How to Batch Process Actions in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

How to Batch Process Actions in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

The Batch feature in Photoshop CS6 enables you to apply an action to a group of files. Suppose you want to make changes to a series of files. That might take a while if you do it individually. If you want to keep your original file, too, you have to remember to save each file in a new folder. Batch processing can automate tedious chores for you.

To try this useful tool, copy some files (at least five or six) to a new folder and follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that all the files are in a single folder of their own.

    Any subfolders will be included in that folder.

  2. Choose File→Automate→Batch.

    The Batch dialog box opens.


  3. In the Set pop-up menu, select the set that contains the action you want to apply.

    If you have only one set of actions loaded, that set appears by default.

  4. In the Action pop-up menu, select the action that you want to apply.

  5. In the Source pop-up menu, select Folder.

    You can also select Opened Files to process files that you already opened in Photoshop, Import to process a series of files captured with your scanner or transferred from your digital camera, or Bridge to process files that you selected in Adobe Bridge.

  6. Click the Choose button, navigate to the folder that you want to use, and click OK (in Windows) or Choose (in Mac OS).

  7. Select other options in the Source area, as desired.

    Here’s a description of your choices:

    • Override Action “Open” Commands: If the macro does contain an Open command, select this option. With this option active, Photoshop overrides Open commands in the actions that use specific files.

    • Include All Subfolders: Select this option to process files in subfolders within the folder that you specify.

    • Suppress File Open Options Dialogs: Select this option to have Photoshop disregard any options that possibly could be selected upon opening a file.

    • Suppress Color Profile Warnings: Selecting this check box suppresses the choice of using a file’s own color profile or Photoshop’s default profile; Photoshop always uses its own default color profile.

  8. In the Destination area, tell Photoshop what to do with each file after the action has been applied to it.

    Choose one from the drop-down menu:

    • None: Leaves the file open on your Photoshop desktop without saving it.

    • Save and Close: Closes the files in the same folder in which Photoshop found them. Your original file is overwritten.

    • Folder: Saves the document in a folder.

  9. If you chose Folder in Step 8, click the Choose button and navigate to a destination folder for your files.

  10. Select the Override Action “Save As” Commands check box to ignore any Save As parameters in the action and use the filenames of the files.

  11. Specify how you want Photoshop to create the filenames for the new, processed files by selecting options from the drop-down menus.

    When you process large numbers of files, these naming tools can help you keep track of when and how the files were created.

  12. Select the Windows, Mac OS, or Unix check box to specify what operating system you want the saved filenames to be most compatible with.

  13. In the Errors pop-up menu, select whether you want Photoshop to stop processing a batch when it encounters an error or whether you want it to simply continue and list the errors in a file. If you select the latter option, click the Save As button and, in the Save dialog box, specify a name and location for the log.

  14. When you finish selecting options in the Batch dialog box, click OK to start the batch processing.