Video | Using the Image Processor to batch process multiple files

Video | Using the Image Processor to batch process multiple files
Learn how to prepare hundreds of images and save them in different file formats at once using the Image Processor script...
Julieanne Kost

Convert files with the Image Processor

The Image Processor converts and processes multiple files. Unlike the Batch command, the Image Processor lets you process files without first creating an action. You can do any of the following in the Image Processor:

  • Convert a set of files to either JPEG, PSD, or TIFF format; or convert files simultaneously to all three formats.

  • Process a set of camera raw files using the same options.

  • Resize images to fit within specified pixel dimensions.

  • Embed a color profile or convert a set of files to sRGB and save them as JPEG images for the web.

  • Include copyright metadata in the converted images.

The Image Processor works with Photoshop (PSD), JPEG, and camera raw files.

  1. Do any of the following:
    • Choose File > Scripts > Image Processor (Photoshop).

    • Choose Tools > Photoshop > Image Processor (Bridge).

  2. Select the images you want to process. You can choose to process any open files, or select a folder of files to process.
  3. (Optional) Select Open First Image To Apply Settings to apply the same settings to all the images.

    If you are processing a group of camera raw files taken under the same lighting conditions, you can adjust the setting in the first image to your satisfaction and then apply the same settings to the remaining images.

    Use this option with PSD or JPEG source images if the file’s color profile does not match your working profile. You can choose a color profile in which to convert the first image and all images in the folder.

    Note:

    The settings you apply with the Image Processor are temporary and used only with the Image Processor. The image’s current camera raw settings are used to process the image, unless you change them in the Image Processor.

  4. Select the location where you want to save the processed files.

    If you process the same file multiple times to the same destination, each file is saved with its own filename and not overwritten.

  5. Select the file types and options to save.

    Save As JPEG

    Saves images in JPEG format within a folder called JPEG in the destination folder.

    Quality

    Sets the JPEG image quality between 0 and 12.

    Resize To Fit

    Resizes the image to fit within the dimensions you enter in Width and Height. The image retains its original proportions.

    Convert Profile To sRGB

    Converts the color profile to sRGB. Make sure that Include ICC Profile is selected if you want to save the profile with the image.

    Save As PSD

    Saves images in Photoshop format within a folder called PSD in the destination folder.

    Maximize Compatibility

    Saves a composite version of a layered image within the target file for compatibility with applications that can't read layered images.

    Save As TIFF

    Saves images in TIFF format within a folder called TIFF in the destination folder.

    LZW Compression

    Saves the TIFF file using the LZW compression scheme.

  6. Set other processing options.

    Run Action

    Runs a Photoshop action. Choose the action set from the first menu and the action from the second menu. The action set must be loaded in the Actions panel before they appear in these menus.

    Copyright Info

    Includes any text you enter in the IPTC copyright metadata for the file. Text you include here overwrites the copyright metadata in the original file.

    Include ICC Profile

    Embeds the color profile with the saved files.

  7. Click Run.

Note:

Before you process your images, click Save to save the current settings in the dialog box. The next time you need to process files using this group of settings, click Load, and navigate to your saved Image Processor settings.

Process a batch of files

The Batch command runs an action on a folder of files. 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.

Note:

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.

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.

To batch-process using multiple actions, create a new action that plays all the other actions, and then batch-process using the new action. 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.

Note:

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

Batch-process files

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Choose File > Automate > Batch (Photoshop)

    • Choose Tools > Photoshop > Batch (Bridge)

  2. Specify the action you want to use to process files from the Set and Action pop-up menus. The menus display actions available in the Actions panel. You may need to choose a different set or load a set in the panel if you don’t see your action.
  3. Choose the files to process from the Source pop-up menu:

    Folder

    Processes files in a folder you specify. Click Choose to locate and select the folder.

    Import

    Processes images from a digital camera, scanner, or a PDF document.

    Opened Files

    Processes all open files.

    Bridge

    Processes selected files in Adobe Bridge. If no files are selected, the files in the current Bridge folder are processed.

  4. Set processing, saving, and file naming options. For descriptions of the Batch dialog box settings, see Batch and droplet processing options.

Batch-process files in nested folders into different formats

  1. Process your folders as you would normally, until the Destination step.
  2. Choose Save And Close for the destination. You can specify options for Override ActionSave As” Commands to do the following:
    • If the “Save As” step in the action contains a filename, this name is overridden by 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 by the document’s original folder.

    Note:

    You must have a “Save As” step in the action; the Batch command does not automatically save files.

    You can use this procedure, for example, to sharpen, resize, and save images as JPEGs in 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 select Include All Subfolders, make the destination Save And Close, and select Override Action Save As” Commands.

