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Actions allow you to apply a series of steps to different images without actually having to repeat those steps yourself. They are recorded and saved, so all you have to do is click a button. Personally, I can't imagine Photoshop without them.

This is a step-by-step tutorial on how to create and save a new set of actions in Photoshop 7.0.
Several pictures included, so dial-uppers beware :)

Make sure your Action Palette (AP) is visible: Window > Actions.
This is how it looks like:

New Set: Creates a new folder where you can save your actions.
New Action: Creates the action itself.
Toggle Item On/Off: Switches a Set or Action on or off. Off means it can't be used at all.
Toggle Dialog On/Off: When the dialog is switched on you'll need to confirm each step.
Expand: Lets you see all actions contained in a Set.

Ready to record your first action? Here we go:

Click on the New Set button. A dialog box will appear, asking you to name your new Set.
Now click on New Action. You'll see this:

This is where you:
1. Name your action.
2. Place it in the correct folder (PS7 will by default choose the active Set) using the drop-down menu.
3. Assign a keyboard shortcut.
4. Assign a colour (see Expanded Menu).
The last two steps are not mandatory.
Once you're done, click on Record.
This is how the AP looks like now:

See the red Record button? Everything you do to your graphic from now on will be recorded.
Once you are finished, simply click on the Stop button.
That's it, really. If you wish to record another Action, just click on the New Action button.
Now you need to save:
Select your new Set. Click on the small arrow on the top right of your AP; this will bring up the expanded menu:

Select Save Actions. Normally Photoshop automatically directs you to the right folder, but just in case the path is: C:\Programs\Adobe\Photoshop 7.0\Presets\Photoshop Actions.
You can of course save it to a folder of your choice if you want :)

To use an action on a graphic/text simply choose one and press the Play button.

Expanded Menu:
When a Set is selected, you'll see Set Options. This lets you rename the Set.
When an Action is selected, you'll see Action Options. This lets you rename the Action.
Duplicate: useful if you want to have the same Action in different sets without recording again.
Button Mode: when this is selected your AP will look like this:

Basically you'll see only the actions, not the sets. This is also where assigning a colour comes into play.

-Always save your set after adding a new action(s)! Otherwise, should you (like I did last month *facepalm*) click on Reset Actions/Clear All Actions by mistake all your new actions will be lost.
-You don't need to create a new set every time you want to record an action, but every action must be placed inside an existing set.

You can make an action for damn near everything, you can also find *tons* of downloadable sets on the Net. Just Google Photoshop Actions. If you've found one that you like and you want it in your AP just click on Load Actions in the Expanded Menu, direct PS to the right folder, select the wanted action. Once loaded it will stay there untill you remove it.

That's it, I think.
If you have any questions/suggestions/criticism, let me know :)


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 20th, 2005 11:34 am (UTC)
Thank you for this! I was just planning on trying to figure it out by myself, but now I don't have to!
*puts tut in memories*
Jan. 20th, 2005 11:46 am (UTC)
...actions? oO;

Wow. You've opened up a whole new world for me, XD; Awesome!
Jan. 20th, 2005 11:51 am (UTC)
I love you. Thanks a lot!!!
Jan. 20th, 2005 12:07 pm (UTC)
This is awesome. Thank you! *saves*
Jan. 20th, 2005 12:29 pm (UTC)
I hadn't found actions yet either. New wonderful things to play with. Thanks.
Jan. 20th, 2005 01:50 pm (UTC)
I love you. THANK YOU!!!
Jan. 20th, 2005 03:50 pm (UTC)
Never knew about this! You rock!
Jan. 20th, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC)
This is fantastic because I had read the little help thing in CS about this and it was oh so vague. Thank you so much!
Jan. 20th, 2005 05:50 pm (UTC)
Actions rule, don't think I could live without it. ;)
Jan. 20th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC)
I discovered this on my own when I searched the help file on how to make macros, since I frequently did the same things to images and it was becoming tedious. Oh how I wish I had seen this MONTHS ago haha. Beautifully done!
Jun. 20th, 2005 11:14 am (UTC)
oh, thank you very much! i haven't explored this yet but i'm sure it will help me a lot in the future.
Dec. 4th, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC)
Yessss, thank you! I've been wondering how to do something like this, since I found out how to do it in PSP X. So thanks again! Meming.
May. 19th, 2008 12:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! ♥
*adding to memories*
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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