You’re at the final stage of your approvals process – woohoo! Now all that’s left is to run the Image Approvals Script which will automatically separate your stills into Killed, Approved and Approved Selects folders.

Please note that this guide is for Mac. If your device is running Windows, please follow this guide instead.


Before we do anything, you need to triple check your folder structures and filenames are as described in Step 1 so that the Script doesn’t run into any problems.

Do not run the script if your folders and filenames do not follow these protocols. If you are unsure, contact your Image Approvals account manager.

Checking filenames

A quick way to check filenames is to open the “All Images” spreadsheet report and do a quick scroll through them to make sure none of the filenames look irregular.

Most importantly, you must check for duplicate filenames and can do so quickly by doing the following:

  • Select the first column
  • Click Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cells Rule > Duplicate Values then click OK.
  • Excel will now highlight any cells with duplicate values. The only cells that should be highlighted are those containing Image Name and Day marked as done information.
Screen recording of how to use the highlight cells rule in Microsoft Excel.

If you don’t have any duplicate filenames, fantastic! Move onto the next step below. If you do have duplicate filenames, contact your line manager for assistance on how to proceed.

Making lists

We now need to let the Script know exactly which images are killed, approved, or approved and also marked as a select.

Step 1

Open Mac TextEdit, and open the spreadsheet of all the killed images for your production.

Step 2

Copy all of the filenames from the spreadsheet and paste them into TextEditor.

 screen recording of how to copy and paste information from a spreadsheet into a Notepad file.

Step 3

Save this file specifically with the uncapitalised filename, killedlist, in the parent folder of your images. Eg where all of your image folders for this production are stored.

Repeat the steps above with your approved and approved selects spreadsheets, creating a new TextEditor file with each one and saving them as unkilledlist and unkilledselectslist respectively.

Now you have your lists, drop your Image Approvals account manager a message and request a copy of the Script. Once you’ve received it, move it into the same folder as your lists. Your folder should now look something like the below:

Screenshot of the folder location the Image Approvals script should be placed on Mac OS.

Backing up and making space

You’re almost ready to go! Because we are all about security when it comes to important files, it’s good practice to have a backup on another drive, so make sure you have one before going any further.

Next, make sure that you have enough space on the hard drive you are running the script on to hold a duplicate of your project. This is because the Script will copy and paste your images into the Killed, Approved and Approved Selects folders rather than move them. This is a safety feature just in case you’ve made a mistake anywhere along the way that causes an error.

Running the Bash script

Now for the cool bit! Watch this video or follow the steps below to learn how to run the Bash Script.

If you are running the COPY script this process may take some time and so if there are a lot of files, we recommend that you leave it running overnight.

Step 1
Copy and paste the script you are using, into the production folder which contains all of the image folders.

Right click the folder the script is contained in, then hold the option key until you see the option to “copy folder pathname”

Step 2The Terminal
Open the Terminal and type cd followed by a space, then paste the pathname you have just copied.

If the pathname contains any spaces, use your keypad arrows to navigate back through the pathname and add a backslash ( \ ) before any spaces.

Now press the enter/return key.

Next, type ls followed by a space then -l and hit return.

You will now see a list of everything inside your selected folder and you can easily copy the filename of the .sh file you want to run.

Next, type sh followed by a space then a period and a forward slash ( ./ ) then paste the script’s filename and hit enter. The script will now run.


Verifying success

It’s good practice to verify everything has worked as it should and the quickest way to do this is to make sure that the total number of images in the Killed and Approved folders matches the total number of images in the containing folder.

Don’t worry about the number in the Approved Selects folder – if the Killed and Approved folders are correct then this one will be too.

Screen recording verifying file numbers within a folder.

If you have followed everything correctly then you can now delete the images that appear in each folder outside of the Killed, Approved and Approved Selects folders as these are duplicates and now surplus to requirements.


And you’re done! Your approvals are complete and your production’s images are now neatly named and organised in such a way that means you can find exactly what you need in seconds.

The more often you go through this process the quicker it will get and before you know it, you’ll be managing each production’s approvals within a small handful of easy hours!