Quick Tip: Batch Process Images in Photoshop

I love finding ways to automate my workflow, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll really dig this one. You can use Photoshop to automatically process a whole bunch of pictures in the background while you do other things.

What can it do? A lot: you can resize, change the image type, and even run saved actions. Check it out.

1. Open Image Processor

The first thing you need to do is open Image Processor, which you can find under File > Scripts. In order to see this option, you might have to click “Show All Menu Items” in the dropdown.

Open the Image Processor in Photoshop

2. Select Your Images

Once you’ve launched the Image Processor, you need to select the images you’ll be working on. You have some options here. If you happen to have all the images you want to edit already open, you can run the processor on those. Otherwise, you need to select a folder with the images in it. You can also apply these changes to all sub-folders within that folder, which is quite nice.

The Image Processor Options

3. Pick a Save Location

Next, you need to tell Photoshop where to save the final images. You can save them to the same folder, or put them anywhere else on your machine. I tend to like saving the images in an “Edits’ sub-folder.

Note: if you included sub-folders in Step Two, you can preserve your folder structure here.

4. Select File Type for Saved File

Once you’ve picked your images and where you want the final images saved, you need to tell Photoshop how you want them exported. You can save them as JPGs, TIFFs, or PSDs. If you check multiple boxes here, it will save the image in multiple formats.

You can also have the Image Processor re-size the image, and if your exporting multiple-file types, you have different sizing options for each image.

5. Apply Actions

Finally, you can run all your images through a saved action. So if you recorded an action for changing all your images to black and white, you can add that here and your exported images will all be black and white.

I used this process to edit a few hundred images for a project, and it saved be hours and hours of work. It’s not perfect; I still needed to go in and manually tweak a dozen or so of the images, but it dramatically reduced my workload.

One Response to “Quick Tip: Batch Process Images in Photoshop”

  1. Matthew Gore

    I just started experimenting with the method you’ve provided above, compared with creating a batch process and the old “Save For Web” option.

    In the Image Processor dialog, I set the image quality to 4.5, and in the Save for Web dialog, I saved it at 45% quality, and then I processed a single set of several hundred images (792) with both.

    The results were as follows:

    “Save for Web” the folder of images came out to be 25.7 MB
    “Image Processor” the folder of images ended up at 33.9 MB

    And, the “Image Processor” versions of the files were much lower quality in any image that involved smooth tonal gradients (and I don’t see much difference otherwise, yet).

    So, even though it’s more work to use “Save For Web” and a batch process, since you can’t retain a folder structure (as far as I can tell), you’ll get smaller, higher-quality images.

    – Matthew


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