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September 01, 2016

3 Useful Photoshop Tips to Speed Up Your Work Day

 man sitting with coffee and laptop

By now, all of us at some point have developed some familiarity with our good friend Photoshop. What we are also familiar with however, is how overly complex or tedious some tasks can get! If you’ve read one of our previous blog posts, you will have learned about AutoHotKey, a nifty little tool that can speed up your workflow. While you can certainly use AHK with Photoshop, you also have other options as Photoshop itself sports its own automation tools!

Three of the most useful features I’ve found that anyone can make use of are: actions, batch processing and the droplet features. Now I know what you’re thinking: I’ve heard of those features before but it’s just so hard to learn or understand! Well, fear not for I have found these videos that are very simple and easy to follow for you- and myself! If you’re looking to follow the steps shown in these videos, just remember to use unimportant photos or make backups so you don’t lose anything! Now lets get started on these Photoshop tips!


Actions are basically a series of tasks that you can take and apply on a single file or batch of files. For example, you’ve found out that your camera betrayed you and the photos you took last night during your dinner out with your friends have a bluish tint to them and a small black spot at the bottom right corner, yikes! Instead of doing the same several adjustments to them, you can simply record those adjustments in an action, and just use the action on those photos! This effectively makes you only do your adjustments once while Photoshop doles out the same treatment through its action feature to the rest of your photos.

“But how?”, I hear you cry. In this video by PHLEARN, professional photographer Aaron Nace shows us the right way to get started with actions. Actions can be tricky at first because of how specificity can affect how they work and this wall of trickiness throws a lot of people away, depriving them of this time-saving feature. Aaron Nace addresses this obstacle from the get-go, which will hopefully help in preventing you from jumping of the boat!

Batch Processing

Awesome, right? Your photos from yesterday are saved thanks to Adobe’s actions. Unfortunately, you discover that your evil camera has somehow applied this grotesque tint and spot to your wedding photos as well! Even more yikes! Now, you can go ahead and open all two thousand three hundred and twenty four photos and apply the action to them while you lose your grip on reality; but where’s the “time-saving” part in that? Enter, batch processing!

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Batch processing allows you to apply actions to a “batch” of photos, in this case all two thousand three hundred and twenty four of your wedding photos. This second video shows our recent friend Aaron Nace again showing us the what's and how's of batch processing. He starts off the video by creating an action to use with the batch processing feature and then proceeds to show you how to do just that. Wonderful!




Now that you’ve fixed your wedding photos, you can happily carry on with your life. Wrong! You remember that your and your significant other’s grandparents borrowed your camera and took photos of their own: Now they’re at your doorstep asking you to fix their “golden honeymoon” photos! Ouch! Enter, droplets!

Droplets are basically icons that can sit on your desktop or dock that allows you to drag a bunch of files into them after which they will perform your assigned action to the dragged items. They’re basically batch processing 2.0! One of the key differences here between the two is that droplets allow you to skip the modest dialogue box that batch processing requires you to fill up every time you want to use them! As a side effect, you will also be spared from possibly seeing your grandparents in their undies! This informative video from O’Reilly Video Training explains this nifty feature better.


Now you and your grandparents can happily carry on with your lives! It’s worth noting that the batch processing and droplets take actions as their foundations, so make sure your actions are accurate and always remember to make backups! There are also a ton of free actions on the internet provided by generous members of the Photoshop community that can help just about anyone with anything, so be sure to take a look! If you have a set of actions you would like to share or tips and tricks regarding these features, do share them in the comments below!

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