At a Glance
A decades-old Mac OS trick is that if you want a folder of files to sort a particular way when viewed in the Finder, you rename those files, adding the appropriate alphabetical or numerical prefix to each, so that sorting the window’s contents by name achieves the desired results. For example, you can add a prefix of 01, 02, 03, and so on to each file’s name.
Many, many years after I first used it, this trick continues to work well. But it remains a bit of a hassle, especially if you're working with a large number of files: You must manually rename each file, keeping track of the desired sort order as you go. Sequenzetto is a simple utility that makes this custom-sort-order renaming easier. First you Click Choose Folder and navigate to the folder of files you want to sort. (Unfortunately, you can’t just drag a folder into the Sequenzetto window.) Sequenzetto lists the files inside that folder, letting you drag them up and down the list to reorder them. Once you’ve arranged the files in your desired order, click Rename Items and Sequenzetto adds a numerical prefix—000001, 000002, 000003, and so on—to each file's name, forcing the files to sort, in the Finder, in your preferred order. The process doesn’t get much easier or quicker. (Sequenzetto also offers a Remove Indices feature that strips this numerical prefix from each filename.)
Sequenzetto is relatively new, so I expect it to gain more features going forward. One feature I’d like to see is built-in Quick Look previews, so you can get a better look at each file when choosing your sort order. It would also be great if you could choose the prefix format—my custom-sorting needs rarely require six-digit prefixes.
There are a few other utilities for the Mac that provide a similar sort-by-renaming feature, including my favorite file-renaming program, Name Mangler ( ). But if you don’t need the extra features of those utilities, Sequenzetto is easy and effective.