You can download the plugin from here. In Trial mode, it can process up to 10 images at a time.

I had an interesting email from someone who uses my Search and Replace plug-in for Lightroom:

… I need to remove text (“Scan_”) from the filename for images I scanned 4-5 years ago (and are now in my LR catalog). It appears Search and Replace does not work on filenames, only on metadata. Pre-LR catalog I used a utility to do bulk file name changes on folders of files, but that will be a problem with the LR catalog. I could use the bulk filename changing tool, then delete the LR-cataloged-but-missing-image and then reimport the newly rename files. But it seems risky and I’d lose metadata for the images w/o XMP files.

Replacing text in filenames is a common need and, for example, Adobe Bridge’s renaming dialog box does it with its “string substitution” option – see the bottom of this article. But it has never been allowed in Lightroom. I suspect it is because Bridge’s “string substitution” was only introduced after when Lightroom 1.0’s batch rename was designed. And sadly, this omission has never been rectified, even 13 years after I started whining to Adobe about it….

So I began my reply by saying that Search & Replace couldn’t help with file renaming because plugins can’t rename photos. In other words, “Computer says No” (Little Britain, if the reference isn’t clear!). But all of a sudden, the solution revealed itself….

The method

  1. Use Search & Replace’s Transfer command to copy the file name to an unused field which Lightroom’s Batch Rename dialog can access – I suggest Headline
  2. Use Search & Replace Replace tab to remove “Scan_” from Headline or whatever field you choose
  3. Finally use LR’s Rename Photos command to rename the files using the field in the renaming template

It’s a whole lot easier than I ever thought it might be!


Using Search and Replace on an IPTC field, it’s possible to perform more complex renaming than Lightroom’s Batch Rename permits

“String Substitution” in Bridge

Warning: this method removes any pick flags, stacking, VCs , collections, history steps applied to the files:

  • In Lightroom, save the metadata back to the files – Ctrl or Cmd S
  • In Bridge, select the files and use Batch Rename
  • In its New Filenames section, select the option String Substitution
  • Next line down is where you choose what to find and what to replace it with
  • In Lightroom, synchronize the folder – this will remove the -Edit files and import the renamed versions