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This chapter is all about actions. An action allows you to record a sequence of operations so that you can play those operations automatically. So the upshot is the next time you find yourself performing a series of steps that you've performed before, you ought to go ahead and record those steps as an action. And that'll help to eliminate some of the drudgery of working in Photoshop in the future. Now, as obvious as that argument is, I find that a lot of people are reticent to use actions because they seem like they're more trouble than they're worth.
After all, you have to figure out your approach. Sometimes, you have to problem solve. Other times, you have to troubleshoot the action to get it to work. If you fall into that camp of potential action haters, then I have three incentives for you to use actions in the future. First, you can use the batch command to play an action on an entire folder full of images at a time. Which means you don't even have to be there to watch the action work. Photoshop will automatically open the file, play the action, save the changes and close the files for you.
You can batch process dozens or hundreds, or literally dozens of hundreds of images at a time. Second, you can share actions with your co-workers. So imagine, for example, that you're working with folks who aren't quite as adept at Photoshop as you are. Which is basically everyone at this point. You're training a new hire, for example. Any time you're working with a large team, you can hand out actions to help them out. And then, third, an action plays back much more quickly than you can record it.
More quickly, in fact, than you could ever hope to perform the steps manually. An action plays back as quickly as Photoshop can accommodate the instructions. As Stan Lee used to say, at the speed of thought. Simply put, actions are all about expediency, which is why I recommend you watch the next movies as quickly as possible.
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