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Actions in Adobe Photoshop 2020

Lesson 6 of 7

Photo Credit Action

Ben Willmore

Actions in Adobe Photoshop 2020

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

6. Photo Credit Action


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4 Create a Contour Map Action Duration:10:20
5 Faux Sunset Action Duration:07:20
6 Photo Credit Action Duration:05:54
7 Create Sharable Actions Duration:07:31

Lesson Info

Photo Credit Action

Now, let's say that I would like to have an action make a decision for me, where I don't want the action to always be the same. What I'm gonna do here is open two images. And what I'd like to do in these two images is I wanna end up putting let's say, a photo credit in the image. But if the image is square, I'd like the photo credit to be centered at the bottom of the image. And if the photo is horizontal instead, I want it to be in the lower right corner. Well, how do you do that in an action? Because an action just repeats whatever it is you do. Well, here's how you do that. If I go to the actions panel, first, I'd need to make my individual action. So in this case, I'm not actually gonna go through the full process, 'cause I don't wanna waste too much of your time. But what I'll do in this case, is I'm gonna have it do antique color if the image is square. And I'm gonna have it do that contours tracing if it's not square. And therefore, you'll see how it's done. What you need to do ...

is create two separate actions, one that will be applied if it meets a particular condition, and one that would apply instead if it doesn't meet that condition. So I'm gonna create a brand new action here, and I'm gonna call it square versus rect, meaning rectangle. I'm gonna hit record, and then I'm gonna go to the side menu of my actions panel, and I'm gonna choose a choice called insert conditional. Now when I choose insert conditional, this top menu gives me all the choices I could use. These are all the questions I could have Photoshop ask about this document to control how it deviates and applies one action versus another. And so, right here is a choice, is document is square. So I'm gonna have it check if the document is square, and then, if it is square, I'm gonna have it desaturate the edges, or whatever one of these. No, let's do antique color if it's square. And if it's not square, then it's gonna do what's down here. Now I could leave that set to none. And therefore, this action called antique color would only apply if the document is square, and then if it wasn't square, it would do nothing. Or, I could add a separate step in my action right after it that asks another condition. But for now, I'm gonna come over here and say that the contours action should be applied if it's not square. I'm gonna click OK, and then I'll hit stop. So, only thing this action has is an if statement. And that if statement is saying if it's square, play one action. And if it's not, play another. So now, I'm gonna apply it to this particular document. Now, I wasn't, I haven't double-checked this document. I'm assuming it's square, but it might not be absolutely square, it could be like, almost square. And so I'm not sure if for certain it's going to work, but if it does, it's gonna apply the antique color action if it thinks it's square. It did not. And what that means, is if I choose undo enough times here, if I go to my image menu and I choose image size, if you look at this, it's not a perfect square. You see the two numbers are not identical? So I could crop this image and make it perfectly square. I might do that using the canvas size screen. Canvas size either adds space or takes space away to your image, and here, I'll make sure that it's perfectly square. That's gonna crop out a little bit of my image. So now, it should be exactly square. Now when I hit play, I get my antique color action. If I switch to a different document, this one's rectangular. I hit play on the same action, and I don't get the same result. Instead, I get the trace contour action. And so that is a conditional. That's where you can ask a question about the image, and depending on the answer, it will use different settings. And these are the questions that could be analyzed or asked to control which actions apply. So it could be that I have an action that does things to CMYK images, it converts them to RGB. And so, I could have this, the first step in an action be an if statement that says, if it's CMYK, then play an action where all it does is convert it to RGB. And if it's not CMYK, it does nothing. It just keeps the action continuing. And all sorts of other things. Like when we had things where we were retouching out telephone lines, if I was able to make that as an action, when I talked about retouching, I said it's best if it's done in 16-bit mode. Then if you have any other actions that would be best in that mode, the very beginning of the action, put in a step that says insert conditional, and say if it's eight-bit, then just have a separate action where all that action does will convert to 16-bit. And, then, it would be if eight-bit, it runs an action that converts to 16. If else, set it to none. And then, just have additional steps in your action, which is what you truly wanted the action to accomplish. So it's only the beginning that would end up checking to see what mode it's in, and would convert if needed. So that is called a conditional.

Class Description


  • Automate a wide variety of multi-step techniques
  • Apply an Action to hundreds of images using the Batch command
  • Use subroutines to incorporate a set of steps into multiple actions
  • Utilize Conditionals to change the course of an action based on the unique characteristic of a layer
  • Troubleshoot existing actions


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)


Danna Chiasson

Good stuff ... learned some valuable tips ... thanks !