Renaming a batch of files in the Finder can be a hassle if the new names change the files’ positions in the folder list. After you rename the first one, the Finder will follow it to its new location in the list, leaving the others behind (that’s assuming you’re sorting them by name, of course).

Let’s say you have three sequential files – test1.txt, test2.txt, and test3.txt – and you want to rename them atest1.txt, atest2.txt, and atest3.txt, respectively. You select test1.txt, press Return to enter renaming mode, and insert an a at the beginning of the name. When you press Return again to confirm atest1.txt as the new name, the Finder’s focus will move to the top of the file list. You’ll then have to scroll down the list again, to the ‘t’ section, to find the other two files.

But you can prevent that from happening. As soon as you press Return to confirm the name change, quickly press the down-arrow key. That will change the file selection to the next file – in this case, test2.txt. The renamed file will move up to its proper position at the top of the list, but the Finder’s focus will stay down below where the other files are. Be quick about pressing the down-arrow key, or you’ll lose your chance.

As soon as you enter a new name for a file and press Return, press the down-arrow key; that will shift the file selection to the next file in the list

This isn’t the only way to force the Finder to keep the focus on the files that haven’t been renamed. If you don’t mind reaching over to the mouse, you can just type in the new filename and then use the mouse to click on the next file in the list; the first file’s new name will be saved, but the Finder won’t jump to its new spot. If the files were created in sequence, you could also try sorting the Finder window by date instead of alphabetically; then the first renamed file will stay right where it is and you’ll be able to navigate to the next one easily.