Remove last n characters of file in MacOs

Published by Tobias Hofmann on

1 min read

With MacOS and finder you can easily substitute characters of files using the rename functionality. Just select 2 or more files, right click, and inform the character you want to substitute, like _ with space.

To remove the last N characters from a file that looks like Text-2018221112.mp4 to Text is more complicated. The rename dialog does not understand regex. What you can use is the shell and rename

Install rename

brew install rename

Go to the directory with the files and run

rename -n 's/.{11}.mp4/\.mp4/' *

Rename uses the well known sed syntax s/char/replace/.

  • -n runs the replace in simulation mode. It will print the result, without renaming the files yet. Perfect for testing.
  • {11} number of characters to replace
  • \.mp4 is to insert mp4 again, as .{}11.mp4 will replace also the file suffix

In case the output matches your goal, run rename without -n and the files will be renamed.

rename 's/.{11}.mp4/\.mp4/' *
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Categories: REST

Tobias Hofmann

Doing stuff with SAP since 1998. Open, web, UX, cloud. I am not a Basis guy, but very knowledgeable about Basis stuff, as it's the foundation of everything I do (DevOps). Performance is king, and unit tests is something I actually do. Developing HTML5 apps when HTML5 wasn't around. HCP/SCP user since 2012, NetWeaver since 2002, ABAP since 1998.

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