Today we are going to talk about creating actions. This is going to be more hands on than we have been the last couple of weeks. Don’t get me wrong. Learning about the file formats and the color modes is important, but it’s pretty boring too. Trust me, I understand.
Photoshop lets you record actions which is similar to macro recording in Excel or Word. Cool, right? Yea, I didn’t know that either! Photoshop has presets for popular actions such as creating a wood frame, simulating water reflections, or providing a molten lead look. Ooh, these sound fun!
Using the Actions Palette
To view the Actions palette, go to Window –> Actions. You need to be in List mode when you record an action and when you edit individual steps. List mode also lets you perform only some of the steps in an action.
- The leftmost column contains check boxes that you can select or deselect to include or exclude actions.
- The second column toggles on or off the display of dialog boxes in actions. Some actions include options you can select while running the macro.
- The third and widest column shows the name of the set of actions or the individual action. Click the right-pointing arrow to the left of the action’s name to reveal the individual steps of the action.
- Stop Playing/Recording — This icon is active when you’re recording an action. Click it to stop recording.
- Begin Recording — Click this icon to begin recording an action.
- Play Selection — Click this icon to begin playing a selected action. Playback begins at the step selected.
- Create New Set — Click this icon to create a new action set.
- Create New Action — Click this icon to begin a new action.
- Delete — Click this icon to remove a selection action or step.
Introducing Preset Actions
To load the preset Actions:
Playing a preset Action
- In Button mode, click the action you want to play. There are no other options.
- In List mode, Select the action you want to play and then click the Play Selection button at the bottom of the Actions palette. You can also choose Play from the palette pop-up menu.