How to Create an Action in Photoshop

For this tutorial I’ll create a black & white action, starting with this image I took in NYC:

The first thing I need to do is go to the Window menu. Then I’ll select Actions:

Now the Actions palette has come up. What I have to do here is create a set, so I’ll click on the create a new set icon:

Here the New Set dialog box comes up and I’ll rename it “Black & White”. Then I’ll click OK:

Now I need to record the action, so I’ll click on the create new action icon:

The New Action dialog box comes up, and I’ll name it “B&W”:

Now I’ll click on the record button. The next steps I take to create a black and white photo will be recorded into this action.

Now it’s time to make the black and white photo. I’ll go to Image/Adjustments/Black & White:

Here the Black and White dialog box comes up. I’ll move the adjustment sliders to my liking, and then I’ll click OK:

Here you can see that the black and white conversion was added to the Actions palette:

Now I want to add some brightness and contrast. So, I’ll go to Image, Adjustments, Brightness/Contrast:

The Brightness/Contrast dialog box comes up and I’ll make my adjustments. When I click OK, it will be added to the action:

Here it is added to the Actions palette:

Before I stop the recording I’m going to save the action. Here I’ll open the options for the Actions palette:

When the option bar drops down, I’ll pick Save Action. Then click Save:

When the folder comes up, I’ll just click Save again:

Now I can stop the recording by clicking on the square stop button:

After I hit the stop button, all the icons turn gray:

To play the action later on with a different photo, I’ll make sure the B&W action is active. Then I’ll just click on the play button at the bottom of the palette:

Have fun!