remove features, some of which you may find crucial.

Vitamin-R progress

In my last blog entry, I announced that Vitamin-R, my very own solution to the productivity problems of people like myself who need to balance their scatterbrained creativity with “delivering stuff” on time and within budget.

I asked you to tell me whether my baby is ugly or not.. well, I asked for it, so I can’t complain.

The highly polished user interface of the first beta missed the mark somewhat.. far too much text and too “application”-y.

Initial Design

Initial Design

This lead to a late-in-the-day dash to get an interface that is minimalist and doesn’t get into the way of accomplishing your task. The idea was to make the application into a “menu bar item” that is always available:

Vitamin-R 0.4 Interface

Vitamin-R 0.4 Interface

In practice, this worked much better than the initial design and got out of the way when not needed.

It was certainly minimalist, but still not all that pretty. So in the latest 1.06 release you get a Snow Leopard/ iPad call-out type interface:

Current Interface Presets

Current Interface Presets

Better still, you can configure the appearance yourself using the Appearance Panel available under the “Appearance” item in the “Vitamin-R” menu. From there, you can configure background color, opacity, gradients, corner rounding, inner and outer strokes, padding, etc.

I hope that you’ll come up with your own favorite look and if you do so please drop me an email at with a screenshot. I’m thinking of including a number of different presets, so if you come up with something that might be of interest to the user community at large, it could well start shipping with every copy of Vitamin-R!

I can’t believe that version 0.01 beta only shipped on the 24th of March and the program has already gone through such a transformation due in great part to your feedback.. so please keep it coming!

As those of you who have been around since these early releases already know, the pace of development on Vitamin-R has been frenetic and I intend to keep it that way for at least a few more months before settling into a one or twice a month update cycle as with A Better Finder Rename.

In these last 7 weeks, the user interface has changed profoundly, I’ve introduced keyboard navigation, time slice pausing, workflow changes, a re-designed now & later board and fast type feature, fixed some bugs, etc, etc..

The next 7 weeks should be no less exciting. Next week, I will ship the drag & drop integration with OmniFocus which will allow you to drag & drop tasks directly from OmniFocus, click on the hyperlink to go back to the task in OmniFocus and have it ticked automatically when it is logged as completed. The hyperlink feature already works in 1.06.

I’ve solved most of the technical problems with providing the same integration for Cultured Code’s Things application and I’m investigating Task Paper integration.

Vitamin-R will also be able to work as a dock-less application within the next few weeks, as I know that many people would prefer this mode of operation. The current way of working will become optional.

Beyond this the highest priority item is to get the statistics module working. Originally this was supposed to be shipping with the 1.0 release, but with the frenzied development on the user interface front there simply was not time left for it. A rough version of it is already working, so it shouldn’t be too long before it is fully functional. Expect basic graphs and summaries in the first releases with more sophisticated analysis options not too far behind.

I think this will be a massive boost for Vitamin-R as discovering your own work patterns in itself is huge help in becoming more productivity and seeing your progress is highly motivating.

Vitamin-R is already used by many fans of the Pomodoro Technique and support for this technique will be growing in future releases. I’m not a great Pomodoro Technique fan myself, as I feel that with its rigid structure it is too prescriptive for many people and makes few allowances for human foibles and the creative mind in general, but many people do find that they are both capable of exerting that level of self-discipline and enjoying it, so who am I too argue. After all, Vitamin-R is about finding the way you work best rather than prescribing what that ought to be.

Some of you have asked about the lack of a screencast for Vitamin-R on the website and have tried to make me realize that this would be a great asset. Thanks. I’m very much aware of that and there most definitely will be a screencast on the website at some stage. The problem at the moment, is that the product is changing so quickly that a screencast is going to be out of date almost as soon as it is put up. I’m not a great fan of screencast that show a product that has changed beyond recognition in the meantime and updating a screencast a couple of times a month just isn’t practical. My intention is to get Vitamin-R to where I want to be first and then do a screencast that will remain relevant at least until version 2.0 in the far future.

Thank you all for your feedback and support!

Best regards,


Snow Leopard Compatibility

One question that is certain to be on everybody’s mind at the moment is “Will it work on Snow Leopard?”.

I couldn’t possibly comment.. as I’m under NDA.. but surely it’s okay to just say: “Yes.”

There’ll be more info posted here on the 28th of August, the official Mac OS X 10.6 release date.

I’m on holiday right now and normal service will be resumed on the 2nd of September, so expect a few minor updates to iron out some minor issues that are sure to occur when tens of thousands of users simultaneously get their hands on a new operation system.