Design, Make

Photoshop: Create an Action

When you have a ton of photos (let’s say, wedding photos) that you’d like to format similarly (perhaps, scaling down to share online) a useful tool in Photoshop is to use “Actions”. It allows you to reproduce the same edit multiple times without having to redo EVERY step for EVERY image.

HOW IT WORKS:

Basically you are able to set up a certain function that you’d like replicated across all your images and then with a single click have it apply to each image. It takes a second to set up but it’s very useful when you have a lot of image or would like to save certain settings to use in the future.

SET IT UP:

For my example I have 149 photos from our wedding. I’d like to be able to share those online but the high-res photos would be huge and take forever to upload. (Click images to view larger)

So I created an “Action” to make them all no larger than 550 pixels wide and 72 dpi (screen resolution).

STEP 1:

DUPLICATE your folder of images because there’s no way to give the files new names with actions and you don’t want to save over your original photos.

Rename the new folder something obvious like “For Web”.

STEP 2:
Open a horizontal AND a vertical image (we have to create an Action for each depending on the layout).

STEP 3:
Starting with your vertical image. Select Window: Actions.

STEP 4:
Create a “New” Action by clicking the icon.

Name your Action accordingly (so it’ll make sense to you later). Then click “Record”.

STEP 5:
Select Image: Size

Set your size accordingly. I set mine as 550 px tall (because it’s a vertical image) and 72 DPI. NOTE: Be sure to have “Resample Image” checked (or you won’t be able to set the pixel height).

STEP 6:
Select File: Save (you can also select close after you save to add it to the action).

STEP 7:
Stop recording the action by clicking the icon.

STEP 8:
Follow the same steps for your horizontal image. Create a new “Action”.

Name the “Action” accordingly and set the size.

STEP 9:
Open all your images from your “Web” folder.

Select the correct “Action” according to the layout and push the play button. It’ll automatically resize and save.

1 Comment

  1. Photoshop: Vintage “Action” | Bliss & Miscellaneous

    February 16, 2011 at 12:59 am

    […] I talked about how to create an action to edit bulk photos. Another way to use them is to find pre-set “Actions” to give […]

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