How To Use Photoshop Actions?
Photoshop Actions are a great start for graphic designers who’re looking to become more efficient in their workflow. With this technique, designers can quickly accomplish tasks that would otherwise take countless manual hours. If you aren’t using Photoshop actions for editing images and adding the effect to images, you might be ignoring one of the best features of Photoshop.
We recommend you to use it for your better efficiency and productivity and, if you don’t know anything about Photoshop Action, don’t worry! Please read on this blog to learn about Photoshop actions, how to download and use them to enhance your images.
1. Photoshop Action
It is a sequence of “recorded” commands that you can apply to multiple images quickly to make similar changes. They help save your time in the editing process by completing multiple tasks in a single click that you repeatedly do. You can do things like change file sizes, save files in a specific format, and add effects to images and banners using Photoshop actions.
It is important to note that the recorded action can act somewhat differently on different files, especially images with varying image resolutions or sizes. If you want to use Photoshop action, you can download and install them from other sources or record and create Photoshop actions on your own.
2. Benefits of using Photoshop Actions
There is no doubt that photoshop actions are pretty amazing. They can transform your dull and boring photo into an intense or vintage masterpiece with the click of a button. Photoshop actions are fantastic for graphic designers. If you’re looking for other reasons to use Photoshop Actions, here is a list of reasons why you should use them:
- Save time and speed up your process – Manually editing hundreds of images is tiring. Photoshop Actions can help save your time, efforts and speed up your workflow. You can edit multiple photos with just one click instead of repeating the same steps to all the images.
- Improve your photos and other templates – You can download the Photoshop Actions and use them to enhance your images. They make your images elegant just in one click (as a result of combined techniques.)
- You get the image quality of professionals – With Photoshop Actions, you need to hire any professional to edit or enhance your images. You can add effects to multiple images on your own, saving a lot of time and money.
- Create consistent images with the same effect – Since the Photoshop Actions are the recorded commands, the results will surely be consistent for each image. Moreover, you will get better results with Photoshop Actions.
- Helps improve social media presence – If you want to increase your followers and likes on any social media channel, we recommend using Photoshop to design your graphics. Photoshop Actions help you design high-resolution images with just one click. Choose the right platform, publish your art and improve your presence. So what are you waiting for? Just choose the right social media platform and Photoshop Actions to impress your audience.
- User friendly – Photoshop Actions are simple to use. You don’t need to be a master in it; even beginners can use them without any issue.
3. Who can all use Photoshop actions?
Anyone aware of Photoshop can use Photoshop actions to edit a bunch of images and save time. However, here is a list of a few specific industries for whom Photoshop Actions can be extremely useful:
- Bloggers, Fashion Bloggers, and Wedding Bloggers
- Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest addicts
- Amateur and Professional Photographers
- Lifestyle Brands and Creative Magazines
- Creative People, such as artists and designers
4. How To Install Photoshop Actions?
Photoshop Actions help you bulk edit a batch of images to create a similar look and feel or play around with new techniques. If you’re planning to download and install a Photoshop action for particular effects, here are some easy steps to install them:
- Download and unzip the Action file you want to install and use.
- Then open Photoshop software and then navigate to Window, followed by Actions. The Actions Panel will open.
- Select Load Actions from the Menu and then select the unzipped action. Now the install the file with .atn extension. Also, many downloadable Photoshop Actions include non installable readme or instruction files.
- The action is now installed and you can use it as per your requirement.
5. Steps To use The Photoshop Actions
You don’t need to learn any programming skills to use Photoshop Actions.
Once you’ve found and installed a Photoshop action that you want to apply to your images, it’s time to run that action. Running an action is pretty simple, and this is how it’s done:
1. Find and select the desired action that you want to run on the images in the Actions panel
2. Now navigate to the bottom of the Actions palette and click the “play” button lying on its side.
3. Your image will adjust according to your chose Action’s settings.
Follow the steps mentioned above to use the photoshop actions. Are you still confused? Let us help by showing you an example. But before this, let’s discuss all the buttons and commands you might need to know for using Photoshop actions.
6. Turn on Photoshop Actions
Open your Photoshop software and then ensure that your action palette is visible. If the palette is not visible/observable, go to Menu > Window > Actions (ALT or Option + F9).
7. Explore the Photoshop Actions panel
Let’s explore the 12 essential buttons available in the Photoshop Actions panel
- Play: It plays the selected action.
