Photoshop actions allow you to record a series of steps that you might do numerous times on other images, and then play back that series automatically on a new image. Photoshop CS4 comes with dozens of actions already created for you. In this article, I’ll give a pictorial and descriptive run-down of Photoshop’s built-in Commands actions.
See Related Posts at the end to click through to the other built-in action sets.
To open a non-Default set of built-in actions:
- Window > Actions
- Click on the menu icon at the top-right corner of the Actions panel.
- Look near the bottom of the menu where there is a list of seven sets (such as “Image Effects”).
- Select a set. It will added below the Default Actions set.
- Click the gray triangle to the left of the action set you just added, to open the list.
- Select an action, and click the Play selection button at the bottom of the Actions panel.
You can find more ready-made actions at the Photoshop Exchange.
I won’t go into these actions in great detail, because there’s no great detail to them. They are almost all one-step actions, and they are listed in the Actions panel to either 1) give you a single place to do any of these common tasks, or 2) let you know what all the F keys do. Here’s a rundown:
- Cut (selection) – F2
- Copy (selection) – F3
- Paste – F4
- Show Color – F5 – shows the Colors panel
- Show Layers – F6 – shows the Layers panel
- Show Info – F8 – shows the Info panel
- Show Actions – F9 – shows the Actions panel
- Show Navigator – F10 – shows the Navigator panel
- Image Size – F11
- Revert – F12
- Crop (select)
- Flatten Image – Shft+F2
- Purge All – Shft+F3
- Select Similar (selection) – Shft+F4
- Grow (selection) – Shft+F5
- Flip Horizontal – Shft+F6 (must be done on an editable layer)
- Flip Vertical – Shft+F7 (must be done on an editable layer)
- Rotate 90 CW – Shft+F8 (must be done on an editable layer)
- Rotate 90 CCW – Shft+F9 (must be done on an editable layer)
- Rotate 180 – Shft+F10 (must be done on an editable layer)
- New Snapshot – Shft+F11
- New Snapshot/Clear – Shft+F12