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Thanks to this page, I was able to experience my first real joy with using Automator. We had a folder containing 300+ 600+ files with multiple periods in the file names. This was causing a sort problem when users were looking for a particular file. Rather than replacing each superfluous period with an underscore one by one, I employed Automator to do it for me. Here’s a screenshot of the workflow:

1: Tell the Finder to get a specific folder
2: Tell Finder to get the contents of the folder
3: Filter items in folder based on criteria (so I didn’t mess with files that didn’t need changing)
4: Remove file name extension (since I’m replacing periods with underscores, I didn’t want to mess up the extension)
5: Replace all periods with underscores
6: add proper file extension back to each file

The process took about 35 seconds and worked pretty well. I had a slight problem with one user clicking on the new file names and the file would disappear in his Finder. I think this was due to him having the folder open while all these changes were being made. A Finder relaunch did not fix the problem, but restarting his computer did.

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