Automatic Tasks in Photoshop

There is a lot you can do in Photoshop without actually knowing or even understanding the many processes of image production.

Using File > Automate

Using File > Automate

Photoshop’s Automate sub-menu (File > Automate) enables you to create droplets (mini-applications that automatically perform specific tasks you have defined), crop and straighten photos, merge photos and more. The Batch feature is listed here, too, but I usually perform a batch operation (a single action on several files or even an entire folder) from Adobe Bridge. If you were familiar with the old Automate sub-menu (versions earlier than CS4), you’ll find some of the tasks you might have used from the File > Automate directory in Bridge. I was nervous when I thought Contact Sheet II was no longer available. Have no fear, you can still produce the same results you used to achieve with Contact Sheet II, but you will have to use Bridge. Instead of “Contact Sheet II,” a sheet of thumbnails can be produced by creating a PDF using the Output panel (Workspace > Output).

While I would normally recommend my own book to students looking for tutorials or advice in regards to using Adobe software, this particular task is one that did not make it into Digital Foundations. My co-author and I didn’t have the page-count, and we thought this specific feature was not foundation-level material. Now we are working on a second textbook about digital imaging and collage, and I’ve recently completed a full chapter dedicated to using some of the Automatic tasks in concert with Bridge. The complete chapter is available now. If you end up trying the tutorial, send me some feedback. I can make changes on the wiki until we have an all-in date from the publisher. (Email xtine at missconceptions dot net).

On a more entertaining note, you can also view the You Suck at Photoshop series for notes on using photo merge and other tasks. I like to play these vignettes in class during breaks and lab sessions, but consider this a fair warning that the content is best labeled, Made for Immature Adults.

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