How to record Actions in Photoshop

You will note that you may be performing certain steps repeatedly during the course of your post-processing. It will help a lot if you could actually automate such steps to save you some processing time. Photoshop allows you to do this and it is here that I will describe a simple Action of flattening the layers which you will be performing very frequently. During the process of recording this Action you will be given the option to use keystrokes to automate this process. In this instance I will be using Shift+F5 as the keystroke.

Note that an Action is a series of commands that you can apply to an image with the click of the mouse or keystrokes that have been assigned to it. Unlike a keystroke shortcut, which can only open a command, an Action can open a command, apply changes to the image, open another command, and apply it.

Here is how you do it:


Click Action tab in the palette on the right.

(Click image to see larger view.)




At the bottom you will see a Create New Action icon. Click it.


Actions creat new action set


In the dialog box type in the name (Flatten Layers in my case), assign a keystroke (Shift-F5 in my case) and click Record.


Actions dialog


Go to Layers>Flatten Image and click it. The Layers will be flattened as you are still recording the action. Now click the Stop Recording icon circled in red.


Actions stop recording


That is it. When you want to flatten layers in future just press Shift-F5 and hey presto, your layers will be flattened.


You may record as many Actions as you like to help in your post-processing using a similar method described above. Play with it and you will enjoy more of the power of Photoshop.

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