Actions In Photoshop -- Part II

Article and Photography by Ron Bigelow

www.ronbigelow.com

Photoshop CS2 Used in this Tutorial

Moving Actions

To move an action, the action is simply dragged and dropped into its new location in the Actions palette.

Action Sets

Figure 1: Creating an Action Set

To help organize actions, action sets can be created in the Actions palette. These sets are essentially folders where actions can be placed. To create a set, the action or set just before where the set to be created is to be placed is chosen. Then, the Create new set icon at the bottom of the Actions palette is clicked (see Figure 1).

Figure 2: New Set Dialogue Box
The New Set dialogue box appears as shown in Figure 2. Once the new set is named, the set will be created in the Actions palette as shown in Figure 3 (this new set has been named the Sharpen Set).
Figure 3: The Sharpen Set Added to the Actions Palette

Actions can be moved to or created in a set. Figure 4 shows the Sharpen action after it has been moved to the Sharpen set.

Figure 4: Sharpen Action Moved to Sharpen Se

Deleting Actions, Action Steps, or Sets

Figure 5: Deleting an Action, Action Step, or set

To delete an action; action step; or set, the action; action step; or set to be deleted is selected. Then, the Actions palette pop-up menu is clicked and Delete is chosen (see Figure 5).

Duplicating an Action or Set

Figure 6: Duplicating An Action

To duplicate an action or action set, the action or set to be duplicated is chosen. Then, the Actions palette pop-up menu is clicked and Duplicate is chosen (see Figure 6)

Figure 7: Duplicated Action in Actions Palette
The duplicated action or set will be placed below the original in the Actions palette (see Figure 7).

Saving a Set

Figure 8: Saving a Set

A set of actions can be saved (only sets can be saved, not individual actions). To save a set, the set to be saved is chosen. Then, the Actions palette pop-up menu is clicked and Save Actions is chosen (see Figure 8).

Figure 9: Save Dialogue Box
The Save dialogue box appears as shown in Figure 9. The set is saved in the same manner as any other file.

Loading a Set

Figure 10: Loading a Set

To load (i.e., open) a set, the Actions palette pop-up menu is clicked and Load Actions is chosen (see Figure 10).

Figure 11: Load Dialogue Box
The Load dialogue box appears as shown in Figure 11. The set is loaded in the same manner as any file is opened.

Button Mode

Figure 12: Moving to Button Mode

An alternative way to display actions is to use the Button Mode in the Actions palette. To move the Actions palette into Button Mode, the Actions palette pop-up menu is clicked and Button Mode is chosen (see Figure 12).

Figure 13: Button Mode
The Actions palette will now appear as shown in Figure 13. Repeating this procedure will move the Actions palette back out of Button Mode.

Batch Processing with Actions

Figure 14: Batch Dialogue Box

One of the most time saving uses of actions is batch processing. Batch processing allows multiple images to be processed through the same steps. When batch processing is utilized with an action, the action can be applied to multiple images at the same time. For instance, fifty images could all be sharpened with the Sharpen action by invoking the batch command just once.

To batch process a set of files, choose File/Automate/Batch. The Batch dialogue box will appear as shown in Figure 14. There are numerous fields on the dialogue box:

Once the Batch dialogue box has been completed, clicking the OK button will start the batch processing of the files.

Summary

Actions are a great time saving tool and should be used by any photographer that wishes to automate part of his workflow.

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Actions -- Part I