You could probably do it with an action, but I don't think there is an existing method. Is there a particular reason?
Thanks for the reply Trevor.
I am showing the basics of photoshop to a couple of my clients (I work with people that have had strokes or for some other reason find mobility difficult). One lady in particular is very keen on creating a variety of layouts for her photographs and I have found a variety of images that are potentially suitable and some of them are effectively single layer images which look like contact sheets.
What I want to do is to promote each of the individual contacts to a new layer so that she can use a clipping mask on each layer to clip each photo to the different contacts.
So I am using the magic wand on each of the squares (which works perfectly well as each square is a solid colour - grey). Then pressing Ctrl - J to promote it to a new layer. I then have to click on the base layer again, press Ctrl + D to Deselect and then repeat the process for the other squares.
To be honest I only have to do a few of them and to do them individually isn't too much of a problem. But it threw up the question and I thought I would ask in the spirit of expanding my knowledge.
Sounds like Trevor's suggestion would be best. But when you create the action, use alt/opt-[ to select the original layer. This way you're action will not be dependant on the layer's name.