Image import order


i am running CP on a Mac. the image files are all named “plate1_1.jpg” … “plate1_384.jpg”, and that’s how they are ordered in the folder they are in. how can i make sure the images are loaded into CP in the same order?

when i load images using text (“plate”), CP uses a different order: it interprets the alphanumerical file name order differently than the Mac: “plate1_1.jpg” is followed by “plate1_10.jpg”, “plate1_101.jpg”, and “plate1_101.jpg”, and not the expected “plate1_2.jpg”, “plate1_3.jpg”, …

interestingly, using “order” and “1” as settings yields a strange order: 101 followed by 104 and 107.

obviously I could run a batch rename program to prepend “001” … “384” to the file names, but I would like to avoid this.

any ideas?




Hi Thorsten,

Here a run-down of the order that files are processed on a Mac:

  • CP processes leading-number named files first (eg 0019.jpg would be processed before Image0019.jpg or image0019.jpg). Leading-number named files are processed in numerical order.

  • Leading-capital letter named files are processed before leading-lowercase letter named files (Image0019.jpg before image0019.jpg). Leading-capital letter named files are processed in alphabetical order first (A002.jpg before B001.jpg) and then by numerical order (A001.jpg before A002.jpg).

  • Leading-lowercase letter named files are processed in numerical order.

  • Trailing letters/numbered files are processed following the same rules, after all the leading letter/number rules have been applied. (Plate01B.jpg before Plate01a.jpg)

Note: CP will process files according to the first digit (so Image15.jpg comes before Image2.jpg). To fix this, make sure the digits are standardized (Image02.jpg is processed before Image15.jpg). This should be the case for images coming from a microscope, but if you name your folders manually, be careful!

Folders are processed according to the same rules, (e.g., ALL images within Plate01 are processed before those within Plate02) and within folders file processing follows the same rules.

To be safe when manually naming files or folders:

  • Stick with all uppercase, or all lowercase, so you don’t get confused

  • Use leading zeroes on numbers (eg 000001)

If making your platemap match the the microscope-specific nomenclature turns out to be very difficult/confusing, it may be easier to rename your images. CP has a module called RenameOrRenumberFiles which can help.



thanks, Mark; the program that produces the files does not give me the option to add leading zeros to fill in for ‘empty’ digits (001, … 384), but the CP rename functions works like a treat (export as …_001.jpg to …_00384.jpg, then rename by keeping 7 right-most characters from file name to yield 001.jpg … 384.jpg)