Creating an Action for Batch Processing in Photoshop

Resize multiple images at once by batch processing actions in Photoshop CC

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Photoshop actions save time by automatically performing repetitive tasks for you. They are especially useful for batch processing when you need to apply the same steps to a set of images. For example, you can record a resizing action, and then use the batch automate command to resize multiple images at once.

Instructions in this article apply to Photoshop CC 2019 for Windows and Mac.

How to Create Photoshop Actions for Batch Processing

To record an action, you'll need to use the Actions palette. If you've never created actions before, it's a good idea to save all your personal actions in a set. In this example, we'll create an action for resizing an image to 600 X 800 pixels:

  1. Open a document in Photoshop and select Window > Actions to display the Actions palette.

    Open a document in Photoshop and select Window > Actions to display the Actions palette.
  2. Select the Menu icon in the top-right corner of the Actions palette, then select New Set.

    An action set can contain several actions. You can make your actions as complex as you please.

    Select the Menu icon in the top-right corner of the Actions palette, then select New Set.
  3. Give your new action set a name, then select OK.

    Give your new action set a name, then select OK.
  4. A new folder will appear in the Actions palette. Click on it, and then select New Action from the Actions palette menu.

    Click on the new folder, and then select New Action from the Actions palette menu.
  5. Give your action a descriptive name, such as Fit image to 600x800, then select Record.

    Give your action a descriptive name and select Record.
  6. You'll see a red dot on the Actions palette, which indicates that you're recording. Select File > Automate > Fit Image in the main taskbar.

    Select File > Automate > Fit Image in the main taskbar.
  7. Enter 600 for the Width and 800 for the Height, then select OK.

    Using the Fit Image command instead of the Resize command ensures that no image is taller than 800 pixels or wider than 600 pixels, even when the aspect ratio doesn't match.

    Enter 600 for the Width and 800 for the Height, then select OK.
  8. Select File > Save As.

    Select File > Save As.
  9. Choose JPEG for the save format and make sure As a Copy is checked in the save options, then select OK.

    Choose JPEG for the save format and make sure As a Copy is checked in the save options, then select OK.
  10. Choose your quality and format options in the JPEG Options dialog, and then select OK.

    Choose your quality and format options in the JPEG Options dialog, and then select OK.
  11. Click the white square next to red dot the in the Actions palette to end recording.

    Click the white square next to red dot the in the Actions palette to end recording.

How to Set Up Batch Processing for Photoshop Actions

Before you begin, make sure that all of the images you want to process are together in a single folder. To use the action in batch mode:

  1. Select File > Automate > Batch.

    Select File > Automate > Batch.
  2. In the Batch dialog box, choose the Set and the Action you just created under the Play section.

    In the Batch dialog box, choose the Set and the Action you just created under the Play section.
  3. Set the Source to Folder, then select Choose.

    Set the Source to Folder, then select Choose.
  4. Select the folder containing the images you want to process.

    Select the folder containing the images you want to process.
  5. Set the Destination to Folder, then select Choose.

    If you choose None or Save and Close as the Destination, Photoshop will save your images in the source folder, but it might overwrite the original files.

    Set the Destination to Folder, then select Choose.
  6. Select a different folder for Photoshop to output the processed images.

    Select a different folder for Photoshop to output the processed images.
  7. Check the box beside Override Action “Save As” Commands so that your new files will be saved without prompting.

    Select OK to continue if you receive an information prompt explaining the feature.

    Check the box beside Override Action “Save As” Commands so that your new files will be saved without prompting.
  8. In the File Naming section, you can choose how you want your files to be named. Use the pull-down menus to select from predefined options, or type directly into the fields.

    In the File Naming section, you can choose how you want your files to be named.
  9. Set Errors to Stop for Errors or Log Errors to File, then select OK.

    Set Errors to Stop for Errors or Log Errors to File, then select OK.

Sit back and watch as Photoshop does all the work for you. Your resized images will appear in the destination folder you chose.