11 Replies Latest reply: Dec 16, 2005 7:55 AM by Argelius
Beth Kurtz Level 1 (55 points)
I have IPhoto 5.0.4

IPhoto help says:

Don't tamper with files in the iPhoto Library folder
If you move, delete, rename, or otherwise tamper with files or folders in the iPhoto Library folder, you may be unable to see your pictures in iPhoto.

My photos come out of my camera with number titles and I always change the number to a name. Most of the pix have remained intact. Sometimes I find a black box instead of a photo, possibly because of renaming, but I can't recall what I did.

IPhoto help also says: "You can also edit a photo's title, date, or comments directly from the photo library."

So what are the conditions in which renaming makes a photo disappear?
  • lori_diloreto Level 6 (17,000 points)
    Hi Beth,
    If you rename a image in the iPhoto Library folder in the Finder, iPhoto will lose the info on it and not be able to find it. When the image is imported into iPhoto's database it gets all the info about the image including the name. When you change the title of the image within iPhoto, iPhoto records that in it's database files so it still can keep track of the image.

    Our iPhoto Guru, Old Toad, has worked out a solution to help others who have renamed images in the Finder.


    There is a way you can recover your library. Here's what I developed and it worked for me. But make a backup copy of your iPhoto Library folder beforehand just in case:
    How to recover those photos lost due to renaming in the Finder

    1 - do a search of just the iPhoto library folder with the following criteria:

    File name contains ".jpg" (or .psd) and File size is less than 1 KB. (You can just do a search for File size less than 1 kb but do not delete the other zero sized files that are of a non image type).

    That will find all of those zero sized files that were created when iPhoto couldn't fine the originals.

    2 - move those zero sized image files to the trash.

    3 - now delete those "bad" photos from the iPhoto library using the normal method within iPhoto (if you don't they will be recovered every time you do a library rebuild with the "recover orphaned photos" option selected).

    4 - launch iPhoto with the Command+Option keys depressed and when the rebuild menu comes up select the last option, "Recover orphaned photos in the iPhoto Library folder".

    This will recover those renamed files and put then in a new roll. The only downside is that their titles in iPhoto will be "Roll xx-1, etc. You can do a Get Info on them, find the actual file name and change the title so they are the same.

    So it can be done with a little work.

    The only way to rename files that have already been imported into iPhoto is to export them to the desktop, rename them there and then reimport. Once imported you can delete the original set.

    Hope this has been of some help. Good luck.

    I also have some more info on renaming:
    you can add titles in iPhoto, but only iPhoto sees these new titles. The image name will still be the same in the finder
    You can name the photos before importing into iPhoto. Either download to the computer with your camera software or use Image Capture (found in your Applications folder) to download the photos.
    Launch Image Capture (keep the little window open that says no camera is connected or IC will quit if you close the window)
    Go to Image Captures preferences and choose what you want to happen when a camera is connected.
    Next time a camera is connected, if you chose Image Capture to open, then IC will open and download the photos.
    Rename your photos then add to library/import them into iPhoto.
    After they have been imported/copied into iPhoto, you can then delete the other copies of them you just downloaded to your hard drive.
  • Beth Kurtz Level 1 (55 points)
    Lori, thank you and old toad. But if it's really this complicated (whew! mac used to be so simple! It gets more like a pc every day.), then why does iPhoto help say in another place ""You can also edit a photo's title, date, or comments directly from the photo library."???? Without warning me that the so edited photo might just disappear?
  • lori_diloreto Level 6 (17,000 points)
    Hi Beth,
    You can edit the photo's title, date, comments directly from the library within iPhoto, meaning iPhoto is open and the library is in view before you with all your images displayed. I am thinking this is what you did and that is what you are supposed to do. Though, I am still not sure if that is what you did.
    Did you by chance change the names of some images while in Finder? While in finder, meaning, you opened the iPhoto Library folder found in your Pictures folder and navigated to find the images in it and then changed their name.
    This is what you are NOT supposed to do as iPhoto will then lose track of where the image is because the name has been changed in the finder. The thumbnail will still show in an open iPhoto Library window (within iPhoto), but when double clicked, no full size image will show.

    so let's start from the beginning. did you change any names of the images while in the finder?
    If you didn't then we have to troubleshoot again.
  • Beth Kurtz Level 1 (55 points)
    Lori, the light bulb flashed with your last post -- thank you! I don't recall what I did when losing those few pictures, as I was still overwhelmed by switching from os 9 to tiger; I was pushing buttons right & left. Mainly now, I just want to avoid erasing anything else.

