18 Replies Latest reply on Sep 16, 2010 10:28 AM by Jeff S GP2

    Editable action steps

    EricDuboisMDD Level 2

      I would like to be able to edit action steps instead of having to completely re-record them.

       

      For example, if I have an action where the "canvas extension color" was set to "foreground color" instead of the actual foreground color (#123456), I'd like the ability to select that line in the action and replace it.

        • 1. Re: Editable action steps
          Reynolds (Mark) Level 4

          You can do this already. If you double click any Action step the dialog will pop up allowing to change settings.

           

          In the example you have given you just delete the old step, and record a new step using the fill dialog and choosing a specific color from within this. Action steps can be moved around and recorded from where you want.

          • 2. Re: Editable action steps
            EricDuboisMDD Level 2

            Thanks. I tried right-clicking and nothing happened. This will help a lot.

            • 3. Re: Editable action steps
              Jeff S GP2 Level 1

              The inability to edit Actions has been one of my biggest  complaints.  It’s certainly time that actions undergo a major update.

               

              One thing that was a life saver for me is     ActionFileToXML.jsx  ,  and ,  ActionToXML.jsx. (not sure if these are the exact names.)

               

              They will enable you to edit your actions, via xml file, then save back as an action if you wish.

               

              Try it out.

              • 4. Re: Editable action steps
                retouchMOJO Level 1

                Actions are completely editable... always have been.

                • 5. Re: Editable action steps
                  Jeff S GP2 Level 1

                  The only way to edit an action is to redo it.. Hardly what I'd consider editing.


                  ...Use the jsx to xml script.  (that's editing!)

                  • 6. Re: Editable action steps
                    Level 7

                    The only way to edit an action is to redo it.. Hardly what I'd consider editing.

                    You might want to look that up.

                     

                    As already explained, you can edit actions in Photoshop:  re-record individual steps, insert new steps, move steps, delete steps, etc.

                    This has all been possible since actions were added to Photoshop in version 4.0.

                    • 7. Re: Editable action steps
                      PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional

                      Yes, to learn everything about actions, see this 250+ pages tutorial.

                      http://www.atncentral.com/zip/PhotoshopActions_ver1.1Btoc.zip

                      • 8. Re: Editable action steps
                        Jeff S GP2 Level 1

                         

                        Thanks for the zip, PECourtejoie

                         

                         

                        Here’s an excerpt from the Actions information:

                         

                         

                        “I just got a new computer and now all my data files are on D:\. Is there a way I can use, say, Microsoft Word (or any other program) to “find and replace” all occurrences of C:\ with D:\ avoiding the daunting task of rerecording all these actions?

                           A: No. There is no way to modify actions outside of the Actions Palette. You’ll need to manually rerecord the SAVE commands one by one. Sorry about that. “

                         

                        ---------------

                         

                        Note:  You can indeed edit this text file by converting it to xml, then back to .jsx.

                         

                        http://ps-scripts.sourceforge.net/xtools.html

                        • 9. Re: Editable action steps
                          EricDuboisMDD Level 2

                          As already explained, you can edit actions in Photoshop:  re-record individual steps, insert new steps, move steps, delete steps, etc.

                          Re-recording a step is not quite the same as editing it. You have to make sure your file/settings are set up so the specific step can be executed when you edit it.

                           

                          For example, the "fade" option is only available under certain conditions. So if you want to edit a fade value, you'll get the error The command “Fade” is not currently available.

                          • 10. Re: Editable action steps
                            Gyno-jiz Level 5

                            There are also examples where re-recording the step actually creates a similar step, but not the same step. Like "with make visible" or something along those lines. I've come across this a few times, so in general, I find it's usually (it's not like I never "edit" an action step) safer to re-run the action to the step you are about to edit and then properly re-record. I'll have to check out the XML editing. For me it's not a biggie, but I can't imagine that anyone posting here "actions are editable" has actually spent any time (re)recording them. Maybe you all just get it right the first time.

                            • 11. Re: Editable action steps
                              retouchMOJO Level 1

                              I add steps, remove steps, change the order of steps, temporarily disable steps and re-record steps all the time.

                              It works without error.

                              • 12. Re: Editable action steps
                                Gyno-jiz Level 5

                                Michael Lamy wrote:

                                 

                                I add steps, remove steps, change the order of steps, temporarily disable steps and re-record steps all the time.

                                It works without error.

                                 

                                Exactly. And the title of this thread is?

                                 

                                Real quick:

                                - Merge visible stamp (with dupe) re-records as merge visible

                                - fade needing a filter just done

                                - delete layer won't let you re-record

                                - paste needs clipboard data

                                - adjustment layers need to be in the right color space to re-record

                                - set brush size

                                 

                                I wonder if there are any others like the first issue above as that seems unique from my exploration.

                                 

                                Obviously, I love actions and feel they work great. But I also believe most intermediate users have on more than one occasion thought to themselves "I wish I could edit action steps". Would I want on the top of my new feature list -- absolutely not, particularly if there's already a workaround (as posted above).

