September 23, 2010
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.
September 22, 2010
To change the settings recorded in an action, double click on the command in the action and modify as needed.
March 24, 2010
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.
March 5, 2010
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.).
August 28, 2009
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!
August 27, 2009
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).
August 26, 2009
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.
August 25, 2009
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.
August 24, 2009
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.
August 21, 2009
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.
August 20, 2009
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.
August 19, 2009
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!
August 18, 2009
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)
August 17, 2009
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.
June 24, 2009
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.