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Welcome to this edition of Photoshop basics, I am going to show you how to use actions in Photoshop.
So, I am starting out with an image here and we have our actions panel open. Basically, what an action is a function which basically records any process in Photoshop. And what will allow you to do is automate a series of steps without having to do them manually for several other images.
You only have to do the action once, once it is created and then you will be able to use just a simple single keystroke and it will apply that series of steps to a single image.
To get started you can push this play button over here in the control panel and you will get a pop-out fly-out menu with your actions. If you do not see that or you do not have that, you can just come up here to window, go to actions, make sure that this is checked or you can additionally hit Alt-F9. So, there you go, you got your actions panel.
Next step is, I like to create my own set of actions. Photoshop has its default actions built in which you can play around it. I am going ahead and create my own, so I am going to My Actions, go ahead and hit “Okay.” Now I have my own little personal folder. And I want to go ahead and hit the New Action button. It is just creating any layer but in this case we are creating a new action so, I am going to call this ‘resize.’
In this example, I am just going to show you how to use actions to resize an image which could then be applied to several other images or let us say a whole folder of images. I have called this ‘Resize” it is going to be in the My Set actions. And in this scenario, I want to go ahead and choose a function key F2, that is going to allow us just to hit one keystroke and that will apply that action that we are recording to whatever image we choose using just the F2 key.
I am going to go ahead and hit record. You will notice this little button down here has now highlighted and turned red. That means that everything that you do in Photoshop from this point forward will be recorded. Anything like zooming or moving the mouse around—that kind of stuff, that is not being recorded. It is only recording the actual function that you applied to the image.
What I am going to do is I am going to Image and Image Size and in this box you will see that I have a 300 pixel per inch image, I am going to change this to 72, and for the width I am going ahead and just knock this down to, let us say 5. So now I have a 5 x 3 inch image at 72 PPI.
You noticed I did not adjust the height, I only adjusted the width. Reason being is because Photoshop—I really just wanted to record that one action and it is going to be linked with the aspect ratio because I have left the scale styles and constraint proportions on.
We are going to leave those on for right now and I am going to leave this at 5, this at 3 and this at 72 and go ahead and click ‘okay.’
Now, you can see that my image has now been resized just like I wanted it to be, right?
Now we are going to come over here and go back to over to our actions and go ahead and hit stop. If you roll this down you will notice that Photoshop just recorded everything that I did. I changed the width to five inches just like I set it, the resolution at 72 pixels per inch and all those other check boxes that were at the bottom had also been recorded and those were part of the action. You can also see the function keys right here F2.
So now all I have to do is, I am going to undo this, and you will see that my images now largely can like the original was, I am going to zoom out just a little bit so you can see it. And now the simple thing that all I have to do is on my key board, I am going to go ahead and hit F2.
You will see that that automatically resizes and I do not have to go back to those same exact steps again. All I have to do is hit the function key which was F2, so imagine the possibilities if you had hundreds or thousands of images that you have to resize. Think about how much easier it would be to resize them all to the same height or width using just the simple Photoshop action.
So, that is really just the basics of it, the actions to get a lot more complex and can be very powerful but again this is just the basic video on how to use the actions and to get started so I hope it was helpful.
Thank you for watching and we will talk to you next time.