    I think your explanation solves it for me. I didn't know the meaning of "opening in finder". (The mac help files could have been a little clearer in this case.) Thank you again for taking the time to do this for me!
  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,388 points)

    For what it's worth here's what I do to avoid the duplication of image names from the camera. I manually upload each shoot to a folder on the desktop. I name the folder with the date of the shoot and a brief description, i.e. 10/27-30/05-Chicago Trip. I then use R-Name to batch rename the files using the international date format, YYYY-MM-DD-01.jpg, etc. I then drag that folder into the open iPhoto window. This will give me a roll that's titled the same as the folder and give me excellent alphanumerical and chronological searching and sorting. It's extra steps but gives me much better control of the final library.

    If your camera has the option to not start back at 001 each time it's turned on, that will also get around the duplicate file names.
  • Beth Kurtz Level 1 (55 points)
    Old Toad, thank you. I would try your suggestion, except that I can find no way to upload photos from my camera to anywhere but iphoto, which opens automatically when I plug in the camera. ( It's a Canon A60.) I have gone through iphoto help in my machine, but haven't looked at the help files online yet -- maybe that's where this information is?
  • lori_diloreto Level 6 (17,000 points)
    Hi Beth,

    Using Image Capture to download images and video clips:

    Open up Image Capture which is found in the Applications folder.

    When it is opened, go to Image Capture/Preferences

    Under the General button choose

    Camera: When a camera is connected, open Image Capture.

    The next time you connect your camera Image Capture will open.

    In the window that opens you will see an Options button. Click on that button to set your options.

    To find out more about Image Capture (it can do a lot more) Click on Help in the menu bar when Image Capture is open.

    iPhoto: How to Change the "Open Automatically" Preference

    If you find you can't change any of Image Captures preferences or can't access any drop down menus or they are greyed out, check to make sure Image Capture is loose in the Applications folder and not within a sub folder.

  • Beth Kurtz Level 1 (55 points)
    Lori, thank you. This was a big help. I made the new settings -- and it works! For me, this is a much better way to download photos.
  • Argelius Level 2 (200 points)
    I thought I'd latch on to this thread rather than cluttering things up with another. My question:

    is it possible to batch rename photos (filenames) in iPhoto?

    When importing files from my camera, I'd like to change the file names to something other than DSC000428...

    What I have been doing is renaming the files using a different program (PhotoShop Elements), then importing them into iPhoto.

    Just curious if iPhoto could do this directly. (As far as I can determine, it can't....but thought I'd ask anyway...)
  • lori_diloreto Level 6 (17,000 points)
    Yes you can batch rename using iPhoto. BUT, the renaming of the images are actually titles and the file name of the images stay the same in the Finder (if you navigate through the iPhoto Library folder, the file names are still there and not the new title names) The titles stay within iPhoto. You can however share/export and choose the title as the new name and then the title will be the new image file name in the finder. confusing, huh?
    the only way to have the file names in the finder the same as the titles in iPhoto you have to download the images using Image Capture, your camera software, or dragging off the card, rename the images ( there are batch renaming programs to help you-check version tracker), then import into iPhoto.

    Ooops, forgot to tell you how to do it within iPhoto.
    Select all the images whose title you want to change
    go to Photos>batch change
    In next window, choose "title" to "text"
    type in your text.


  • Argelius Level 2 (200 points)
    Thanks! That was pretty much my understanding.
    I am using Photoshop Elements 3 to do the batch rename. Works pretty well and I don't need a separate program for renaming. (Although it is pretty slow, since it must first briefly open up the file before renaming it...)