GRAPHICS PRO

October '21

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S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G T H E D I G I T A L E Y E | S T E P H E N R O M A N I E L L O 1 0 0 G R A P H I C S P R O O C T O B E R 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M AUTOMATE! TIME-SAVING PUSH-BUTTON SOFTWARE TECHNIQUES M anually repeating a command to perform the same task sever- al times in a computer program is tedious. Now, I'm not a particularly lazy guy, nor am I obsessed with robots or auto devices, but within workflow it's nice to be able to eliminate the boring, time-wasting process of performing the same task repeatedly. At this stage of the game the expectations we have of our computers and software are not unrea- sonable, and an important aspect is for the software to easily repeat a series of commands. ACTIONS A saved command or sequence of com- mands is called an action. An action can be automatically applied with the click of the mouse. Actions, no matter if they are simple with two or three commands in the sequence, or complex with dozens of commands, can be recorded, saved, loaded, and applied to individual images. Actions also can be applied to groups or "batches" of images. Automatic commands can be run di- rectly from Adobe Photoshop, Illustra- tor, and Bridge. They are also available in Corel software. DEFAULT ACTIONS Since creating an action differs slightly from pro- gram to program, I will use Photoshop actions as an ex- ample because it is easiest. Rest assured, except for the terminology and the loca- tion of panels, the process is essentially the same. An action is created by accessing the actions panel from the window menu. (Fig. 1) When the panel is opened, the default actions are displayed. You may have to click the little arrow to expand the folder. These are actions that are bundled with the software and are useful for various tasks, from making wooden frames to creating vignettes to converting color modes. It's simply a matter of selecting the action and running it by clicking the play but- ton in the actions panel. CREATE AN ACTION Open the document that you want to work on. Before you can record an ac- tion, you must create an action set — a folder where the action resides. Click on new set in the panel options menu. Name the set. Click on new action from the same menu and name the action in the new action dialog box (Fig. 2) then click record. Be careful! If the action is being record- ed, the panel will record every command that you preform. You'll see a little red dot on the panel when the recording is being made. With each command that you apply its name appears as a separate Fig. 1 (left): An action is created by accessing the actions panel from the window menu. Fig. 2 (above): Click on new action from the same menu and name the action in the new action dialog box then click record.

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