How to Save an Action Set in Adobe Photoshop

Actions are steps that can be recorded in Photoshop. A series of actions can then be saved as an Action Set to automate repetitive steps when batch-processing images.

This feature works the same in Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS6, and CC versions.

  1. In this example, I'll create actions for resizing images and then convert them to grayscale. Without any files open, go to Window > Actions.
    Window Menu
  2. In the Actions panel, go to the menu and select Clear All Actions.
    Actions Panel Menu
  3. At the bottom of the Actions panel, click the Create New Set button. Name the action set in the resulting dialog box.
    Actions Panel and Dialog Box
  4. Go back to the Actions panel menu and select Save Actions.
    Actions Panel Menu
  5. Actions are saved by default in the Photoshop > Presets > Actions folder. Review the options and click OK.
    Save Action Dialog Box
  6. Open a file with which to record the action.

  7. Go to the Actions panel and click the Create New Action button. In the resulting dialog box, give the action a name, then click Record.
    New Action Dialog Box
  8. The red button at the bottom of the Actions panel indicates that the action is being recorded.
    Actions Panel
  9. Go to Image > Image Size. Set the sizing for the image.
    Image Size Dialog Box
  10. Go back to the Image menu to Mode > Grayscale.
    Image Menu
  11. Click Discard in the resulting dialog box.
    Discard Color Message
  12. Go to the Actions panel and click the Stop Playing/Recording button.
    Actions Panel
  13. Close the image file without saving changes.

  14. To use the action set for batch processing, go to File > Automate > Batch.
    File Menu
  15. In the dialog box that opens, select the Source and Destination folders. This option is useful because the processing will create copies of the image files, leaving the originals intact. Remember that warning message when the image was converted to grayscale? Make sure to check Suppress Color Profile Warnings so the batch processing doesn't stall. For File Naming, I've set it to use the file name, adding "_small-gs" to the end.
    Batch Dialog Box
Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her classes. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint, to produce a fully developed and cohesive brand identity.

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