After importing files in LR, they keep their name that the camera gave them (e.g. DSC123) I then export them using a different name and that means that when I compare exported photos to those in LR, I can't use the name (as it's different) so instead have to check the images look the same which is obviously not very accurate.

I allow clients to choose the photos they want but they may come back and say, can I try IMG-27 in black and white?

It would be better if I could go straight to the image they were talking about in Lightroom rather than spending time hunting for the one they mentioned.

Is it possible to rename the timeline files like this?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Good question. I skirt around the problem by using an Export List plugin which produces a text file with the mapping, Then I ingest it into a DB which helps be do the translation. Hope some finds a better way! \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 17:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why not rename the files as they are transferred, before importing? For example, I've named the file to be the "taken" date/time, which facilitates consolidating files from multiple cameras. So do something that has the same small sequence number in it as your client references. \$\endgroup\$
    – JDługosz
    Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 11:25

2 Answers 2


There are a couple of ways around this problem:

  1. After importing the photos, select them all in the Grid view, then hit F2 or say Library > Rename Photos...

    You can use the same renaming rules here as on export, except now your master files are named with the same scheme your client sees.

    If you find value in the camera's native file naming scheme — say, because it gives you the shutter activation count — you can still get that. When you rename an image from within Lightroom, it remembers the previous name, and shows it in some of the Library view's Metadata panel modes. (Not all.) I prefer the "EXIF and IPTC" mode.

  2. When renaming on export, the Custom option lets you include the original file name as a component of the new name. You could rename files named like _IGP1672.DNG to AndersonJ_042_IGP1672.JPG, for example. The photo describes itself: "I am the 42nd photo in the Joe Anderson shoot, made from the master file _IGP1672.DNG."


In addition to the above, you could of course rename already on import.
Alternatively, on export, you can check the "add to catalog" and "add to stack" options, which will group the jpg with your original.


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