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Monthly Archives: November 2011

I get so tired of doing the same six steps over and over again! 

Do you need to do a repetitive series of tasks to a large number of images? Why not let Photoshop automate a batch process for you instead?

First you’ll need to create an Action.

  • Open one of the files you need to perform your process on, then open Window > Actions (or use keyboard shortcut Alt+F9).
  • Click on the fly-out menu of the Actions palette and select New Action.
  • Give your series of Photoshop commands a name and press the Record button.
  • Photoshop will now record everything that you do to the image until you press the Stop Recording button.
  • Close the sample image that you have been working with and click on File > Automate > Batch.
  • Select the Action that you have just recorded from the drop down list (Photoshop comes with a set of pre-defined actions):
    • Choose the location of the folder your images are currently located in, and
    • Set a destination folder for the completed images (it can be the same as the source folder, but we recommend that you protect your source files in case something goes wrong)
    • Photoshop also gives you the opportunity to rename your newly batch processed files with an easy-to-use file naming utility built into the batch processing dialog box.
  • Once you have your Action, source folder, destination folder, and (optional) file renaming parameters set, hit the OK button and let Photoshop do all the repetitive work for you.

Now go have a cup of tea.

How can I remember all those keyboard shortcuts? 

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of keyboard shortcuts. They save a lot of time.

If you need help remembering the shortcuts available in Photoshop, select Window > Workspace > Keyboard Shortcuts & Menus.

From this dialog box, select the Keyboard Shortcuts tab at the top of the dialog box. Click on the Summarize button and designate a file name and destination for the keyboard shortcut summary file. Photoshop will generate an HTML file and open it in a browser window for you. Print it for future reference or just open the file anytime you need help remembering a keyboard shortcut.

Do you need to copy an image into a new Photoshop file?

Good news. Copy the item you want to paste into Photoshop. Open Photoshop and select File > New (or press Ctrl-N) to start the process of creating a new file. Photoshop is smart enough to automatically analyze the contents of your clipboard and set the default size, resolution, and color model of the new image file to the exact specifications of the image you are importing. These dimensions will appear in a dialog box on your screen. You can accept Photoshop’s default specs or enter your own. When you have the specs you want, click OK and paste your copied image into the new file.

Don’t you just hate re-inventing the wheel?

It can be a real drag creating a complex selection area in Photoshop. The only thing worse is finding that you need to recreate the same selection area again later.

Don’t duplicate your effort. Save it instead.

Anytime you have an area selected you can go to the Select >  Save Selection menu item to save your selection area for later use.

The next time you need to work on that particular selection area, go to Select > Load Selection and pick your saved selection area from a drop down box.

You can save multiple selection areas in the same graphic by giving each a different name as you save them. This makes your PSD files bigger, but it can be a huge timesaver.