Photoshop is well known for its support for Filters and Actions, but there's a third way to increase the functionality of Adobe's image editing tool – Scripts. Photoshop Scripts are a little like Actions, but rather than simply being able to replay a series of steps, Scripts can make conditional decisions during processing to enable them to be more intelligent.
They also have access to the whole set of Photoshop functionality, including elements not easily accessible to mere actions, so they can do things simply not possible with actions alone.
In fact, many of the features you already use in Photoshop are actually Scripts – take the Image Processor function, for example. This is found under the File>Scripts menu inside Photoshop, and allows you to quickly convert an entire folder of images from one format to another, resizing as you go and adding meta data. This is just one example of a Photoshop Script, and accurately demonstrates the power of Scripts.
So, with all that in mind, check out our selection of the top Scripts to add functionality to Photoshop, and let us know if you've found any useful Scripts we haven't mentioned in the comments below!
01. Corner Editor
This handy little Script makes it simple to round the corners of any polygonal shape, and allows you to set different options per corner, allowing you to generate complex shapes quickly and efficiently.
This Script from Trevor Morris converts and saves an image to black-and-white using 20 different approaches. Once the 20 variations have been saved, they can be automatically re-opened in Photoshop for comparison, and you can add your own variations to the mix to increase the comparison options!
03. Split to Layers
This useful Script simply isolates contiguous groups of pixels on a layer, and promotes each group to a new layer. Very handy for situations where you've got multiple elements on a single layer but need to separate them out.
Russell Brown offers a good variety of useful Scripts and extensions on his website, as you might expect from one of Adobe's ambassadors. This particular Script allows you to quickly grab a texture to use in your open document.
05. Eliminate Copy
This super-useful Script from Mike Hale allows you to remove the word copy from the layer name of duplicated layers inside Photoshop. It can apply the removal across multiple layers simultaneously, or just the currently active layer.
This Script allows you to generate a calendar for any given month of your choosing. Simply run the Script, choose your month and year, and the Script will generate everything for you.
Another of Russell Brown's Scripts, this one allows you to combine multiple exposures into one completed image – ideal for astro-photography where details need to be extrapolated from multiple captures rather than just one.
08. Sprite Generator
If you use sprites for your background images in web design, you'll love this Script that allows you to automatically generate a sprite and all the associated CSS required to use it, simply by choosing a folder of images.
09. Tych Panel 2
This Script allows you to create diptychs, triptychs and ntychs quickly and easily inside Photoshop. Choose the number of rows and columns, and how the source images should be composited, and let Tych Panel do its thing!
10. Super Export
This Script allows you to easily export individual parts of a PSD document as separate, cropped files by naming layers according to the filename you'd like to save with. For example, name a layer 'background.jpg' and run this Script to save that one layer out, while hiding all other layers.
Next page: 10 more free time-saving Photoshop Scripts