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How to Load & Use Photoshop Actions to Automate Photo Resizing

I’m currently writing an email to a client to explain how to use the photoshop action I just created for him, to automate resizing custom thumbnails for his website where they’ll all be the same size on a white background no matter vertical or portrait. And figured, we can all use this tutorial, so here it is!

This is an automated action I created for you to BULK automate resizing of your photos.

  1. Download the file and move it into your actions folder: Photoshop > Presets > Actions
  2. Open photoshop, open your Actions panel. In photoshop, go to Window > Actions. Then on the upper right corner of actions panel, click the options button (looks like down arrow + list symbol “=”) go to Load Actions. Load it!
  3. Then you want to select the option titled “thumbnail sizer” and manually click play (triangle) for each image and it will take care of everything and save a copy on your desktop.
  4. Or to do bulk images of folders in actions, I need to modify the last step and not have it close the file out.

The Beauty of Conditional Photoshop Actions

Now it is possible to run conditional Photoshop Actions as batches, too. Instead of having to run a separate batch for portrait and landscape images, they can all be dumped into a folder and resized via a Photoshop Batch. To run a batch, go to “File” > “Automate” > “Batch.”

Photoshop Actions Batch

Choose the set that your Action belongs to and choose the conditional Photoshop Action that you just created. Choose the source folder where your collection of images are located. Then, choose a destination folder for your processed files to go into. I usually just create a folder inside of the original folder called “processed.” At the bottom, it says “stop for errors”. When I ran this batch, I kept getting a message that the if condition wasn’t available, but it still ran the batch anyway. I just had to click the button telling it to proceed. If you want to avoid this, tell Photoshop to log errors to a file. If you do this, the files that had errors will have to be saved manually to the destination folder. To me, it is much less of a headache to hit Enter/Return a few times than to have to manually save multiple images.

Conclusion

Photoshop Actions are an incredible tool for creating time-saving shortcuts for repetitive tasks. If you have a repetitive task that takes multiple steps, it is easy to just record it once and then have it available as a hotkey. If you have a folder full of images you can run a batch, taking a half an hour of manual work and tuning it into just a minute or two of work can save you tremendous amounts of time in the long term. With the addition of conditional Photoshop Actions, we can now save even more time by telling Photoshop to look for certain parameters. There are other conditions besides the landscape format, such as being square, RGB, being an unsaved document, and more.

About Steven Chu


Hi, I'm Steven! I'm an entrepreneur, photographer and art director in New York. Follow this blog for self expression, fun, and most importantly: looking comfortable, at ease, and amazing in your photos no matter who takes them! I dedicate this to my amazing friends who have let me inadvertently turn all of our hangouts and travel photos into a never ending photoshoot of fun. The proof is in the pudding-- our photos rock. My other projects: I'm the founder of InstaTechie.com, a face-to-face tech concierge service for NYC. Book a techie to walk you through something you want to learn! My work focuses on socially engaged art projects which use technology to create access to resources for communities. Visit Steven Chu Studio (stevenchustudio.com) for branding & design work or Steven Chu (stevenchu.com) for photography projects.

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