Mac file naming question

Is there any reason why I would be unable to rename a file sitting in a folder? And then I copy the same file to another folder and suddenly I can rename it.

I have a bunch of sound effects that for some reason got misnamed so the “wav” is stuck on the end of the file rather than as a file extension. For some reason in the folder where I originally placed all these files, I can’t rename the files by clicking on their names. (And Macs wonderfully don’t have a rightclick-rename function, at least not that I can find.) I copy pasted one of these files to another folder and was then able to rename it. But I still can’t do it in the original folder where they are all sitting.

I guess I will just copy the whole folder somewhere else and then try to do the renaming. But this just seems totally bizarre, arbitrary, and magical to me. Is there any underlying voodoo that might explain this? Something to do with preferences in Finder, or folder settings, etc.?

p.s. if you’re going to post a snarky “macs suck” comment, don’t bother.


Is the folder locked?

No; the files themselves aren’t showing as locked either, yet in the “get info” page the name/extension field is grayed out and can’t be accessed.

Ok that is really weird. I bet there is some crazy command line shit you could do but that would be beyond me.

Oh well, thanks for trying.

In the get info box under details (make sure it’s expanded) are all your rights set to ‘Read & Write’?

Ah, that did it. For some reason the folder was set to Read Only. I guess the source I copied it from had that setting.

Problem solved, thanks!


btw, highlight the file and hit enter to rename without having to go to the ‘get info’ area.

Congratulations, you’re the millionth person to be confused by the fact that file renaming in Unix depends on the directory permissions, not the file permissions! You win a beard and suspenders; wear them with pride.

(Not that this behavior isn’t sensible: It is. But it surprises everyone at some point.)