My folder has 10,000 files and I need to look through all of them. They are all called: A0001.png, A0002.png, A0003.png,...A0100.png,...A0999.png,.. A1000.png,...A09999.png,...A10000.png.

I want to open them ten at a time, look through them, close them, and open the next ten, but I'm still getting familiar with using the terminal, so I'm not sure how to do that?

When I do:

open A000*.png

It opens too many.

  • 1
    Opening the first ten files is simple (and already asked & answered). Opening ten at a time, reading/inspecting their content, closing them then opening the next ten and so on is a different question so please clarify what is your actual goal here (the title should match the content of your post) Mar 9 '17 at 19:17
  • @don_crissti "Opening the first ten files is simple (and already asked & answered)." - I could not find such a post. If it's not too much trouble, could you direct me to this post so I can check if it is what I need?
    – Guest
    Mar 9 '17 at 19:23
  • a quick search returns How to move the first x files and How to move 100 files... (some of the answers show how to do something with the last n files but it's easy to change them to select the first n files) Mar 9 '17 at 19:27
  • Do you want to execute open A000X command over a file A00X ?
    – GC 13
    Mar 9 '17 at 19:31
  • @GC13 Sorry, I have clarified the question. Each of the files is an image file. I need to open 10 at a time and look through all the images.
    – Guest
    Mar 9 '17 at 19:37

In zsh:

open A000*.png([1,10])

for the first 10 ones.

In bash, you can always do:

open "${a[@]:0:10}"

Or in a loop:

while ((${#files[@]})); do
  open "${files[@]:0:10}"

That would also work in zsh, though in zsh, you could do it in a little less awkward syntax:

while (($#files)) {
  open $files[1,10]

Another option is to use xargs:

printf '%s\0' A000*.png | xargs -0n10 open

Though that affects open's stdin. zsh has a zargs function with similar features:

autoload zargs # in ~/.zshrc
zargs -n 10 A000*.png -- open

That lets you define that open as a function that needs to do whatever you want to do with those 10 files like:

open() {
  image_viewer $argv
  read -q '?continue? ' || return 255
  • Yes, this is what I need, however, it seems to not work on the Mac OS X machine I'm using. I did not realize there would be a difference, I apologize. I updated the post to include a osx tag. Do you happen to know how to perform this similar command on Mac OS X (10.6.8)? Currently I receive the following error: -bash: syntax error near unexpected token `('
    – Guest
    Mar 9 '17 at 19:48
  • @Guest, you need to use the zsh, not bash both of which come standard with macOS. Mar 9 '17 at 20:51

Using a loop and catching user input, it can be achieved:


# Store all list of files you want with extension png
for ((i=0; i<${#arr[@]};))
    # -s: do not echo input character
    # -n 1: read only 1 character (separate with space)
    read -s -n 1 key 

    for ((j=0; j<10; j++, i++))
        if [[ $key = "" ]]; then 
            open "${arr[$i]}";    # <--- This is where you will open your file.
  • Great ! Don't forget to upVote.
    – GC 13
    Mar 9 '17 at 20:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.