How to make an action in Photoshop

Time is money! That is why you want to speed up your workflow in any way possible. Creating actions in Photoshop is a great way to do that.  What’s an action? An action, simply put, is a recording of a sequence of steps that you can save and access later on.  With the push of a button, Photoshop will run the steps for you. I’m sure many of you have installed and used action sets that you’ve purchased but do you know how to create your own actions?  It’s so simple. Let’s create a resize for Facebook action together.

First go to window and click on action so that your actions panel will open up. Or you can press ALT + F9 if you’re on a PC or OPT + F9 if you’re on a MAC.

Once the actions panel is open it will look like this:

The buttons on the bottom from left to right are stop, record, play, create new set, create new action and trash.

In this case, we are going to click the create new set icon and name it “Resize” and click ok.

Now that we have a new “set”,  we are going to click the new button and create an action for the set. We’ll name it  and then click record:

Go through the steps of your action, in this case we want to go to file > automate > fit image > enter 720 for width and height > press OK. Because we entered 720 for both width and height, our action will resize our photo to 720 pixels on the long side automatically, be that vertical or horizontal.

Now go back to the actions panel and click the square stop button. You’ll see that our action set with our new action appears in the actions panel.

To test your action out, open a hi resolution photo and hit the play button. Voila! Now you can batch resize your photos (a lesson for another day) using your action. Want to add sharpening to the resize action? Go ahead. Have fun!

About the Author:

With her Canon 5d mark III and various lenses, mostly primes, she enjoys lifestyle photography with bright clean processing and natural skin tones but equally loves black and whites. Living in Vermont with her husband, two children, and black lab Lucy, Lisa loves skiing and boating.

17 Comments

  1. Sarah Wilkerson Oct 28 2011 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Great tutorial!!! Thanks!

  2. Jordana Nov 06 2011 at 8:12 am - Reply

    I can't believe how easy this is to do an action. Thank you Lisa!

  3. Marth Jandres Dec 11 2011 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    hi..I read your blogs and found it very Interesting. Thanks for writing such usefull blogs 🙂 Please keep blogging about this stuff. Regards

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