If you have spent a significant amount of time to record a new operation in Photoshop or to make changes to an existing operation, you will probably want to save the result of your work, otherwise the operation may be lost if Photoshop suddenly fails. Fortunately, saving operations in Photoshop is very easy, although there is a certain point that you must remember.
The program does not allow us to save individual operations. We can save only sets of operations. Therefore, if you record or edit an operation and want to save it later (which you certainly plan to do), you should select and save a whole set of operations. This is one of the main reasons why I previously advised you not to save your own operations within sets of operations that were originally loaded into the program. Post all new transactions inside separately created sets of operations, and it will be easier for you to save, load and store them on your computer.
To save a set of operations, first select it in the Operations panel. Inside my set of “My Operations” there are two operations – “Soft Glow” (an operation that we recorded in the last lesson) and “Corners for a photo-improvement” (an operation that is a reworked version of the operation “Corners for a Photo” originally loaded into the program) . I want to save this set of operations, so in the Operations panel I’ll select it:
After selecting a set of operations, click the menu icon located in the upper right corner of the Operations panel or, if you are working in a version of Photoshop CS2 or an earlier version, click on the small right-hand arrow. This action will open the menu of the Operations panel, where you should select the Save Actions option:
The program will display the Save dialog box. Save your set of operations in a place on your computer where it will be easy for you to find it later. I created an “Actions” folder on the desktop where I’ll save the My Operations set. Thus, it will be easy for me to find this set of operations in case I need to reload it into Photoshop. Make sure you save a set of operations with the extension “.atn” so that operations can be played on both a personal computer (PC) and a Mac. When you are ready, click the Save button in the dialog box to save your operations:
And now your operations are saved! If suddenly in the program Photoshop fails, your operations will remain safe. Of course, a computer crash can happen, then you lose everything – both the program and your operations, so I would strongly recommend that in such a case you record operations on a CD / DVD disk or on an external hard disk.
Restoring the default operations set
After we have saved our operations, let’s remove everything from the “Operations” panel and restore the default set of operations. To do this, click once again on the menu icon in the upper right corner of the Operations panel or on the small arrow if you are working in a version earlier than Photoshop CS3, and from the list that appears, select Restore Operations (Reset). Actions):
As a result of this action, a warning dialog box will appear on the screen, where the program will ask you whether you really want to replace the current operations with the default operations. Click OK to close the dialog box and replace the operations:
If we now look at the “Operations” panel, we will see that all the sets of operations have disappeared, and only the “Default Actions” set remains:
Loading operations into Photoshop
After we have cleared the Operations panel, let’s load the set of operations that we previously saved. Click the menu icon (or the small right-hand arrow) in the upper right corner of the Operations panel and from the list that appears, select the Load Actions item:
This action will open the Load dialog box. Navigate to the location where you saved the set of operations, select the desired set, and click the Load button in the dialog box. In my case, the set of operations was saved in the “Operations” folder on the desktop, so I will go to this folder, click on the “My Operations” set and click on the “Download” button:
And now, if we look again at the Operations panel, we can see the My Operations set, which was successfully loaded again into Photoshop:
Notice that the set of operations appeared in the “Operations” panel already opened. This happened because I saved it in the same way. Operations sets are loaded into the Operations panel in the expanded or collapsed view, depending on how they were saved.
And here we are done! Now we have looked at everything you need to know about Photoshop operations in order to work successfully with them!