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Complete Guide to Using Actions in Photoshop

Article Description

Whenever you perform a repetitive task in Photoshop, you can save yourself time and effort by using actions. Helen Bradley's quick-start guide explains what a Photoshop action is, how to find and play an action, and how to record your own.

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Stopping and Restarting an Action

Another handy tool to use in an action is a stop. To add a stop, you select Insert Stop from the Actions palette menu. A stop allows you to display a short message, which appears in a small dialog box as the action is played. You can use this feature to type a brief description of the action or to give brief instructions about the steps in the action.

If you’re using a stop just to provide a brief message—and if you don’t want to stop the action from playing—check the Allow Continue checkbox. Then, when the dialog box appears as the action is played, you can click the Continue button to continue playing the action.

In other instances, you can use a stop to stop an action in which some user interaction is required. For example, you may need to crop the image before continuing and you won’t know ahead of time what portion to crop. To include a place to crop an image in an action, choose Insert Stop, and type a message indicating that you should now crop the image and reminding you to continue with the action from the following statement when the crop is complete. Disable the Allow Continue checkbox and continue recording the action.

When the action is played, you’ll be prompted to crop the image and advised to continue playing the action after you’ve done the cropping. Crop the image; then, to continue playing the action, click the statement following the stop in the action and click Play Selection to play from that statement forward.