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Applying Actions To Multiple Images – Photoshop’s Batch Command

© Michael Furtman


Once you’ve written a bunch of actions to speed up your workflow in Photoshop, you may decide you’d like to apply an action to a group of images, rather than opening them one at a time and applying it.  

Doing this is called “Batching” and it can free you up to do other things (like go take a nap!) while the computer applies the actions. Actions and Batching can be applied to virtually all file types except RAW files.  

The steps are really simple. First, go to Edit, scroll down to Automate, and select Batch. You do not need to have any images open to do this. 

At the top of the window, you’ll see that you are asked for the Set in which the action is contain, and then below that, the name of the action. Find the “Sharpen slightly” action we wrote in the other tutorial. 

Next, select the source of the images. Typically, this will be a folder in which you’ve placed the images you want to sharpen. However, you could close out now, go back, and open some image into Photoshop, and then come back and select “Opened Files.” There are other “Source” options there, but we’ll skip those for now. 

Below “Source” you’ll see a button that says “Choose.” Click this and navigate to the folder in which you’ve placed COPIES of the original images that you want to apply the sharpening action. Using copies allows you to throw them out if you don’t like the result, and have the originals as your “negatives” to return to. 

Leave the next four boxes unchecked for now. You probably won’t need them, but in the future, you may find a need to check one or two, usually the “Suppress Color Profile Warnings” if you have some files on your computer that are aRGB, some that are sRGB, and your Photoshop color space is not set to one these. We’ll cover color spaces in a different tutorial. 

Next, click on the Destinations drop down menu and choose what you’d like to do. If you’re working on copies of your originals, you can merely select Save and Close. If you’re working on originals from a folder, select Folder and then “Choose” and put them in a different folder so you don’t over-write your originals. If you are working with files that are open in Photoshop, you can choose None, and then you can save and close those files individually later. 

That’s all there is. Hit OK, go get a cup of coffee and let Photoshop do the work. Batch commands are a great way to further automate you workflow!


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