To quickly set guides in the center of any size and/or resolution Photoshop document, set the Preferences for Units & Rulers to Percentage, show your Rulers (Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + R), and record an action dragging guides to the 50% marks. (You can also select View > New Guide to place the guide at the 50% mark instead of dragging it out from the rulers.) Next time you need guides, simply play the action. For more information about creating actions, please see:
Basic Actions and Batch Processing
In this episode of The Complete Picture, learn how you can accomplish more in less time using actions and batch processing in PSCS3’s to streamline your workflow and minimize repetitive tasks.
Advanced Actions, Droplets and Scripts
In this episode of The Complete Picture, take automation to a new level in PSCS3 by mastering complex actions in order to turn several steps into a single click. Discover droplets, integration with LR and scripts.
Based a a customer request, Thomas modified the original scrips so that it now will open an image and convert the Background into a layer and name the layer the file name – without the extension.
Installing the OpenAsLayerNoExtension.jsxscript will allow you to open a file and have Photoshop CS5 automatically promote the background into a layer AND rename that layer the same as the file name (without the extension). This script works for the Open command, opening files through Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw. Special thanks to Thomas Ruark at Adobe for creating and sharing this script!
Directions to install:
Copy the script into the Photoshop CS5 folder / Presets / Scripts / Event Scripts Only
Launch Photoshop CS5
Select File > Scripts > Script Events Manager
In the Script Events Manager dialog box:
Click to enable “Enable Events to Run Scripts/Actions:”
For Photoshop Event: use the drop down to select “Open Document”
In the Script drop down select “OpenAsLayer”
Click the Add button (it should show up in the upper list box)
Click the Done button
Open your document. In the Layers palette, the Background has been changed to a layer and renamed the document name. Note: This script will have no effect on documents that do not have a background layer.
There are two columns to the left of recorded actions/commands in the Actions panel. The first column controls if the command in the action is to be played or skipped – when on, a check is displayed, when off, it’s an empty well. The second column determines if a “modal” dialog box will be displayed when the command is played – when on, a small dialog box icon is displayed, when off, it’s an empty well. Note: commands that do not display a dialog box are blank in the second column.
Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -clicking on either of these two column’s icons (the check, the modal dialog box or the empty well) will toggle on or off all of the other commands/modal controls. Note that this shortcut works on other panels as well. For example, Option (Mac)/ Alt (Win) -clicking the eye icon in the Layers panel toggles the visibility of all other layers.
In order to export all of your Layer Comps as independent files, select File > Scripts > layer Comps to Files. You can also export your layer Comps directly to Web Photo Gallery (WPG). And of course you can add a custom keyboard shortcut for either of these scripts by choosing Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts and select Shortcuts For: Application Menus.
If you choose to view your swatches (or styles) as a list, you can double click on the name of the swatch to rename it (this is true for any panel that displays it’s items as lists (Actions, Layer Comps etc.).
To improve batch processing performance, in the History panel,select History Options from the fly-out menu and deselect Automatically Create First Snapshot. Depending on the length of your action, you might also want to reduce the number History States in the Preferences > Performance panel. Just don’t forget to increase the number of states when you finished batch processing!
The Batch command can be recorded as part of an action to perform multiple batches in sequence. In addition, you can batch process multiple folders without reorganizing them on the hard drive – simply create aliases within a folder to the other folders you want to process, and select the Include All Subfolders option in the Batch command dialog box (or use a droplet).
You can save the steps in an Actions as a text file by pressing Control +Alt (Windows) or Command + Option (Mac) while selecting Save Actions from the Actions panel fly out menu. This is handy for reviewing or printing the contents of an Action (however, you can’t reload the text file back into Photoshop). Note that ALL of the Actions in ALL sets are printed out, so you may want to limit the number of actions you have loaded to eliminate a lot of deleting of unnecessary information.
In order to save an action, you must select the Set that the action is in (using the Actions panel). If there are multiple actions in the set, they will ALL be saved (this is a feature). If you only want to save a single action, drag it into it’s own lonely little set. If you have received an action from someone or want to load a saved action from one computer to another, navigate to the action using Bridge, and double click on it to load.
Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -click the disclosure triangle next to an action to collapse or expand all components of that action. Viewing the components (or recorded setting of a command) can be especially helpful when trouble shooting actions. Another way to trouble shoot is to select the Playback Options from the Actions panel’s fly-out menu and choose Step by Step or even Pause For xx Seconds in order to watch the action play more slowly.
When recording actions that will be played back on files of various size, it might help to record the action with the Ruler Units set to Percentage However, resolution-dependent commands such as type size, feather amount, sharpening settings etc, may not work as expected when the file size changes.
Double clicking on a single command in the Actions panel will play the command if there are no options associated with the command (Select> All or Edit > Copy for example). If, however there are options associated with the command (such as Image Size), Photoshop will display the necessary dialog box. This is an excellent feature if you want to make changes to that command – but beware, whatever you enter in the dialog box will now become the recorded value in the action). To bypass this option, and simply play a command using it’s recorded options, (without a dialog box appearing), add the Command (Mac) / Control (Win) key when double clicking the name of the command.
Since I am rarely able to record an entire action without making a mistake, it’s good to know that Actions can be modified in a number of ways. For example, individual commands can be repositioned by dragging them (in the Actions panel) within an action or, they can be moved by dragging them to another Action. Add the Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -drag to copy a command within an action or copy it to another action.
If a command is not needed, simply select it and click the Trash icon at the bottom of the panel or, to bypass the confirmation dialog box, drag the command to the trash icon. As you create more and more actions, it becomes easy to “harvest” commands from other actions. You can even play and action while recording!