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Create your own Photoshop actions in 5 simple steps


Here is a list of the commands which can be recorded:

  • Marquee
  • Move
  • Polygon
  • Lasso
  • Magic Wand
  • Crop
  • Slice
  • Magic Eraser
  • Gradient
  • Paint Bucket
  • Type
  • Shape
  • Notes
  • Eyedropper
  • Color Sampler

You can also record steps in History, Swatches, Color, Paths, Channels, Layers, Styles, and Actions panels.

Note that your results will depend on your settings. As an example, if you apply a 15px Gaussian Blur to a 300ppi file it will create a different effect when working with a 100ppi file, so it's important to keep track of your progress.

You can record a path using Insert Path, either in Photoshop or pasted in from Adobe Illustrator.

You can insert stops in an action to allow you to perform a task which cannot be recorded, such as using a painting tool. When you complete the task, click on the play button again to complete the action.

When using a stop, it's a good idea to include a message of what needs to happen next before moving on to the next step(s) of the action.

Commands which cannot be recorded are the painting and toning tools, tool options, view commands, and Window commands.


In this brief exploration, you can easily see the value of creating actions. Such an activity will save you from many hours of tedious, repetitive work.


Here is a list of actions, both free and commercial, for getting the job done.

Words: Nathan Segal

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