Sign In | Subscribe

Enter your Sign on user name and password.

Forgot password?
  • Follow us on:
Start learning today, and be successful in your academic & professional career. Start Today!
Loading video...
This is a quick preview of the lesson. For full access, please Log In or Sign up.
For more information, please see full course syllabus of Adobe Photoshop CS6
  • Discussion

  • Study Guides

  • Download Lecture Slides

  • Table of Contents

  • Transcription

  • Related Services

Lecture Comments (8)

3 answers

Last reply by: Ali Keshavarz
Fri Jan 4, 2013 1:46 AM

Post by Ali Keshavarz on January 3, 2013

can you make a list of short cut in pdf please, in screen shut vary hard to print and too small, not clear

3 answers

Last reply by: Professor Brown
Fri Jan 4, 2013 11:45 AM

Post by Ali Keshavarz on January 3, 2013

How did you create the layer via copy, could you tell me the short cut for that


  • Actions is a feature that allows you to record a series of operations that you may use repeatedly, and save that recording.
  • You can then apply actions at any time to one or a series of images.
  • Example: Let's say you need to do a specific exposure change, resize and image, and then save it and close the file. You can record this as an action and then run it on as many images as you want to, either singly or all at once.


Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:06
  • The Actions Panel 1:30
    • The Actions Panel
  • Preset Actions 3:11
    • Wood Frame
    • Sepia Toning
    • Molten Lead
    • Gradient Map
  • Creating An Action 6:05
    • Creating An Action Demonstration 1
    • Creating An Action Demonstration 2
  • The Batch Command 12:30
    • The Batch Command
  • Lesson Summary 15:22

Transcription: Actions

Hi everybody, Mike Brown here again, welcome back to's Adobe Photoshop CS6 course.0000

In this lesson we're going to talk about a really cool feature that's a great time saver, it's called Actions.0006

It is actually one of your panels under the Window menu, the very first thing as A in Actions, and there it is.0014

First of all we're going to talk about the panel, what it does, we're going to show you some pre-set actions that are included with Photoshop, show you how to create an action, and we'll discuss the Batch command.0025

Actions by the way is really, really good--let's say you're a wedding photographer, and you have a group of pictures; 50, 75, who knows how many pictures, that have all been shot with the same strobe settings, just a different bunch of people coming in and out, different setups with the same setup, and all you have to do is a couple or three corrections across the board.0037

Maybe resizing, exposure, color, a little sharpening, that's it, just simple stuff, and you're going to have to do the same exact thing to all of these, so you can create an action or a mini app if you will and save it, and then you can apply it in a batch.0060

You can do it one at a time but you can also just tell it to go find a folder with all these 75 images and do this, and press the button and sit back and watch it happen, a real time saver.0079

OK, let's get started.0090

As I pointed out the Actions panel is under the Window menu, and when you first open it up, you won't see the function keys, it will just say default actions, and here's a list of actions that came included with Photoshop--there's a couple of them that are pretty cool, I'll show you one that we're going to use in this example.0092

Now, I've created my own actions under another set--I've called it Function Keys on my Mac, I'm not sure if you can do this on a PC, you'll have to check it out, but I have programmed all of my function keys; F1 through F12 by creating an action for each one of them to do different functions.0112

For example, F1 (I just hit it) will pop up the Save As panel for me, F4 shows me image sizing, F5 is the brushes, F6 is channels, F12 is actions, toggles it off, toggles it on, so I don't have to even go over to my dock or up to the Window, I have all of my primary functions.0133

F10 is the History panel right over here, so you can even create functions for that, so let's show you have to use functions in any way--let's close out the title page...0159

And here's an image of a group of images that I have here--this happens to be Death Valley by the way.0176

We're going to change the screen mode with the letter F, move it over a little bit and zoom it up just a hair, right about there sounds pretty good, and so here's your pre-sets.0184

