WILD: Photoshop Actions

This week’s Why I Love Digi topic is Photoshop actions.

As a digital scrapbooker and designer, I do many of the same things in Photoshop over and over again. One example of this is when I complete my layouts, I always save a full resolution version and smaller version for posting online. Here are the steps I use for saving a smaller version.

  • change the image size of the layout to 600 x 600 pixels at 72 dpi (full size layouts are at 3600 x 3600 pixels and 300 dpi)
  • sharpen the smaller image by using an unsharp mask with amount at 75%, radius at 0.5 pixels and threshold of 0.

This is only two steps but I also have to configure the options at each step. I created a Photoshop action to save me time by automating this process. The action creation process in Photoshop CS5 is easy.

1. Go to the menu and select Windows->Actions to display the actions panel.

At the bottom of the panel are the basic commands needed to create the action.

  • stop – stops the execution of an action or recording of an action
  • record – this circle is red when an action is recording
  • play – this executes the highlighted action or action step in the action panel
  • new set – actions are organized into sets (the folders that you see in the action panel)
  • new action – this starts the creation of a new action and will prompt for an action name
  • delete – this deletes the highlighted action or step in the action panel

2. Set up your workspace as it will be anytime you run the action. In my case, I opened a completed layout (3600 x 3600 pixels at 300 dpi).

3. Select new action from the bottom of the Actions Panel.

The New Action window will appear. Name the action and select which Action Set to add the new action.

4. Hit the Record button on the New Action window to start recording the action.

The record button turns red to signify that the action is being recorded.

5. Execute all the steps for the action.

Notice that each completed step is listed under the action.

6. Hit the stop button to stop recording the action.

The record button turns gray again to signify that recording has stopped.

To execute an action, just select the action in the Actions Panel and hit play.

You can download the action I created for this tutorial for free. This action has only been tested in Adobe Photoshop CS5 but may work for earlier versions of Photoshop. Click on the image to download.

This action will save you valuable time!

A new blog train and the Simply Kelly Designs 1 year anniversary celebration kicks off tomorrow! Don’t miss it!


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