It's fun to spend hours playing and working in Photoshop, but once you've used the program for a while, you'll start to notice that you repeat the same steps over and over on most of your images. At first, the repetition probably won't bother you—it's actually good while you're learning—but when a deadline approaches and the boss is eyeing you impatiently, you need a way to speed things up.
Luckily, Photoshop includes all manner of automated helpers (some of which you've already learned about), including:
The Image Processor script, which resizes images and converts their formats (Automated Resizing with the Image Processor).
The "Layer Comps to Files" script, which exports images you can turn into PDF files (Exporting layer comps).
Automated photo stitching with Photomerge (Auto-Aligning Layers and Photomerge).
The Adobe Output Module, which can build web galleries, rename lots of files at once, and build Contact Sheets (discussed in Appendix C, online at www.missingmanuals.com/cds).
One of the best timesavers of all, however, is actions—an all-purpose, amazingly customizable system for automating mundane tasks like adding or duplicating layers, running filters with specific settings, and so on. You can use actions to record nearly every keystroke and menu choice you make and then play them back on another image or ...