Change File Extensions of Files via Command Line on Mac OS

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Command line users may find it helpful to change and rename the file extension of a group of files in a directory. Let’s say you have a batch of files with the file extension “.txt”, but you want all those file extensions “.py” instead. That’s what we’re going to demonstrate here by relying on simple bash scripting to change a group of file extensions on the Mac OS / OS X command line, but this works in linux and other Unix flavors too.

Before you start, realize that this is not a file type, just the file extension. Additionally, this walkthrough approach intentionally uses the command line and thus is aimed at more advanced users. However, the Terminal isn’t the only way to do this, so if this is too advanced or irrelevant to your user skills, remember that Mac OS provides simple tools to rename batch files in Mac OS as well as batch file extensions in the folder. Finder too, which doesn’t require a command line at all. OK? Good for the command line approach using a simple one line bash script.

Incidentally, you must always make a copy and / or backupup create the files you are modifying, especially if you are new to the command line. Failure to do so could result in data loss, the Terminal is not forgiving of typos or errors, so don’t skip your backups.

How to Change all file extensions in a directory using the command line

Let’s take a few examples. In the first example, we are going to change all files in the current working directory with the extension “.txt” and change to “.py” instead. Assuming you are in the folder where you want to change all files in the current folder to a new file extension, here is the syntax to use:

for file in * .txt; do mv “$ file” “$ {file% .txt} .py”; done

Note that this uses the wildcard *, which means that anything and everything in the current directory that matches the file extension “* .txt” will be changed. Also note the multiple instances of “txt” and the one instance of “py” that you both want to modify to meet your requirements.

All this is to create a simple loop that finds files that match the wildcard and original file extension, and then run the “mv” command to move (rename) those files from the original file extension to the replacement. Pretty simple right?

Let’s take another example, let’s say we have a collection of image files in the current directory with filenames like “blahblah.jpg.JPEG”, but we really want them all to have the same filename as the less redundant and easier to read ” Blazblah.jpeg “. In that case, the syntax would look like this:

for file in * .jpg.JPEG; do mv “$ file” “$ {file% .jpg.JPEG} .jpeg”; done

The command line approach to changing file extensions is quite fast and the file extensions will be changed quickly, with no warning dialogs or confirmations.

And to reiterate again, this is not to convert file types or change anything other than file extension name.

Do you know of a better way to change some file extensions of files in a folder through the command line? I just want to scroll through another great command line tips (go here)? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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How to Change File Extensions of Files via Command Line in Mac OS: FAQ

Tutorial Summary: How to Change File Extensions of Files via Command Line in Mac OS

In this guide, we told you about How to Change File Extensions of Files via Command Line in Mac OS; please read all steps so that you understand How to Change File Extensions of Files via Command Line in Mac OS in case if you need any assistance from us, then contact us.

How this tutorial helping you?

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What is actual time in which this method complete?

The time to complete the How to Change File Extensions of Files via Command Line in Mac OS tutorial is 10+ minutes.

What are the supported Device?

Apple

What are the supported Operating system?

mac OS


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