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Another way of extending batch processing even further is to utilize something called a droplet. Droplets are basically applications that live on your hard drive which enable you to run batch processing commands without actually having to go into Photoshop first. These are great for distributing out to people who might not be aware of how Photoshop works and how to run the Batch command. Basically, this little app sits on your desktop. You drag a folder of images on top of it, it launches Photoshop, runs the action, and you're good to go. It's a great timesaver and it's also great for sharing the actions that you've created inside of Photoshop to other people in your office or in your workgroup.
Let's take a look at how it works. First things first: I'm going to load up an Action. So I've got the Actions panel open; you can go to Window > Actions to bring that up. And I'll go here and I'll choose Load Actions, and inside of my exercise files folder, chapter 11, I have Resizing.atn. Hit Open. There we go! Now I go to File > Automate, and select Create Droplet. Inside of the Create Droplet dialog box, I have to choose where I'm going to save it. In this case, I'll save it to my Desktop and I'm going to call this resize400. And it'll append the .app extension, if you're on a Mac.
If you're on a PC, it'll add .exe. Unfortunately, droplets are not cross-platform. Now let's go ahead and hit Save. It's going to ask me for my set. In this case, I want to use the Resizing Set, the resize400 Action. My Destination, I'm going to save it to a folder. Now here's the deal when you're using droplets. It's going to assume that you want to use this folder each and every time. So what I do is I set a folder somewhere on my hard drive and I call this Processed or Processing or something like that. That way I've always got it in the same place. It throws all the images that I need in there. I can just go and grab them and move them wherever I need to go.
So in this case, I'll choose, on my Desktop, I'll create a new folder, and I'll call this processed. Hit Create and I'll hit Choose. Now, for the file name, I'm going to leave the document name. I'll add a two-digit serial number, and then I'll add the extension afterwards. Now I'm going to hit OK. Once I hit OK, I now should have that droplet out on my desktop. Let's go take a look. On my desktop, I have this new little icon right here with an arrow pointing down, indicating that I can throw something onto it and it will automatically resize to 400, just like it says.
So I'll open up my exercise files folder, go to chapter 11, and find the Batch folder. Inside of the Batch folder, I'll just take it and drop it right on top of that droplet. It launches Photoshop, it runs the action that I specified, and now if I go back to the desktop and look in my processed folder, there's my robot01, 02, and 03. I didn't even have to launch Photoshop. If Photoshop wasn't running to begin with, the droplet would've launched it for me, ran the action, and saved out all the images for me anyway. Pretty cool! Now I can close this, go back into Photoshop, and continue working.
So as long as you're sharing these with people that are on the same operating system--a Mac or a PC--you should be good to go, in terms of letting other people use these droplets that you've created. You can also go online and find a ton of free droplets that people have created that you can download to your computer and use to do all sorts of neat things. Just go to Google and type in "Photoshop Action" or "Photoshop Droplet," and you'll be amazed at the type of things that you can find. In any case, utilizing actions, batch processing, and droplets are great ways to streamline your workflow and get yourself to be more productive inside of Photoshop.
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