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Simple batch process tutorial

Using Photoshop & Fireworks

12:23 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 4, 2002
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This topic comes up so often I thought I'd write a quick 'How To' for batch processing image files using Photoshop & Fireworks.

Principle: You have dozens of images you want to convert for a gallery, create thumbnails, change from a digital camera RAW files etc... But do not want to have to edit each image one by one. Using the in-built batch processing command in an image editing application you can automate the process converting swathes of files using one instruction

In the example I use below I am going to resize the photos, optimise them as low res JPEG and export them to a new folder.

What you'll need:

  • A folder full of images
  • Photoshop or Fireworks - I'm using CS & MX but the rules are very similar for older versions
  • A spare 5 minutes

    Photoshop (PS)

    A. Recording your Action

    1. Open PS
    2. Open you Actions Palette (windows – actions)
    3. Click on the chevron top right of the palette
    4. Choose New Set
    5. Name it ‘limbo’ (or your choice)
    6. Click OK (you’ll see the limbo folder in the palette window)
    7. Click the same chevron in the actions palette
    8. Choose new action
    9. Name it ‘JPEG Resize’ (or your choice)
    10. Click OK (you’ll see the new action in the limbo folder)
    11. Open the first image in you source folder
    12. Select JPEG Resize & Click on the record button in the actions palette
    13. Select image size – choose 50% and constrain the proportions
      note: it is important to use %’s if your images are different sizes
    14. Click file > save for web
    15. Choose medium compression JPEG (quality 30)
    16. Click save > choose a folder destination (this will be final destination for all you batched files)
    17. Close the file
    18. Click the Stop Recording button in the Actions Palette

    B. Applying your Action to a Folder of Files
    1. Click file > automate > batch
    2. Select ‘limbo’ in the set dropdown menu
    3. Select ‘ JPEG resize’ from the action dropdown menu
    4. Select Folder from the source dropdown menu
    5. Click Choose > Select your source folder
    6. Tick the ‘Override Action “Open” Commands’ box (needed for some file types e.g. EPS, camera raw )
    7. Select Folder from the destination dropdown menu
    8. Click Choose > Select your destination folder
    9. Click OK,
    10. Make yourself a drink, put your feet up watch it happen :)

    [edited by: limbo at 12:45 pm (utc) on Mar. 23, 2005]

  • 12:25 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    joined:Oct 4, 2002
    votes: 0

    Fireworks (FW)

    A. Recording A Command

    1. Open FW
    2. Open an image
    3. Modify > Canvas > Image size > Choose 50%
      note: change both X & Y to 50 % FW does not contain them both as %’s other wise your images will be resized as 50% + specified pixels
    4. Click OK
    5. Click file > export preview
    6. Select JPEG 30
    7. Click OK (not save)
    8. Click file > export
    9. Select your Desitination folder
    10. Click save
    11. Open your History Palette (two items will be stored as image size & export)
    12. Select both Items
    13. Click the chevron top right of the palette
    14. Choose Save As Command
    15. Name it Resize JPEG
    16. Click OK

    B. Using A Batch Command

    1. Open FW
    2. Click > file > batch process
    3. Select the folder of images you wish export
    4. Click the ‘add all’ button
    5. Click next
    6. Select Resize JPEG from the command list
    7. Click Add
    8. Click next
    9. Select/create your destination folder
    10. Click Batch…….

    here I have a problem – I am unable to supress the save dialogue box so I have to click save for every image, which is still quicker than repeating all but very monotonous (anyone know?)


    These Commands and actions can then be applied to new images the future, so you only have to make a recording once to use it thousands of times, it is that simple, you can apply all sorts of functions to a batch, don't be shy with it, automation is the way forward.

    If I have missed anything, made any errors or if you know a quicker way let me know. And if you can add a tutorials for GIMP,
    CorelDraw, PaintshopPro or any other Image editor that would be great.

    5:38 pm on Nov 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

    Senior Member

    WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    joined:Oct 4, 2002
    votes: 0

    Thanks to Leosghost and his son for this addition. (original thread here [webmasterworld.com])

    Converting and Resizing using XnVIEW ( freeware )

    1. Open Xnview.

    2. Choose: Tools/Multi Convert.

    3. In the dialog window which appears, click "Add".

    4. Browse to locate the folder in which your screen captures are.

    5. Select the first file (top left, duh!), then select the last
      file which is in the list of your files to convert while holding down the "shift" Key (don't worry about also selecting some files which your not going to convert, you can take 'em out of Xnviews file convert list afterwards by selecting 'em individually, and clicking the "Remove" button each time).if need be.

    6. If you're going to put the eventual converted and resized copies in another folder, choose it by clicking the "..." button next to the "Directory" input text, or by typing the location of that new folder in that same input text.

    7. Next, choose the file type your going to convert them in (for example: jpeg). Xnview has an INCREDIBLE number of files it can convert, save or open!

    8. If possible, do NOT tick the "Delete original", you might never know when you'll be needing the originals!

    9. Click on "advanced operations" - select (high light) "resize" - then click on the top button with the dotted arrow (this will bring resize into the rightside window and will now allow you to select the sizes and the sampling method - leave "keep ratio" ticked ). note: You may need to play around with resampling types until you get the quality you want. "bilinear" is good for 99% of images for the net

    10. press "OK" to close the dialog box.

    11. Press "Go", wait till it's done converting, renaming and the rest... And, at last go and see if it did its job correctly by opening the folder in which all these new graphics are waiting. :)

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