How to automate Photoshop using Actions

You can automate your regular & repetitive Photoshop image editing tasks and actions. Repetition can be very good for building habits, but it can make a task quite boring and unattractive. If you are a graphic artist, it can get very boring and laborious when you must repeat the same thing repeatedly for hours. You may have a graduation, wedding, or any other big event, and you have a lot of photos to edit before you print. Just the thought of it can give you a headache, plus all that screen time is not good for your eyes. Well, thanks to Adobe Photoshop, they have made it easier to do constantly repeated tasks in a short time. Photoshop Action can be used to automate tasks that you have to repeat.

How to automate Photoshop using Actions

What is Photoshop Action?

Photoshop Action is a way that you can automate certain repeated actions. You plan what you want to do with your work, plan the steps to take, and record the actions. Photoshop actions work like macros in Microsoft Word. You will find default actions in Photoshop that you also use; just experiment and see which ones will work for your project.

How to automate Photoshop using Actions

Photoshop makes jobs that have to be repeated a breeze, just click your assigned key or press play and the work gets done. In this article, you will learn how to create and use Photoshop Action to make your editing easier.

Plan the action

Think about what you are trying to achieve and come up with the best and most effective way to do it. If you have photos to edit and they all require the same basic things done to them, this is a good time for Photoshop Action. If you edit a lot of times in the past, you may have developed different ways or strategies to accomplish your task. Choose the best strategy that is easiest and requires the least amount of steps to record for Photoshop Action. You can edit actions after they are created, however, it is best to get it right from the beginning. You may even write down the steps on paper, so that it is easier to remember them.

Create the action

To start recording Photoshop Actions you need to access the Actions window. By default, the Actions window is at the top right of the work area.

If the Action window is not there, you can open it by going to the top of the work area and clicking Window then Actions or pressing Alt + F9 on your keyboard. The Actions window has some default actions that you can try out.

To record the new action, go to the Action Window and press Create New Action.

After pressing Create New Action the New Action options window will appear. Here you can give the Actions names, then the Set which is the group or folder that the action will be saved in. The Set that is there are Default Actions, it would be a good idea to create a new Set for your actions so that they are different from the default ones.

To create a new Set for your custom Actions, go to the bottom of the Actions window and you see Create New Set (folder-like icon), click it. A window will pop up for you to name your set.

You can give your set a unique name that you will remember. You can also create multiple sets that can be for different tasks that you have to do.

Now that you have made your custom Set you will see it in the list of options when you create a new Action.

You can create a key combination to activate the Action. This can use a Function Key (F1-F12) + CTRL or ALT. When you choose the Function Key, you can choose the option for CTRL or ALT. Creating the key combination is optional.

When you are finished choosing the options you press Record to start recording your actions.

Save the action

After recording your actions, click the Stop Playing/Recording button. This will save the Action so that you can use it at a later date.

Using Photoshop Action

When you are ready to automate an action just click on the one you want, whether default or custom and click Play Selection and it will Automate your Action.

To delete an Action or a Set you just select it, then go to the bottom of the Action window then press the Delete icon (it looks like a Garbage bin).

Press OK to confirm the deletion or press Cancel.

Why should I use Photoshop Actions?

Photoshop Actions will take actions that you do over and over and make them automatic just like a macro in Microsoft Word. If you can find the easiest way to do a task then record the steps with photoshop action and use it whenever you have a lot of the same tasks to do.

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