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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
All right, after 600 odd movies, we are on the final movie, in the final portion of Photoshop CS5 One-on-One, in which I am going to tell you how to three commands that are available to you in the Actions panel flyout menu. Those commands include Button mode, which is pretty trivial, but I'll show it to you anyway, then there is the Load Actions command, and this strangely dimmed Save Actions commands, which are very, very important. All right, so notice that I've got this Productivity set right here, and it includes Convert to CMYK, CMYK + adjustable sharpen, Size, Stroke and SFW, and then finally, Web & CMYK, which is a combination of Size stroke & SFW, along with Convert to CMYK.
We want to make sure those guys are backed up, so we are going to save them. But let's say that you have someone working for you, and you what them to just be able to press buttons in order play back actions. So go over here to the Actions panel flyout menu, and you've got this command called Button mode. Now, if you loaded D keys, I gave you a keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+F+9 or Command+Shift+F9 on the Mac, F9 because you press F9 to get to the Actions panel in the first place. When you choose that command, notice that you're seeing button versions of every single one of the actions.
So, all of those colorful buttons right there, those are the buttons that are associated with the default actions that ship along with Photoshop. However, your actions, if you've been working along with me, do not have any colors assigned, unless you decided to give them colors. I didn't, and as a result, they just appear gray. So, if I click on the CMYK + adjustable sharpen button right there, I'll run through the steps, I'll see the alert Message, I'll click Continue, I'll get the Fade dialog box, I'll be able to dial in the amount of sharpening I want to apply, and then I'll click OK. But I want you to understand it's not only very easy to invoke these actions from the Button mode, it also keeps people from modifying them, unless they sort of research around and figure out that they can switch back to the Action editing mode.
If you want to get back to the standard mode, why you can just turn the command off, or you can press that key shortcut again, of Ctrl+Shift+F9, Command+Shift+F9 on the Mac. This part that I am now about to share with you is essential. The biggest question I get from people about Actions is, how do I copy them to a different machine? How do I use actions that I created in Photoshop CS3 or CS4 here inside Photoshop CS5? The answer to all of those questions is the exact same command: you go to the Actions panel flyout menu and you choose Save Actions.
How easy is that? The problem is that always seems to be dimmed, which I believe is what throws everybody off, because it's not hard-to-find. Well, here is the deal. You have to select an action set, such as productivity. So, you click on Productivity, and then you save it, and you'll save all of the actions inside the productivity set. So, go up to the Actions panel flyout menu. Now, choose Save Actions. Then notice how Photoshop wants to go ahead and place these actions inside of a deeply buried folder on your hard drive. However, if you want to make it portable, you want to take it to a different machine, you want to copy it to a different version of Photoshop, back it up, which is a great idea, by the way. Then go to a folder of your choice.
I'm going to choose the exercise_ files folder there on my desktop, and I'll enter this 34_actions folder. I will click the Save button in order to save off my actions so that you can load them up on your machine. Even though I created these actions on the PC, you can load them up on the Mac; they're totally cross-platform; they are often cross version. You can definitely save actions inside of Photoshop CS3 and bring them into CS5, but you can sometimes take actions from CS5 and go backward with them to say CS4. Often times that will work, as long as you're working with features that existed back in CS4 and CS3, and so on.
Anyway, I'll click the Save button to save off those productivity actions. Then if I wanted to load the actions, that's very easy. You just go to the Actions panel flyout menu, you choose the Load Actions command, you navigate your way to the proper folder - not here. I'll go into exercise_files, once again, 34_actions. There is Productivity.atn and ATN, by the way, is the suffix for an entire set of actions. Click on the Load button, and I'll end up duplicating the actions I already had. So, check it out. I'll twirl these guys closed, just so I have a little more room to work.
Twirl these guys close as well, and you can see they are exact duplicates of each other. I don't need that so, I'll grab that duplicate productivity set and drag it to the trashcan at the bottom of the panel to throw it away. Now, here is my last bit of advice, where these things are concerned. Once you get down with a day of recording some actions, because it does take some thinking and some testing and the whole number in order to make sure these darn things work, definitely, definitely, definitely save your actions out. I cannot tell you how many times I've spent like a week recording actions over time, haven't bothered to save them because there they are inside of Photoshop. The program crashes and guess what? It's all lost.
Whereas, if you took the time to go ahead and save your actions, and Photoshop crashes, and then you restart the program, and then everything's gone, why then you can reinstate your actions to just by choosing that Load Actions command, and you're back in business. That, my friends, is the overwhelming and really truly unending power of actions here inside Photoshop.
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