Batch Processing and Recording Actions in Photoshop

2015-02-19 Photoshop

Sometimes you may have to repeat the same operation (or set of operations) on more than one image. Doing everything manually for every image is rather pointless. In this article I will show you how to record and use actions to perform batch operations in Photoshop CS6.

First we need to create a set. Think about a set as a directory that holds similar actions. This is not required but it’s good to keep tidiness.

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Once your set is created, we’ll add an action. Don’t forget to assign it to the newly created set.

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To record all of the required operations under the action start by clicking on the red dot to begin recording. All next things you will do, will be recorded so focus on what you’re going to do.

As an example my action will resize huge image to some smaller size. Prepare a sample file and open it. Then go to

File -> Automate -> Fit Image

Change the width and height to some smaller values that will be applied to the image. In my case I opened 6000px width and 4000px height image and set output to 1600px and 1200px respectively. Click on the checkbox if you don’t want your image to be enlarged in case it’s smaller than output size.

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Now save the file anywhere. Destination doesn’t matter right now but file format and quality does. Those settings will be used later when batch action will take place so set them to values you want to really use.

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Check “As a Copy” checkbox as well.

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Once the file is saved. Stop recording. This is all we need for now.

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Guess what. Now we can get rid of the “Open” action. It won’t be needed. Files will be opened in a different way. Keep reading and you will see everything. Now select “Open” and click on a Trash icon to remove from the actions.

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That’s how your actions should look like – just two operations – fitting the image and saving it. Simple, isn’t it?

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Now it’s time for the the batch operation. Prepare two directories and call them whatever you want but for consistency I recommend using something like “In” and “Out” for input and output. Now copy into “In” a bunch of your pictures you want to resize. Leave “Out” empty. Next follow

File -> Automate -> Batch

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Finally set everything as you see on the last picture. Pick up the set and the action. Select both “Source” and “Destination” directories.

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When you’re ready press OK and see that Photoshop will perform the batch resize for all of your pictures.