Create a droplet from an action

A droplet applies an action to one or more images, or a folder of images, that you drag onto the Droplet icon. You can save a droplet on the desktop or to another location on disk.

Photoshop Droplet icon
Droplet icon

Actions are the basis for creating droplets—you must create the desired action in the Actions panel before creating a droplet. (See Creating actions.)

  1. Choose File > Automate > Create Droplet.
  2. Specify where to save the droplet. Click Choose in the Save Droplet In section of the dialog box and navigate to the location.
  3. Select the Action Set, and then designate which action you intend to use within the Set and Action menus. (Select the action in the Actions panel before you open the dialog box to preselect these menus.)
  4. Set processing, saving, and file naming options. For descriptions of the Batch dialog box settings see Batch and droplet processing options.

Tips for cross-platform droplets

When creating droplets for both Windows and Mac OS, keep the following compatibility issues in mind:

  • After moving a droplet created in Windows to Mac OS, you must drag the droplet onto the Photoshop icon on your desktop. Photoshop updates the droplet for use in Mac OS.

  • When creating a droplet in Mac OS, use the .exe extension to make droplets compatible with both Windows and Mac OS.

  • References to filenames are not supported between operating systems. If an action step references a file or folder name (such as an Open command, Save As command, or adjustment command that loads its settings from a file), execution pauses and the user is prompted for a filename.

Process a file with a droplet

  • Drag a file or folder onto the droplet icon. Photoshop starts if it is not already running.

Batch and droplet processing options

Specify these options in the Batch and Droplet dialog boxes.

Override Action “Open” Commands

Ensures that the files you selected in the Batch command are processed, without opening the file you may have specified in the action's Open command. If the action contains an Open command that opens a saved file and you don't select this option, the Batch command opens and processes only the file you used to record the Open command (This occurs because the Batch command opens the file specified by the action after each of the files in the Batch source folder is opened. Because the most recently opened file is the one named in the action, the Batch command performs the action on that file, and none of the files in the Batch source folder are processed.)

To use this option, the action must contain an Open command. Otherwise, the Batch command won't open the files you've selected for batch-processing. Selecting this option doesn't disregard everything in an Open command—only the choice of files to open.

Deselect this option if the action was recorded to operate on an open file, or if the action contains Open commands for specific files that are required by the action.

Include All Subfolders

Processes files in subdirectories of the specified folder.

Suppress Color Profile Warnings

Turns off display of color policy messages.

Suppress File Open Options Dialogs

Hides File Open Options dialog boxes. This is useful when batching actions on camera raw image files. The default or previously specified settings will be used.

Destination menu

Sets where to save the processed files

None

Leaves the files open without saving changes (unless the action includes a Save command).

Save And Close

Saves the files in their current location, overwriting the original files.

Folder

Saves the processed files to another location. Click Choose to specify the destination folder.

Override Action “Save As” Commands

Ensures that processed files are saved to the destination folder specified in the Batch command (or to their original folder if you chose Save and Close), with their original names or the names you specified in the File Naming section of the Batch dialog box.

If you don't select this option and your action includes a Save As command, your files will be saved into the folder specified by theSave As command in the action, instead of the folder specified in the Batch command. In addition, if you don't select this option and the Save As command in the action specifies a filename, the Batch command overwrites the same file (the file specified in the action) each time it processes an image.

Note:

If you want the Batch command to process files using the original filenames in the folder you specified in the Batch command, save your image in the action. Then, when you create the batch, select Override Action "Save As" Command and specify a destination folder. If you rename the images in the Batch command and don't select Override Action "Save As" Command, Photoshop saves your processed images twice: once with the new name in the specified folder, and once with the original name in the folder specified by the Save As command in the action.

To use this option, the action must contain a Save As command. Otherwise, the Batch command won't save the processed files. Selecting this option doesn't skip everything in the Save As command—only the specified filename and folder.

Note:

Some Save options aren’t available in the Batch or Create Droplet commands (such as JPEG compression or TIFF options). To use these options, record a Save As step in the action that contains the desired options, and then use the Override Action “Save As” Commands option to make sure that your files are saved where you specify in the Batch or Create Droplet command. Photoshop disregards the specified filename and path in the Action's Save As command, and retains the Save options using the new path and filename you specify in the Batch dialog.

File Naming

Specifies file naming conventions if writing files to a new folder. 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 components of the filename. 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.

Compatibility

Makes filenames compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and UNIX operating systems.

Note:

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 As” Commands for the Destination when setting up the batch process.

Error menu

Specifies how to handle processing errors:

Stop For Errors

Suspends the process until you confirm the error message.

Log Errors to File

Records 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.

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