O'Reilly logo

OS X Yosemite: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Icon Names

Every document, program, folder, and disk on your Mac is represented by an icon: a colorful little picture that you can move, copy, or double-click to open. In OS X, icons look more like photos than cartoons, and you can scale them to practically any size.

An OS X icon’s name can have up to 255 letters and spaces. If you’re accustomed to the 31-character or even eight-character limits of older computers, that’s quite a luxurious ceiling.

If you’re used to Windows, you may be delighted to discover that in OS X, you can name your files using letters, numbers, punctuation—in fact, any symbol except the colon (:), which the Mac uses behind the scenes for its own folder-hierarchy designation purposes. And you can’t use a period to begin a file’s name.

Rename One File

To rename a file, click its name or icon (to highlight it) and then press Return. (Or, if you have time to kill, click once on the name, wait a moment, and then click a second time.)

In any case, a rectangle appears around the name (Figure 2-2, top). At this point, the existing name is highlighted; just begin typing to replace it. If you type a very long name, the rectangle grows vertically to accommodate new lines of text.

Top: Click an icon’s name (top left) to produce the renaming rectangle (top right), in which you can edit the file’s name. OS X is kind enough to highlight only the existing name, and not the suffix (like .jpg or .doc).Now begin typing to replace the existing name (bottom left). When you’re finished typing, press Return or Tab to seal the deal, or just click somewhere else. Now begin typing to replace the existing name (bottom left). When you’re finished typing, press Return or Tab to seal the deal, or just click somewhere else.Bottom: The new Rename dialog box lets you mass-rename files in all kinds of devious ways--in a single step.

Figure 2-2. Top: Click an icon’s name (top left) to produce the renaming rectangle (top right), in which you can edit the file’s name. OS X is kind enough to highlight only the existing name, and not ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required