6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 8, 2010 3:56 PM by Jeff S GP2

    Actions Revamp!

    Jeff S GP2 Level 1

      I think its about time that Photoshop Actions underwent a major overhaul.

      For instance,   When working between multiple documents, the action reads/writes this as "Document 1", "previous Document" etc.
      It never refers to the document by its actual Document name. How can anything be recorded  with such an inaccurate system of selection.  I realize this  functionality is designed to be used on any document, which is fine, however there should be an area within the actions pallet where one can enable "use document name"

      Also,  The editing of actions is horrible..  Actually, nonexistent!
      Why cant i simply open up an editing window  and rename things like Document names, or even change the directory paths... why would this be so difficult?

      Also, another annoying thing occurs when  importing multiple documents.   I notice that when I record my actions of opening a sequential order of jpegs,  ie: Multi select image1.jpg, through image100.jpg,   I see the documents opening sequentially, yet they're listed haphazardly in the Actions list.

      Any thoughts on an Actions update?

        • 1. Re: Actions Revamp!
          c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

          If You want to automate the editing of stacks of images it might pay off to invest the time and learn a bit of JavaScript and do the whole thing with Scripting.

          Scripting allows for a lot of functionalities that are elusive to straight Actions – conditionals for example.

          • 2. Re: Actions Revamp!
            Reynolds (Mark) Level 4

            Some of the annoyances you have noted there Jeff, are very old problems and you are completely right to pick up on them.


            I agree, the inability to select documents by NAME is something that is massively overdue and would enhance Actions very much. Perhaps another suggestion of how to implement this would be  that in the case of choosing documents from the Window menu, that it would record the document name. To keep existing behaviour (previous and next) also intact, selecting tabs or clicking documents to activate them could record as 'previous' and 'next' still?  It would be necessary to keep this behaviour, because sometimes Actions need to be contextual. Also existing Actions need to work in future versions.


            I don't think "the whole of Actions need an overhaul" - because the way they are implemented at present is extremely clever and workable and fast. A new feature written from the ground up, with many of the present team -  ahem, lets just say you may end up losing more than you gained. Actions I believe were first brought about by Russell Williams - and that concept of how they work, is extremely cleverly implemented, they are still an underused feature, many users having no idea of their power.


            Now the Actions PANEL - now yes that could be overhauled with sub-sets and easier assigning of shortcuts. Make it more accessible wouldn't hurt. Well not too much lol ;-)


            New features should always be run through the Acttions, making sure that they work within Actions completely.

            • 3. Re: Actions Revamp!
              Jeff S GP2 Level 1



              To learn Java would sadly, not be an option for me..  I simply haven't the time (nor the aptitude, I might add) to undergo this kind of  training.
              Although, I'm semi familiar with working in VBA, ie: Excel scripts. 

              If there was a program which would allow me to edit an Action, I might be able to recognize areas, and make changes there.
              Where might I find such an editor or information on this kind of process?

              • 4. Re: Actions Revamp!
                Jeff S GP2 Level 1

                Thanks, Mark

                It wasn't my intention to disrespect Russell Williams for his contributions. Actions are a Godsend!
                My extended rant was more for dramatic effect than anything else.  Still, I've been working with Actions for a very long time, and noticed that there has been  little change an all these years, despite how necessary they are.

                • 5. Re: Actions Revamp!
                  c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

                  xbytor has created Scripts (»ActionFileToXML.jsx« and »ActionToXML.jsx« for example) that allow to edit Actions outside of Photoshop (and return them with »ActionFileFromXML.jsx«); those Scripts are freely available on www.ps-scripts.com somewhere.

                  But I don’t know if that will be any help here.


                  Photoshop can use VB-Scripts, but judging from the posts at the Scripting-forum rather few people use VB, it’s seems to be mostly JavaScript …

                  • 6. Re: Actions Revamp!
                    Jeff S GP2 Level 1



                    Yes,  I’ve managed to find something.  An Actions script converted to JavaScript will be fine.  At least I have a few more options than with regular Actions.


                    Thanks for the info!