I would like to be able to set up a preset that will export a file to a given directory with a specific name, and append a sequence number that increments on each export, so for example the first export would be foo-1.jpg, then foo-2.jpg, and so forth. It appears that the File Naming box in the export user preset dialog allows that, but I can't get it to work. I have Rename To: Custom Name - Sequence, the Custom Text set to foo, and the Start Number to 1. But each time I try to export using that preset, I get a dialog that says foo-1.jpg already exists. I am given the option to select a unique name, but that only gives me a file named foo-1-2.jpg, which of course is not at all what I want. What am I doing wrong?

Interestingly, the template file is

s = {
id = "56729D6D-F978-45A3-BD11-EB64F58043B4",
internalName = "temp",
title = "temp",
type = "Export",
value = {
    collisionHandling = "ask",
    embeddedMetadataOption = "copyrightOnly",
    exportServiceProvider = "com.adobe.ag.export.file",
    exportServiceProviderTitle = "Hard Drive",
    export_colorSpace = "sRGB",
    export_destinationPathPrefix = "/Users/rlipsett/Dropbox/Photos/temp",
    export_destinationPathSuffix = "",
    export_destinationType = "specificFolder",
    export_postProcessing = "revealInFinder",
    export_useSubfolder = false,
    export_videoFileHandling = "exclude",
    export_videoFormat = "4e49434b-4832-3634-fbfb-fbfbfbfbfbfb",
    export_videoPreset = "original",
    extensionCase = "lowercase",
    format = "JPEG",
    includeVideoFiles = false,
    initialSequenceNumber = 1,
    jpeg_limitSize = 100,
    jpeg_quality = 0.50427353382111,
    jpeg_useLimitSize = false,
    metadata_keywordOptions = "flat",
    outputSharpeningLevel = 2,
    outputSharpeningMedia = "screen",
    outputSharpeningOn = false,
    reimportExportedPhoto = false,
    reimport_stackWithOriginal = false,
    reimport_stackWithOriginal_position = "below",
    removeLocationMetadata = true,
    renamingTokensOn = true,
    selectedTextFontFamily = "Myriad Web Pro",
    selectedTextFontSize = 12,
    size_doConstrain = true,
    size_doNotEnlarge = false,
    size_maxHeight = 640,
    size_maxWidth = 640,
    size_resizeType = "wh",
    size_resolution = 72,
    size_resolutionUnits = "inch",
    size_units = "pixels",
    size_userWantsConstrain = true,
    tokenCustomString = "temp",
    tokens = "{{custom_token}}-{{naming_sequenceNumber_1Digit}}",
    tokensArchivedToString2 = "{{custom_token}}-{{naming_sequenceNumber_1Digit}}",
    useWatermark = false,
    watermarking_id = "<simpleCopyrightWatermark>",
version = 0,

which appears to have no place for the current sequence number. There is initialSequenceNumber, but that's it.


  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it's the naming_sequenceNumber_1Digit \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Commented Feb 8, 2013 at 23:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ How are you starting the export? I've just tried this in my copy of Lightroom 4 and it works correctly. Also I've noticed that your export path has Dropbox in it, have you tried it with a purely local folder? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 6:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you selecting just one file at a time or are you selecting multiple? If you are selecting only one, each export is treated as a new export and Lightroom does not remember that you have already exported to this folder with the sequencing, and so starts again and creates a problem. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 0:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @damned yes, what I want is the behavior you describe above that apparently I can't have. I want Lightroom to figure out that I'm exporting files at different times to a directory and to choose the next sequence number. (An alternative way of thinking about this is to associate a current sequence number with a particular Export Preset and increment that number whenever the preset is used). But I guess I can't have that.... \$\endgroup\$
    – rogerl
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 2:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have posted an answer detailing another solution. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 2:37

3 Answers 3


It is not possible (as far as I can work out) to export photos in different batches to have sequenced filenames (e.g. foo-1.jpg, foo-2.jpg etc.) as an export option.

As @Endre Both has already mentioned:

As an alternative, instead of having that as an option, simply rename the images to the same name and export to the same folder. This will cause an error as two files in the same folder cannot have the same name, and so Lightroom will say

The following files already exist.


Do you wish to overwrite the existing files, skip the existing files, or rename the exported files to avoid collision?

Overwrite Skip Use Unique Names Cancel

By selecting Use Unique Names Lightroom will use sequenced names that take the form:


This will have the effect of sequencing the images even across multiple exports, as long as they are to the same folder.

Another solution is to set the starting number of the sequence to be one higher than the last image of the previous export.


Have you tried activating Choose a new name for the exported file under Export Location > Existing Files in the Export dialog? Then you don't need any renaming schemes to get sequence numbers. The first export uses the original file name (or any renaming scheme you've selected), the second export adds '-2', the third export adds '-3' etc.

Like so:


Isn't this close to what you want?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, I forgot to read other answers before I posted, but I believe mine added just a little to what you had already said \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 30, 2013 at 9:12

Sounds like it's working. It is applying the start number 1 to the first file. From the sounds of it, there was already a foo-1.jpg in the destination folder (maybe from a previous attempt?).

If you had a foo-1.jpg and foo-2.jpg, you would get warnings, and renaming, of the first two files, but after that it should go without a hitch and you'd get foo-3.jpg etc.

So I'd check the folder for any existing files. If there are a few, you could start with a higher start number

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not. I just tried again with a fresh preset and a fresh directory. The first file was correctly named foo-1.jpg. The second got the same message box, and when I selected using a unique name, I got foo-1-2.jpg. The next file became foo-1-3.jpg. Do you actually have this working the way it appears it's supposed to work? \$\endgroup\$
    – rogerl
    Commented Feb 8, 2013 at 22:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not using Lightroom at home, so can't look it up quickly. It's always worked in the past. I see you've looked into the template. Have you tried any other templates to see if the sequencing works on those? \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Commented Feb 8, 2013 at 23:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ None of the system templates that ship with the software use this feature. Do you know of anywhere that I can find other templates? \$\endgroup\$
    – rogerl
    Commented Feb 9, 2013 at 1:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Along with Custom Name - Sequence, there is Filename - Sequence and Shoot Name - Sequence. Have you tried those? Also you could try in preferences to reset the export presets. Maybe you've inadvertently changed something. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Commented Feb 9, 2013 at 2:54

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