Photoshop Actions (Part: 01)


Photoshop Action (Basic – Advance)

Part-01: Basic (Actions Panel Overview)

For those who can’t understand how to create action, I will show you how to create actions step by step from Basic to Advance level.

First, we will see what Action is and why Action is needed?

Photoshop Action is a time-saving tool that allows you to add captivating effects to any file with just a few clicks. It can speed up a lot of hard work very easily. Action is very important to Photoshop Expert. For example, I have 100 files that need to be resized and saved in jpg format, if I want to open each file and change the size to save in jpg format, then it will take a long time; In that case, if you record an action and play batch-process action, 100 files will be completed very quickly.

Guidelines for recording actions

Keep in mind the following guidelines when recording actions:

  • You can record most—but not all—commands in an action.
  • Zoom level can not be recorded. Some zoom levels and operations can be recorded only using Insert Menu Item.
  • Panning can not be recorded.
  • Movement and rearrangement of panels will not be recorded in Photoshop action.
  • Tasks related to Photoshop variables can not be recorded.
  • You can not assign a keyboard shortcut in Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts dialogue using Photoshop action.
  • You can record operations that you perform with the Marquee, Move, Polygon, Lasso, Magic Wand, Crop, Slice, Magic Eraser, Gradient, Paint Bucket, Type, Shape, Notes, Eyedropper, and Color Sampler tools—as well as those that you perform in the History, Swatches, Color, Paths, Channels, Layers, Styles, and Actions panels.
  • Results depend on file and program setting variables, such as the active layer and the foreground color. For example, a 3‑pixel Gaussian blur won’t create the same effect on a 72‑ppi file as on a 144‑ppi file. Nor will Color Balance work on a grayscale file.
  • When you record actions that include specifying settings in dialog boxes and panels, the action will reflect the settings in effect at the time of the recording. If you change a setting in a dialog box or panel while recording an action, the changed value is recorded.


Most dialog boxes retain the settings specified at the previous use. Check carefully that those are the values you want to record.

  • Modal operations and tools—as well as tools that record position—use the units currently specified for the ruler. A modal operation or tool is one that requires you to press Enter or Return to apply its effect, such as transforming or cropping. Tools that record position includes the Marquee, Slice, Gradient, Magic Wand, Lasso, Shape, Path, Eyedropper, and Notes tools.


If you record an action that will be played on files of different sizes, set the ruler units to percentages. As a result, the action will always playback in the same relative position in the image.

  • You can record the Play command listed on the Actions panel menu to cause one action to play another.


Actions panel overview

You use the Actions panel (Window > Actions) to record, play, edit, and delete individual actions. This panel also lets you save and load action files.

Action Pannel

  1. Stop: Stop recording or playback
  2. Record: Start recording a new action or adding new commands to any existing action.
  3. Play: Play a selected action back
  4. New set: Create a new action set
  5. New action: Adds a new action to a set
  6. Delete: As you might expect, this button deletes a selected set, action or command
  7. Action set: A folder that contains and organizes your actions, for example in different groups.
  8. Action: Imagine an action as a collection of many commands (Ex: open image, resize the image, transform image, etc.)
  9. Expand Action: A single Photoshop command. One or more commands together build an action.
  10. Include/Exclude: Click the checkmark to enable/disable the action.
  11. Menu dialog: With this icon, you can control user input into an action. For example, say you record an action to image dimensions; you set a radius of 1000px x 1000px. Making the menu icon visible allows you to modify certain settings (such as the dimensions) for each image you apply it to. If the icon’s turned off, the action will always use the default setting. It allows you to determine the flexibility of each action when it’s applied to an image.


Start Recording Your First Photoshop Action

To play or record Action, click on Action from the Window Menu. Or Press Alt+F9


  • To create a new Photoshop action click the New Action button.


  • The New Action button will open the New Action dialog, where you can give the new Photoshop action a Name and assign it to an Action Set. Then click record.

new action set

  • Function Key
  • Assigns a keyboard shortcut to the action. You can choose any combination of a function key, the Ctrl key (Windows) or Command key (Mac OS), and the Shift key (for example, Ctrl+Shift+F3), with these exceptions: In Windows, you cannot use the F1 key, nor can you use F4 or F6 with the Ctrl key.
  • After the Record process then clicks stop.



Action panel menu: …See next for details