Let's show you the one we're going to work with--here's something called Wood frame, and I will show you one that we're going to create, in another lesson I did the photo frame, we're going to create a photo frame for all of these images and make it into an action.0195

Alright, the Wood frame; all you do is you highlight it, go up to the dropdown menu and play, and it's going to pop this box that says it has to be a minimum size, you click continue and it just goes and does all of its thing and when it's done, look what you've go.0208

The image is now pretty much like my photo frame in a lot of regards, it's got that little inner shadow thing and it's got an actual Bevel in and Boss frame which is not too bad if you like that kind of a frame.0224

We're going to turn on the History panel and I'm going to use one of my actions; F10, and you can see everything I did, I just opened the image and everything in this list is what the computer did in the sequence of events to create that photo frame on this picture.0239

We're going to go back to where we opened it up, and let's show you exactly--you saw that on the History panel, here is the Wood frame and there is the list of actions again right under it that it performed, OK.0258

Let me show you a couple more--here's a sepia tone, let's play the sepia tone...and it sepia toned it.0274

We'll undo that, let's turn--now the molten lead feature here, actually it didn't, it just went back one, let's open it.0282

You can see when I hit F10, I activated the history action, that's what happened right there, that's why it went down to that one.0291

This molten lead just turns the whole image into looking like lead on a black plate, and there it is, so we'll get that back up, go back to open on that, close it out, and here's one that's a gradient map, changes it into some weird colors, so what you're beginning to see like with the sepia tone and this...0299

Those little apps or effects that you have with your iPhone or Smartphone or even with your little cameras that have the effects if you will, make lomography or de-saturated or high contrast or HDR, there are little sequences of events recorded and played back and applied to the image, just like we're doing here.0323

So you can create your own effects right here in Photoshop, something cool that you find, record it as a sequence of events, and then with just a play you can apply it to any image that you want.0349

I'm going to take it back to zero, and what we're going to do right now, is we're going to create our own app or action if you will.0362

On the dropdown menu, you can create a new action--oh, by the way, you can change this into a different kind of a mode, a button mode if you like that, I prefer...where is it?0374

I hope it's going to go back to the original; reset, no, I want to get it back...oh, just get rid of the button mode, I rarely do that so I didn't even know how to get rid of it.0388

I like the list, if you like the buttons that's fine as well, but basically what you have here is a new action, a new set, duplicate, delete, play, start recording, record again, insert menu item is what I did to create all of my function buttons.0406

For example, let's just take a look at one; the Save As which is F1, all that does is save with a copy--it just pop that button up, but what I did--let me show you how to do one here on this.0423

I action...test...action, and we're going to have function keys and the function key that we're going to set it at which is non-functional on this particular computer because it only goes to F12, would be F13, and I will click record, and I will go to the dropdown menu, and insert menu item...0438

Nothing selected--if I want let's say I would like to do Canvas Size, I'll go to the...item, menu item, and there it is; Image, Canvas Size, I click OK, and I stop my recording and you can see down here that the test action would be Canvas Size.0472

In this case, I don't have an F13 but that's exactly what happened right here under image size, so that's how you program your buttons; just go insert menu item, pick the menu item that you want like if you want Save As it would be File, Save As or Save for Web, whatever, and then stop your recording.0494

Alright, now we're going to create one here.0513

First of all we're going to create a new set of actions and we're going to call them Educator Actions...and we'll click OK and we get a new group.0516

Under that group we'll have a new action, and we're going to call it Photo Frame, close, as we're going to do all of these steps in this one action.0529

We're going to create the photo frame, then we're going to resize the image, we're going to save it, actually we're going to save for web, and then we're going to close the window, that's just to tell us everything we did.0549

OK, here we go, we'll hit the recording button, and you see the little red light is on just like any recorder anywhere you're doing video, and right off the bat, there's the title and it's ready to go.0563

