February 15, 2007

Master & Photoshop Commander

The long-standing Photoshop actions system (which debuted in PS4) makes it pretty easy to record a series of commands, then play them back.  Photoshop scripting (intro’d in PS7) lets developers do much more sophisticated automation, but it needs to be written by hand and is consequently much harder to create.  Thus there’s been a demand for a system that would let users use conditional logic in Photoshop (e.g. processing an image one way if it’s taller than it is wide, and another if it’s wider than it is tall), but without having to learn/write scripting.

To fill this gap, scripter Andrew Hall has created Photoshop Commander, a free add-on designed to put fairly sophisticated automation tools into the hands of non-programmers.  He explains,

Photoshop Commander is a Photoshop Script for CS2 and CS3 that creates powerful programming capability in Photoshop, using simple dialogs that anyone can work with and understand. Photoshop Commander provides a comprehensive easy-to-use menu system that allows non-programmers to create sophisticated workflow automations all without the need to understand a single line of programming code.

The script (which is free and is being released under the Creative Commons license), and a heap of accompanying Flash tutorials can be downloaded at

If you check out the first 10 minutes of the tutorials you will get some idea of what it can do and how it works.

Check it out, and let Andrew know what you think (via the comments section of the download page).

Posted by John Nack at 4:52 PM on February 15, 2007


  • LP — 6:23 PM on February 15, 2007

    Perhaps Adobe could provide a tool that takes a recorded PS action and converts it to the automation equivalent. It would give the user a great headstart on writing the automation script; the user would then enhance the script with any conditional logic etc.
    [Oh, believe me, there’s a ton we want to do in this department (actions to script; history to actions/script; etc.); we just haven’t been able to make the stars align yet. But we’ll keep trying. –J.]

  • Christopher Holland — 7:54 AM on February 16, 2007

    It is good to hear that there are things in store for us on the scripting front. I’m the author of the popular Lomo and Holga scripts on Flickr (check the techniques group) and would love to have more features than we already do. I’d love to see some ways to provide deprecated features for older versions of PS, for one. I know that could be hard to handle, but it’s just one thing that came to mind immediately.
    I would be interested in hearing more about future scripting and automation features if you get the chance.
    [Cool. Our guys are pretty swamped getting CS3 out the door, but I know they have thoughts (and questions) about the future. I’ll try to post some here and/or point to their blogs. –J.]

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