How to Automate a Batch of Photos in Photoshop

Photoshop batch automation can be a real time saver. (Copyright 2010 / Andrew Boyd)

Photoshop batch automation can be a real time saver. (Copyright 2010 / Andrew Boyd)

If you’re like me, there are some repetitive tasks that you do over and over with Photoshop. Lots of these tasks can be performed with Actions scripts, which I’ve explained in another post here on The Discerning Photographer. But what if you have a whole folder full of images that all need the same thing done to them? Then you want to ‘Automate a Batch.’

I do this a lot when preparing a gallery of images for web use. Maybe they’re all 10 inches wide and 300 dpi to start and I only need 600 pixels at 72dpi for my web site. Putting all that extra resolution online will slow you down, fill up your server and give thieves direct access to your hi res images, so not a good idea. A batch action will solve this problem and take almost no time to run. Here’s how.

Have all of the ‘source’ images that you want to automate in one folder.

Create a second empty ‘destination’ folder that you will send the images to once the Action script runs.

Then go to File>Automate>Batch. This will open up the Automation window.

File>Automate>Batch is your key to happiness! (Copyright 2010 / Andrew Boyd)

File>Automate>Batch is your key to happiness! (Copyright 2010 / Andrew Boyd)

From the pulldown at the top, choose the Action script that you want performed on all of the images. (You’re limited to the Actions that you’ve created, obviously.)

Now choose a ‘Source’ folder.

Choose a ‘Destination’ folder. Hit the OK button. Your images will rapidly open in Photoshop, have the specified Action performed upon them, and a new copy will be sent to the Destination folder.

Usually, you can skip all of the additional check boxes in this window. I would only experiment with them if something doesn't go correctly with the basic approach. (Copyright 2010 / Andrew Boyd)

Usually, you can skip all of the additional check boxes in this window. I would only experiment with them if something doesn't go correctly with the basic approach. (Copyright 2010 / Andrew Boyd)

Your original images will be untouched, still available to you in the ‘Source’ folder.

Try this with one of your repetitive tasks and I think you’ll find that it can be a huge timesaver. You’ll probably find new Actions that you want to record and save, just to take advantage of this great feature.

Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

Posted in: Photoshop

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

4 Comments on "How to Automate a Batch of Photos in Photoshop"

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  1. Ritianne says:

    Does It works with any operating system? Thanks

  2. I’ve used it with both Mac and PC systems. Works exactly the same.

  3. Christie says:

    I think that was a nice idea. I like the tutorial that you shown above. This will help for me. Thank you.

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