Recording Actions in Photoshop CS3
This tutorial follows the steps we took to set up shortcut keys for our RailDriver Cyclopedia Scanning Project, but the same steps may be used to record actions and make keyboard shortcuts for many tasks in Photoshop.
We created this set of actions to apply consistent, specific filters to “separate areas” of each scanned page in our 1150 page RailDriver Cyclopedias:
Open an image file in Adobe PhotoShop and select the Actions tab in the History Palette.
Click on the Create New Action icon.
Name the action and select a function key and Shift, Control, or both to create a keyboard shortcut for the action.
Click on the Record button to begin recording the action.
For the first action, go to the Filter menu and select Blur, then Gaussian Blur
Change the setting to 2.0 pixels and click OK.
Note that nothing is recorded on the actions menu until the filter is applied.
Editor's note: This is a good illustration of a point where the X-keys can do a function that PhotoShop actions don't support. Recording the keystrokes "Alt + T, B, Right Arrow, G" on an X-keys will open the Gaussian Blur window and leave it ready for user manipulation before application of the filter.
After it is applied, the name of the filter appears as a step under the action. If more steps are performed, they also appear as they are entered.
Click the Stop Icon to end recording of the action.
Repeat steps 2 through 5 with a setting of 1.5 for the Text/Line Blur action
Repeat steps 2 through 5 creating a new adjustment layer and setting Brightness and Contrast values for the Brt/Cont Layer action
Repeat steps 2 through 5 selecting the Unsharp Mask filter (Filter - Sharpen - Unsharpen Mask) and setting values for the Sharpen action.
The actions may be played back by selecting them and clicking on the Play Icon or by the keyboard shortcut assigned in step 2.
By clicking on the menu button directly below the double arrows you bring up a menu where you can select Button Mode. Selecting Button Mode displays the name of each action with its keyboard shortcut. Clicking the button will also play the action.
X-keys Professional Keyboards can play any PhotoShop Action via keyboard shortcut, and can record and play many operations that aren't supported by Actions. As noted above, any of the adjustment windows can be opened with keyboard shortcuts allowing the user to make adjustments before the application of filters or masks.
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