                                 

                                And thanks to p-e for the primer. It looks formidable.

                                • 13. Re: Editable action steps
                                  JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                                  You can also step through an action and while doing so switch into record mode.  The actions palette is a full blown editor.  You may want to have a look at my crafting actions package contains.

                                   

                                  Action Actions Palette Tips.txt

                                  Action Creation Guidelines.txt

                                  Action Dealing with Image Size.txt

                                  Action Enhanced via Scripted Photoshop Functions.txt

                                  CraftedActions.atn Sample Action set includes an example Watermarking action http://www.mouseprints.net/old/dpr/WM900x600.jpg

                                  Sample Actions.txt Photoshop CraftedActions set saved as a text file. This file has some additional comments I inserted describing how the actions work.

                                  12 Scripts for actions

                                   

                                  My Photoshop downloads can be found here: http://www.mouseprints.net/Photoshop.html

                                  • 14. Re: Editable action steps
                                    Reynolds (Mark) Level 4

                                    JJMack: The actions palette is a full blown editor.

                                    Yes this is completely true. The enterface for Actions, whilst it is very good interface, designed a long time ago, I would say is certainly due for an overhaul. That's the only thing thats a genuine Feature Request about this thread.

                                     

                                     

                                    I were to be forced to nominate a single Photoshop feature that is the most powerful of all features - it is Actions. I only wish that Adobe Indesign (no Actions) and Illustrator had Actions as well implemented as they are in Photoshop.

                                     

                                    EricDuboisMDD: For example, the "fade" option is only available under certain conditions. So if you want to edit a fade value, you'll get the error The command “Fade” is not currently available.

                                     

                                    Its always suprising to hear when people assume that it must be a limited feature in some way.  Basically every Action step is re-recordable, you just have to create the right conditions to record it. Its a fully featured non-conditional programming process. In programming terms you can use subroutines, bring up dialogs, and do anything that doesn't require a condition. This is enormously powerful feature, and as a single feature has potential that blows every other piece of graphics software on the market out of the water IMHO.

                                     

                                    J Maloney. I can't imagine that anyone posting here "actions are editable" has actually spent any time (re)recording them. Maybe you all just get it right the first time.

                                     

                                    I have spent much time re-editing and customising Actions successfully J. Actions are easy to edit if you know what you are doing, how the software works, and where the potential faults in your processes are. Debugging Actions is of course a task requiring focus. But realising that there are often two or three ways to do something, and that certainly one of them will record correctly in your Action, is also essential.

                                    • 15. Re: Editable action steps
                                      Gyno-jiz Level 5

                                      I have spent much time re-editing and customising Actions successfully J.

                                       

                                      Of course. Can I get you on the record saying you've never wished for editable action steps? You prefer to set up the conditions carefully as opposed to just clicking on what needs to be changed and changing it?

                                       

                                      Of course I totally agree they are a very powerful feature and I use them all the time.

                                       

                                      As a kind of side note, I really can't even believe there's an argument here, except the trusty "which resources would we like the development team to allocate" and "please don't fix what ain't broke". Otherwise, Mark, I don't think you have a third leg to stand on. They're just not editable.

                                      • 16. Re: Editable action steps
                                        Reynolds (Mark) Level 4
                                        You prefer to set up the conditions carefully as opposed to just clicking on what needs to be changed and changing it?

                                        Ok so what would a double click on an Action Step bring up? A script like interface, or the dialog in kind of "non functional" mode? 

                                         

                                        Can I get you on the record saying you've never wished for editable action steps? … They're just not editable.

                                         

                                        As far as I'm concerned they are editable. And pretty easily. What am I missing?

                                        • 17. Re: Editable action steps
                                          Gyno-jiz Level 5

                                          No. You're not getting it. Any variable in an action step (anti-aliased for paste, blend mode and opacity for fade, radius for filter, any values you see if you "expand" the action) would be editable -- input fields for text, scrubbies for numbers, drop downs for blend modes, check-boxes for toggles, etc. That's it. Nothing revolutionary.

                                           

                                          I'm sure there would be problems, like the OP: do you pull up the picker, or just have a drop down for color model, with dependent sub menus for H-S-B or R-G-B. There's probably even more complicated ones I haven't even considered. (O RLY)

                                          • 18. Re: Editable action steps
                                            Jeff S GP2 Level 1

                                            The most annoying aspect of actions for me is the way in which it reads the document names themselves. Despite a document having a designated name, Actions will read them as “Previous document”, “Next Document” etc.. this makes working with multiple open files a hit and miss process not knowing which document Actions will determine as the proper one intended.  I understand it’s designed this way for general purposes, however there are cases when proper naming convention is essential. There needs to be a functionality in which one can enable  a “Use Document Name” feature.

                                             

                                             

                                            Still, much of my gripes with  Actions’ limited editing  capabilities have been alleviated through the xml script, which I’ve mentioned above.

                                             

                                            For those who construct massively complex actions sets ( which I often do) I would highly recommend utilizing this script.