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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Oh my goodness. What kind of father am I to take my children to the horrifying water park of terror? Actually we had a great time. They are just acting, just so as you know, in case you are completely convince by their amazing performances. Now in this exercise, we are going to see how we take that wonderful action that we created and we saved it, whether our intention is to take it over to a different version of Photoshop, or take it to a different machine, or share it with a friend, or disseminated online or just back it up. If we were you crash right now, we would lose that action. That's what so horrifying about this scenario here. It just saved as a preference right now. So it's very important that once you get an action, you go ahead and save it.
All right, and here is how. Let's go ahead and bring up the Actions palette and I have got this Rotate & scale action, right here. That's right ready to go. And by the way, let's say that I don't want to be seeing the contents of all of my steps. I can twirl each one of them closed manually, right like so, or I can twirl them all closed automatically. So notice if you click on the triangle for the action itself here, you will go ahead and twirl it closed, and then if you click again you will twirl it open and it remember that all the steps were open.
However, if you Alt-click or Option- click on this triangle, then you are going to expand everything or collapse everything. So for example, I'll go ahead and Alt-click on the triangle right now or Option-click to collapse everything and now I'll release Alt or Option and click again and all of my steps are collapsed. Compare that to, if I have to collapse the Action once again, and then Alt-click or Option-click to expand it, then I'm expanding all of the steps as well. So just something to note. All right, so anyway, my Action though is selected. I'll go to the Actions palette fly-out menu and then I'll drop down here and lo and behold one of the very, very few commands that is dimmed is Save Actions. Just Insert Path because I don't have a path in this file and then Save Actions. So it's my only dim commands. What gives, why first of all can I not save my action and secondly why am I being tempted with this dimmed command as if to say, "ha, ha, ha, you can't do it" and the reason is this. You can't save individual actions; you just save action sets.
So that's why it was so important to go ahead and create a set in the first place and not throw your new action into the default Actions folder. You don't want to do that. Because then you would be saving all of Adobe's default actions along with yours and that get pretty confusing I would think. So my recommendation is to create a new set as we did. Record your first action, make sure it works, troubleshoot it, try it out. Do whatever you need to do to make sure that is a functioning action and then click on the set. First thing, even though a set can contain hundreds or thousands of actions, this one just contains one. That's fine. We can always update it later.
Go ahead and save your work as soon as you can. So I'll go ahead and click on My actions, that folder right there, and then I'll go back to the Actions palette fly -out menu and sure enough Save Actions is available to me. So I'll go ahead and choose the Save Actions command. Now by default, Photoshop is going to take you into this Actions folder that's buried several folders deep in the System structure, I don't recommend you save your actions there because it's difficult to find those actions later. Instead, what I recommend you do is you save them wherever it is that you want that's going to work out for you, so you know where it is and then you could copy them off, give them to somebody else, back them up, do whatever you want to do.
I am going to go ahead and save my actions set to the 30_actions folder and I'll click Save and now in order to load it on to a different machine, you would go over to the Actions palette fly -out menu once again, you would choose Load Actions and then you would go ahead and click on My actions and Load it on up. Now these actions should be cross platform compatible. They should also be compatible between different versions of Photoshop unless of course you are using some new-fangled feature that isn't available on previous version of the program. Then that step is going to fail, but otherwise the actions themselves will work. So you can definitely take your Photoshop CS Actions and load them up in CS2 and then take your CS2 Actions and load them up in Photoshop CS3 and so on and so on.
You may have to make minor tweaks because things don't always work exactly the same between different versions of the program but you can load them up and then play them and see how they work. Anyway you can see in my case that we can have duplicate actions, if we want. I don't want that, so I'm going to go ahead and click on my Trash Can icon right there. It will ask me if I want to delete the selection. If I don't want to see that warning of course, then Alt-click or Option-click, right. So you go down to the Trash can and Alt-click or Option-click on it and then that set goes away. All right so, very groovy so far. We have managed to save out our actions.
We are safe despite the horrified appearance of my children. But in the next exercise, I want to show you how to tweak an action so that you can change your mind as you are playing an action on the fly.
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