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.
Posts tagged "Automation"
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!
Use the Action Options flyout (from the Actions Panel) to assign a Function key in order to quickly run an action. You can simply choose F1- F12 (the number of F-keys will vary depending on platform and keyboard layout) or add a keyboard modifier (Shift, for example). If you assign a F-key that is already in use by Photoshop (F5 for example, is assigned by default to show and hide the Brush panel), Photoshoop will remove it from the default (the Brushes panel in this example) and assign it to your action. Some F-keys may not be available if the operating system is using them. In this case, you will need to change or remove the F-key via the operating system).
In addition, you can color code your actions (red for image size changes, blue for different sharpening amounts etc.). This color coding is only displayed in Button Mode (see yesterday’s post)
In the Actions Panel, use the fly-out menu to access Button Mode to view your actions as clickable buttons. If you’re working with several actions (in a production environment for example), you might want to rearrange the panel so that it fits horizontally along the bottom of your screen, making more actions accessible without scrolling. Clicking the button runs the action. Note: new actions and changes to existing actions can not be made in Button Mode, you will need to return to Normal Mode (uncheck the Button Mode option using the fly-out) to make changes.
Select Layer > Arrange > Reverse to reverse the stacking order of the selected layers. Note: if the layers are in different groups this option is not available.
Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + “[“ or “]” moves the layer up or down. This is a very useful shortcut when recording actions as the specific name of the layer is not recorded.
• Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) + “[“ or “]” targets the layer above or below the currently targeted layer.
• Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) +Shift + “] “or + “[“ adds the next layer up or down to the targeted layer(s) (note when you get to the top or bottom of the layer stack, Photoshop will “wrap around” to continue adding/subtracting layers).
• Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) + “,“ or “.” targets the bottom/top -most layer.
• Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) + Shift + “,“ or “.” targets all layers that fall between the currently targeted layer to the top or bottom of the layer stack.
Note: these shortcuts are essential when recording actions as they help to select layers, but do not record the specific “name” of the layer in the action.
Take automation to a new level in Photoshop CS3 by mastering complex actions in order to turn several steps into one-click. Discover droplets, integration with LR and scripts in this tutorial video (Advanced Automation (Actions, Droplets And Scripts) in Photoshop).
In this video tutorial (Automating Photoshop Using Actions), Julieanne Kost teaches you how to accomplish more in less time using actions and batch processing in Photoshop CS3 to streamline your workflow and minimize repetitive tasks.