Using the Batch command (Photoshop)


The Batch command lets you play an action on a folder of files and subfolders. If you have a digital camera or a scanner with a document feeder, you can also import and process multiple images with a single action. Your scanner or digital camera may need an acquire plug-in module that supports actions. (If the third-party plug-in wasn't written to import multiple documents at a time, it may not work during batch-processing or if used as part of an action. Contact the plug-in's manufacturer for further information.)

You can also import PDF images from Acrobat Capture or other software programs.

When batch-processing files, you can leave all the files open, close and save the changes to the original files, or save modified versions of the files to a new location (leaving the originals unchanged). If you are saving the processed files to a new location, you may want to create a new folder for the processed files before starting the batch.

For better batch performance, reduce the number of saved history states and deselect the Automatically Create First Snapshot option in the History palette.

To batch-process files using the Batch command:

Choose File > Automate > Batch.
For Play, choose the desired set and action from the Set and Action pop-up menus.
For Source, choose a source from the pop-up menu:
Folder to play the action on files already stored on your computer. Click Choose to locate and select the folder.
Import to import and play the action on images from a digital camera, scanner, or PDF document.
Opened Files to play the action on all open files.
File Browser to play the action on the selected files in the File Browser.
Select Override Action "Open" Commands if you want Open commands in the action to refer to the batched files, rather than the filenames specified in the action. If you select this option, the action must contain an Open command because the Batch command will not automatically open the source files.
Deselect Override Action "Open" Commands if the action was recorded to operate on open files or if the action contains Open commands for specific files that are required by the action.

Select Include All Subfolders to process files in subfolders.
Select Suppress File Open Options Dialogs to hide File Open Options dialogs. This is useful when batching actions on camera raw files. The default or previously specified settings will be used. For more information on using the Batch command to open camera raw image files, see Creating an action to open camera raw image files.
Select Suppress Color Profile Warnings to turn off display of color policy messages.
Choose a destination for the processed files from the Destination menu:
None to leave the files open without saving changes (unless the action includes a Save command).
Save and Close to save the files in their current location, overwriting the original files.
Note: If you choose the Save and Close option, you can select the Override Action "Save As" Commands option. This option causes the Batch command to override any action Save As commands, and saves the file back to its original filename in its original folder.

Folder to save the processed files to another location. Click Choose to specify the destination folder.
Select Override Action "Save As" Commands if you want the Save As instructions from the Batch command instead of the Save As instructions in the action. If you select this option, the action must contain a a Save As command because the Batch command will not automatically save the source files. This is useful for saving documents with options not available in the Batch command (such as JPEG compression or TIFF options, etc.)
Note: No matter how you've recorded your action's Save As steps (with or without filename specifications), if this option is selected, the file is saved to the folder and the filename in the Batch command.

Deselect Override Action "Save As" Commands will save the files processed by the Batch command in the location specified as the destination in the Batch dialog box.

Note: You can record an action that saves with a specified filename and folder. If you've done this, and have Override Action "Save As" Commands off, the same file will be overwritten each time. If you've recorded your Save As step in the action without specifying a filename, the Batch command will save it to the same folder each time, but will use the filename of the document being saved.

If you chose Folder as the destination, specify a file-naming convention and select file compatibility options for the processed files:
For File Naming, select elements from the pop-up menus or enter text into the fields to be combined into the default names for all files. The fields let you change the order and formatting of the filename parts. You must include at least one field that is unique for every file (for example, filename, serial number, or serial letter) to prevent files from overwriting each other. Starting serial number specifies the starting number for any serial number fields. Serial letter fields always start with the letter "A" for the first file.
For File Name Compatibility, choose Windows, Mac OS, and UNIX to make filenames compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and UNIX operating systems.
Saving files using the Batch command options usually saves the files in the same format as the original files. To create a batch process that saves files in a new format, record the Save As command followed by the Close command as part of your original action. Then choose Override Action "Save In" Commands for the Destination when setting up the batch process.

Select an option for error processing from the Errors pop-up menu:
Stop for Errors to suspend the process until you confirm the error message.
Log Errors to File to record each error in a file without stopping the process. If errors are logged to a file, a message appears after processing. To review the error file, open with a text editor after the batch command has run.
To batch-process using multiple actions, create a new action that plays all the other actions, and then batch process that one (you can nest actions within actions). To batch-process multiple folders, create aliases within a folder to the other folders you want to process, and select the Include All Subfolders option.

To batch process files in nested folders into different formats:

Process your folders as you would normally, until the Destination step.
Choose "Save and Close" for the destination. You can select the Override Action "Save As" Commands options to do the following:
If the "Save As" step in the action contains a filename, this overrides it with the name of the document being saved; all "Save As" steps are treated as if they were recorded without a filename.
The folder you specified in the "Save As" action step is overridden with the document's original folder.
Note: For this to work properly, you must have a "Save As" step in the action; the Batch command does not automatically save files.

This procedure lets you, for instance, sharpen, resize and save the images as JPEGs back into their original folders. You create an action that has a sharpen step, a resize step, and then a "Save As JPEG" step. When you batch process this action, you set "Include All Subfolders," make the destination "Save and Close," and you set "Override Action "Save As" Commands" to on.