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Question: How do I rename an Automator Service?

While working on automator services, I sometimes want to rename an existing service for a variety of reasons -- typos, changed my mind, changed the nature of the service, names are too similar, it got saved as "Untitled 2.workflow", etc.

A thread from 2010 suggests simply using the "Save As" menu option. How to rename Automator actions in Services contextual menu? That, unfortunately, leaves the old service hanging around in the list under System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services. And I have run into the problem described in that thread, that if I use Finder to rename it, the old name continues to appear in the Services menu of apps.

In my 10.12.6 Sierra system, there is no "Save As" menu option in Automator. There is a "Duplicate" option, which does the same thing, including leaving the old version around.

So now I have Services named Untitled 1 and Untitled 2 that I need to get rid of. And I know this will occur in the future so what I really want know, in terms of learning how to fish, is how do I rename an existing Service?

If the best method is creating a new one and deleting the old, so be it, but that seems a very 1960s way to do it.

Are there smoother ways to do this?


MacBook Pro

Posted on


Feb 26, 2018 1:43 PM in response to August. In response to August.

Simply renaming the Untitled 2.workflow file in the Finder does not change its internal name in the package folder originally created by Automator. Thus, the new name will not show up in the application services menu.

Opening this Service workflow in Automator and hoping to rename it by clicking the document name in the Title bar does not work in Automator.

You are left with telling Automator to save the Service as a new name, which it will update in the internal workflow package as it is written to disk. You accomplish this by opening the Untitled 2.workflow package in Automator, and then resaving it via option+File menu : Save As… . Once you have resaved it, confirmed that it appears on the services menu, and works correctly — you can remove the old Untitled 2.workflow.

Feb 26, 2018 1:43 PM

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Question: How do I rename an Automator Service?