As a fellow photographer, one of the things that we really like to do is to help you manage your workflow. Having Photoshop actions readymade is a huge part of this, as it means you can cut out a lot of time and effort to have effects applied immediately. But even when you have your Actions downloaded and ready to use, you can still streamline your process further and get everything organised in a better way. Here’s how to manage your Photoshop Actions within the toolbars!
Start with Folders
The first thing that you should do is to ensure that every action, or group of actions, goes into the same folder. This really helps with organisation. You can also give the folder a name so that you can recognise it later on. Try to keep the names as clear as possible so that there is no confusion. The great thing about downloading Summerana actions is that they come ready packaged into folders for you. Everything you need for that set to work is in the same folder together. This will help you to find them straightaway when you import them into Photoshop.
Keep Your Priorities
Which of your actions do you use the most? Ideally, these should be up at the top of your list so that you can find them whenever you want to use them. The actions you use the least should perhaps be down at the bottom of the list. The great thing about your actions list is that you can drag and drop the folders around to reorganise them. The same goes for the individual actions within the toolbars. Just click on them and hold, and move them up or down until you see a bar appearing. This shows you where the folder or action will land when you let go of it. Move it to where you want it, and then release your mouse button. Your list will be reordered!
Move Your Toolbar
In the default setup, you will most likely find that your list of actions appears underneath or above another toolbar. It sticks out into the screen at one side and you can scroll up and down, but you don’t have enough room to see your full list once you start adding more. This can make it difficult to quickly and easily switch between actions, especially if they are in different folders. You can give yourself more space by moving your toolbar around. Try moving your cursor around the edges until it becomes an arrow – you can then expand the size of the toolbar at the expense of the other sections around it. You can also attach it to the side of the other tools. Do this by clicking on the actions header, dragging it across, and letting go when you see the line next to your current toolbars lighting up. This will give your actions a lot more space. Finally, you can also leave them floating around – just let go of them wherever you like and they will stay in that position on the screen. You can resize them until they are the size you desire.
Add Your Own Names
Do you sometimes struggle to remember which action is which? If you have a lot of downloaded actions from vendors like Summerana, you might not be able to keep each of them clear in your mind. If this is the case, you can always rename things yourself so that you instantly know what they do. For example, in the Colorosity Lights Action Collection, you might not always remember which colours are used in each of the actions. All you have to do is select the action and then double click on the name. A text box will appear which you can edit by typing into it. Name the action with the colours you can see, and you will always be able to quickly find the one that suits your colour palette the best. You can do this with any action, and with folders too.
Try Button Mode
Do folders just make it all the more confusing for you? You’re not alone, and Photoshop has a built-in solution for this. Switch to button mode! You can find this by clicking the menu item on the actions toolbar. When you have this mode turned on, all of your actions will simply appear as coloured buttons which you can press for immediate results. You don’t have to see all of the details of how the action works, and you can change the colours to categorise them more easily. This helps when you want to get things going quickly and don’t need to play around with the variables in the action.
Change Your Interface Options
If there’s something that distracts you about your actions toolbar, you can change it any time you want. Just go into interface options, which you can access by right-clicking on the actions toolbar header. Here you can play around with the colours used on the toolbar as well as how borders are defined. You can decide which features to include and which to do away with. You can take off colours from highlighting the individual actions in button mode, for example. This is great if you don’t want the colours to show, but don’t have the time to go through each action to take them off individually. There’s no right or wrong way to set up the Photoshop interface. It’s all about what makes it feel the most comfortable for you while you use it.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to organise your Photoshop actions within your toolbars. Play around with all of the options until you have them set up just the way that you like it! Let us know in the comments if you have any particular preferences or tricks that help you to work faster.