- Stop: You can use it to stop recording or playback
- Record: You can use this to start recording a new action. You can also use it to add new commands to any existing action.
- New set: It is used to create a new action set.
- New action: It will add a new action to your existing set.
- Delete: It will delete a selected set, command, action.
- Action set: It will organize your actions.
- Action: The action itself, such as open image, transform image, resize the image, and more.
- Steps/Command: It can be a single Photoshop command or multiple commands together to build an action.
- Checkbox: The checked commands will be executed, while unchecked ones will not.
- Menu dialog: You can use the menu to control user input into an action.
- Action panel menu: Scroll down the blog to read more about this.
8. Get to know all Photoshop Actions menu
This Menu contains most of the buttons discussed earlier; however, it also includes a few more valid entries.
- Button Mode
If you activate the button mode, each action will be displayed as a button. If you want to switch back, uncheck the button mode by clicking on it again. The button mode looks similar to the above image. The only difference between the button and list mode is that you can’t see the commands in button mode.
- Playback Options
By clicking on the playback options button, you get three further options:
- Accelerated – This allows you to playback actions as fast as possible. Usually, it’s the best possible choice you can make.
- Step by Step: It refreshes the screen after your every command.
- Pause for x Seconds: This option pauses the set for a few seconds (you choose) before moving to the next command from your action.
- Clear All Actions
This button eliminates all sets and actions from your action panel.
- Reset Actions
It’s similar to ‘Clear All Actions.’ The only difference is that it adds the default set to the action panel.
- Load Actions
It allows you to load actions or action sets into the action panel.
- Replace Actions
It replaces all your sets/actions with the selected ones.
- Save Actions
It allows you to save your action and share it with your friends. The extension of the saved filed will be .atn.
9. Steps to create first Photoshop Action
Here’s an example of applying Photoshop actions: Let’s take a bunch of images that you want to resize and resharp. Instead of editing them individually, you can use a photoshop action to process each of your images automatically. Let’s dive in!
In this tutorial, we are creating an action you can use later for your projects. We’re building a business card template by applying a specific bleed size to a business card.
- The initial step here is to click on the New Action to start creating a business card.
- It will open a New Action window. Now enter a name and select set for your business card template, and then press the Record button.
- Now, create a new document by choosing File > New (CTRL or Command + N). Now change the parameters as per your requirement. We have set the width to 3.5 inches, the height to 2 inches, and the resolution to 300 pixel/inch. Also, ensure to set the color mode to CMYK. Once done, click the OK button.
- The next step is to add guidelines to each side of the document.
You can do this by choosing View > New Guide (CTRL or Command + N). Use the settings selected above in the new guide dialog to set a guideline on each side of the document. Make sure to apply all four procedures:
- Vertical at 0%
- Vertical at 100%
- Horizontal at 0%
- Horizontal at 100%
5. The next is to add a bleed around your business card. The standard bleed will be set for 0.125 inches on each side. You can set the width and height to 0.25 inches.
Now choose Image > Canvas Size (CTRL+ALT+C, or Command+Option+C) and then insert the correct dimensions. Once done, use the below-mentioned settings to expand the document with the bleed.
6. Now again, choose View > New Guide (CTRL or Command + N) and apply the below-mentioned settings. It is an optional step; however, we recommend you to use it.
With this, your action is ready. You can close the file that you’ve just created just by clicking the Stop button. You can choose the action “BusinessCard Template” by hitting the Play Button every time you want to create a brand new business card template.
9.1 How To Modify the bleed size values
The actions you have created will work great in the future, but you will need variations in bleed requirements for the different batches. You must be aware that all images are different in size and resolution. So you must tweak the default action setting to achieve the perfect look for your photo.
Let’s see how to modify the bleed size values.
- The first step is to check out the action in the action panel. Please note: You can view the commands only in the list view mode, not in the button mode!
We have set the width and height for the bleed to 0.25 inches.
To modify the bleed size value, double click on the canvas command. It will open the canvas size dialog, and then you can change the values accordingly.
From here out, you can create your actions to speed up your workflow. So if in the process of working, you recognize that you’re doing one thing over and over again, then it’s definitely time for a Photoshop Action. You can have endless benefits by using Photoshop Actions, including professional and polished images, improved work productivity and efficiency, easy to use, and save a lot of time & money.