I spend the majority of my time in OSX Terminal and my Atom text editor. However, when I was recently given the task to put together a webpage hosting a gallery of images I needed a quick way to re-size my folder of multiple hi-res photos. Normally I would have access to an external API that includes URLs of different image sizes. In this case I had to figure out how to automate and convert a large numbers of files all at once.

Photoshop’s actions saved the day. Below is a quick tutorial how to take the editing you do on one image and apply the same edits to an entire folder of images.

Step 1: Prep your directions you will make

For the first image, apply exactly what you want to happen to this image. This is the process we’ll use to replicate across the folder of images.

  1. Click on: Window > Actions
  2. Scroll to bottom of actions pane
  3. Click the folder icon to “Create a new set” > Name the Set (An example might be “Thumbnails” or “BW Set”)
  4. Click the ‘Create New Action’ icon (this is the icon in between the folder and the trash can) > Name the action (An example might be ‘resize’ or ‘black-white’)
  5. Hit record
Image for post
Image for post

Step 2: Apply the directions to the first image

  1. Open file you want to work with
  2. At this point any edits you make will get recorded and are available for future use. The below example we’ll being changing the size of a file.
  3. Click img > image size > (change the size you want to work with)
  4. Save As > Save into the folder you want the edited images to be saved in ‘thumb’ > name thumb1
  5. Click the stop recording button at the bottom of ‘actions’ (the stop button is on the bottom left icon on the actions pane)

Step 3: Apply directions to all images at once

  1. File > Automate > Batch
  2. Set: (Choose the set you created)
  3. Action: (Choose the Action you created)
  4. Source: Folder (This is the folder of the original images)
  • Override Action: click checkbox
  • Include all subfolders: don’t check
  • Suppress File: click checkbox
  • Suppress Color: click checkbox

5. Choose the destination folder (This is where the new edited images will be saved to)

  • Override actions “save as”: click checkbox
  • In the first box create a base filename each image should have.
  • Select ‘1 digit serial number’ — this will give each image a unique file name
  • Click ok
Please excuse my archaic version of photoshop

Then we’re all done, check the destination folder and in one fell swoop all the images are created.

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