I'm trying to export ~200 or so photos from Photos.app to setup on a digital picture frame. These photos are in an album, in sequence, and I can export them in numbered order from Photos.

However, Photos exports using the following format:

"Filename - 1" "Filename - 2" ... "Filename - 10" "Filename - 11"


My digital frame does not understand that 10 does not come before 2, so it plays back as 1,10,11,12...20,21

This ought to be solvable by having the Photos export using a format of 001,002,003, etc. I'm pretty sure iPhoto used to even let me do this! But I can't find any option to do so in Photos.

Is it possible to export using a sensible number order that my frame will understand?

  • If nobody is aware of a solution for Photos there is always the option of renaming then via Terminal.
    – nohillside
    Oct 1, 2019 at 18:27
  • Would you be happy to rename the contents of output directory like this : stackoverflow.com/questions/55754/…
    – lx07
    Oct 1, 2019 at 18:29

2 Answers 2


After exporting files into a new folder, go to Finder, open that folder, and select all the photos you want to rename. Once they are selected, right-click on your selection and you'll see an option to "rename xx files" where xx is the number of files to rename. Click that option and you can input the files name and sequential number. Below shows the panel you get when you select 9 files and right-click on the files.

enter image description here

Now when you click on "Rename 9 items you get the panel shown below.

enter image description here


Select the photos to export and then press: ⇧⌘E

In the Export sheet, select the Photo Kind: and then select Sequential for File Name:, while leaving Sequential Prefix: blank, and Subfolder Format: to None.

Click the Export button.

Select a location for the photos to be exported to and click the Export button.

For the number of photos you mentioned, "~200", this will take a little while.

When the exporting is finished, then in Terminal change directory to the location of the exported photos.

cd /path/to/exported/photos

They will be named e.g. 1.png, 2.png, etc.

Use the following compound command to rename the files for a three digit zero padded filename.

for f in [0-9]*\.*; do mv -v -n "$f" "$(printf %03d "${f%.*}")"."${f##*.}"; done

The files will now be named e.g. 001.png, 002.png, etc.

  • This... works, but it fails the “teach Dad how to do this and not have to help him every time forevermore” test really really hard. :/ Oct 1, 2019 at 19:12
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz, I saw no requirement in the OP that dad needs to be taught anything so you wouldn't have to keep doing thing for him! My answer has the steps necessary to achieve what you were asking for, so I'm not sure what more you want. Oct 1, 2019 at 19:24
  • Sure. And I’ll take any solution that works; I’m just noting what would make for an even better one. Oct 1, 2019 at 19:27

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