So the first thing I want to do is...check my layers, and we're going to duplicate the background layer, that's step one, and if you'll notice, it's now got layer via copy so we've got our first one in there.0574

Go to, I want to highlight the regular layer again, selecting the particular layer, Image, Canvas Size, and we're going to do this relative and we're going to add the width of two inches all the way around, click OK, and now we have the two inches on there, then we're going to go to our layer above, go to Layer Effects, go to inner shadow...0591

And we're going to apply that inner shadow like we did before, choke it just a little bit, get it nice and dark and 3D, that looks pretty good...and I'm not going to bother to sign it, we've got our photo frame right now.0617

Now I'm going to resize this image; go to Image, Size and you can notice over here every time we get a new one, and I want it 72 DPI and I want it 900 pixels wide, I'll click OK and the image resized itself.0635

Now I want to go File, Save for Web...comes up, and it's a jpeg at 69 quality, that's what I want, optimize to bed the profile, SRGB, 900x600 we're going to save it, and the place we're going to save it is on the Desktop in educator action pics.0652

We'll save the image, we'll go File, we'll close the image...and in this case I do not want to save any of the changes to the original image, we'll click don't save, and we'll stop the recording.0673

Now, let's pull this down a little bit, there's the list of everything we did in that photo frame resize--turn off my Layers's another image.0687

We're going to highlight the particular--inside the set of actions educator is photo frame resize, that's the action we want to play, go up to the dropdown menu, play it, and it's just going to do it.0700

And it's done, and we'll check that, let's go out to the Desktop...and go into the educator action pics folder on the Desktop, and there they are.0716

There's the monument valley one, just exactly like we had it before, and there's the original 'yooby heeby' one that we did with the photo frame on that, the size is 900 wide, just exactly the way we wanted it, so that's how you create an action.0730

Close off the layers...nothing to it really, and now we have this for use any time we want it, and what we're going to do right now, you notice that I have a whole list of images open here that I wanted to apply that to just like I was talking about multiple images before.0749

So we're going to do that, and the way we do that is go to the File menu, we go down to Automate, we go over to Batch, up comes this box.0769

We're going to play out of the set, not function keys, educator actions is the set, and the action is photo frame resize, that's the one we want to play, and the source; you can either have a folder or open file so we have all these files already open.0780

I could have just left the files originally in a folder, and operated it from there--in this case we'll work with the open files, destination in this case is none, because within our action, the last thing I did was Save As to a particular folder, so we've already taken care of that.0797

And stop for errors in case something happens; yes, here we go...two...notice it's just cranking right through them, applying that same action that we created, and you can--well, it's going so fast you can't even see into doing it, but it's just grinding through with every single one of these images...and it's done.0818

Let's go out to the Desktop and take a look, actually the best way to do that, is let's take a look in Bridge.0841

We'll open up Bridge, and we'll go to our Desktop, we're going to go to educator action pics, there they are--actions pics, and there you have them, and let's just take a look.0851

There's one, two, see, every single one of them has precisely the same photo frame effect applied to it, and it saved and you can tell right now that the file size is 200kB so it set it down, it's 900x600 at 72 DPI, SRGB, everything is the way we wanted it, and we cranked out those dozen in absolutely no time at all.0865

Let's go back and reopen our title page...should be here somewhere...0894

I'll just do it by this methodology here...educator items, I wanted to open up my action title...0903

There it is...OK, so we have now in this particular lesson, we've gone over another action--open my layers, and I want to put a layer right up top and let's go over what we have learned in this particular lesson.0917

We've talked about the Actions panel, we've shown you some of the pre-sets, not too many of them but just go through all of the pre-sets that are there and see what's there, but you can create your own now that you know how to do it.0936

You understand very simply, you create an action by making the recording; start it, stop it, play it, that's it, and the Batch command under the File, Automate, Batch menu allows you to apply an action to as many files as you want--either open files or from a particular folder where they're in there.0950

So there you have how to create actions in Photoshop CS6.0973