#4 Exploring Adobe Photoshop CS3: Actions, Automating Your Tasks (Part 1)

Preparing Watermarks the Quick Way

Most probably, you have encountered times when you continuously repeat a set of actions you perform on an image – stuff like resizing, cropping or adding a photo filter. You may have mastered the step by step procedure of such tasks, however, automating these actions would get the job done a lot faster and easier and allows consistency.

Actions accessed via Window -> Actions (Alt+F9), allows you to save and load a set of tasks to achieve a certain effect on one or more images.

Opening the Actions palette would reveal a Default Folder. Photoshop has already provided a set of default actions would use on our projects. Samples of these are Sepia toning, Quadrant colors and Water Reflections for text. Pretty cool eh?

All you have to do is select an image, or a Photoshop file, and open the Actions Palette. Select an Action you like from the Default Folder and hit the Play button. Automatically, Photoshop edits the currently active file. Do note that warning messages may pop up due to some missing layers in your file for example. Choosing to continue would depend on what you want the effect to be, it does not really hurt to experiment around.

Also, you would notice some checkboxes on the side of the action’s steps. This provides you the option to skip (by unchecking the checkbox) steps you do not wish to perform on your project.

At any moment of the Action being performed on your image, you may hit the Stop Playing (square icon) on the Actions Palette.

Aside from the Default Actions, you could create your own set of actions.

Let’s say for example you would want to create a Watermark Action.

Select the Make New Action option on the Actions Palette (you may also add a folder for your own actions through the folder icon, Create a New Set), and name it Watermark.

Prepare the image (or images) you would want to add a watermark to and click on the Begin Recording button on the Actions Palette (the circle icon). Doing so would make the actions you do to your image be recorded. Do not worry if you make a mistake and use Undo a lot, you could later delete these steps from your Action after recording. But still, it would be a lot easier if you know what you are about to do. It would lessen the wrong moves and avoid confusion with your Action steps.

Now, it would be your choice to skip this next step. This is only done for the precision of the watermark’s position.

Go to View -> Rulers (Ctrl+R) and position your mouse anywhere on the top ruler, then click and drag downwards. The line appearing would be a horizontal guide for the watermark. Drag the line up to the point you would like the watermark to be at. Do the same for the left ruler, but instead of dragging downwards, drag your mouse sideward.

Having chosen the desired position, create a text layer with the Type Tool, and set it on the area you placed for your watermark (through the Guides you created if you had not skipped the previous step).

Type in and style your watermark as you wish.

Once satisfied, before hitting the Stop Recording button (similar to the Stop Playing button), remove the Guides you made (if you did add Guides) through View -> Clear Guides.

Take note that the names of your layers (or its existence) may cause prompts. But depending on your Action, these prompts may be harmless and it would be safe to continue.

You can then use your Watermark Action anytime you need it. The Actions you recorded would not be lost even if you exit Photoshop since they are already saved on your computer.

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