How to Resize Images in Photoshop at Once Automatically (Part 2 of 2)

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How to auto-resize images in Photoshop

This How-To article uses Photoshop's Actions commands to batch-resize images at ones. In this method, similar to Microsoft's "macros", you will actually perform the resizing on a single file and "record" the entire activity. When done, you will just "play" or run the recorded steps on a batch of images and Photoshop will do the recorded steps to all images with a single click saving you a lot o time.

If you want to learn the first part of this How-To, which uses Photoshop's Scripts commands,  here is the link of the previous article that you might also find very useful and fun: How to Resize Images in Photoshop at Once Automatically (Part 1 of 2).

Here are the basic required steps to batch-resize your images using Photoshop Actions:

Prepare your images

First, to test the entire process and to see if it fits your requirements, it is highly suggested that you do it on a selected sample of images until you master the process and become comfortable in doing it.

Create a separate folder maybe in your Desktop and then place all the sample images to be resized there. It is highly recommended that you DO NOT work on the original pictures -- create a copy of the originals and work on the copy, not the originals.

My sample images to work with

My sample images are all 860x571 in size as they are the results of the previous resize operation in Part 1. In this demo, we will resize them automatically or in batch using Actions to 660x438.

Record the Actions

The goal and logic here is to actually resize one of the images manually at first and just "record" the entire process using Photoshop actions. Here are the steps:

  1. Open Photoshop
  2. Click on File => Open
  3. Navigate to the folder where you saved copies of the images that you want to resize. Select any one of the images there, then click Open to load the image for resizing in your Photoshop
  4. The selected image will now be open in your workspace. The goal here is to use Actions to record the steps in resizing a single image, and then automatically play those steps for the rest of the images to complete the resize process automatically.
  5. Go on and click  Window => Actions to bring up the Actions Panel.
  6. Click the Create New Set to create a set for your custom made actions.
    Create new set command
  7. Name the SET anything you want. In my case, I named it Batch-Resize. After naming, it, click OK.
  8. While the newly created set is selected, click on the New Action button to create a new action.
    Create new action
  9. Then you will get a new dialog box prompting you to name the new action. In my case, I named it Image Resizing. The action shall be under the newly created set in Step 7 (Batch-Resize). When ready, click on Record button.
    New action ready to record
  10. After clicking the Record button, nothing magical will happen. But Photoshop at this point is recording the steps you are doing so from now on, you shall be able to resize the first image correctly.
  11. A red "recording" button will also appear in the Actions panel indicating that Photoshop is in Recording Mode.
  12. At this point, you need to resize the first image loaded. Click on Image => Image Size...
  13. Enter your desired size. In this demo, the desired dimention is 660x438. If you selected the option to "Maintain aspect ratio", then you just need to enter the desired height and the width will be automatically calculated for you.
    Image resized now
  14. Click OK when done resizing.
  15. Now save the resized image. Make sure that you save the image to another location but KEEP the file name. So go to File => Save for Web
  16. Click on Save... button and then locate the folder where you want to save the resized image.
  17. After saving, click on the "Stop Playing/Recording" button.
  18. Close the resized image.
  19. After the recording is stopped, when yuo check and expand your Actions Panel, you shall see there the individual tasks being recorded.
    The recorded actions
  20. Now you are ready for the last step -- playing the recorded actions!

Batch-playing the recorded actions

Now that all of the actions to resize the image are recorded, all you have to do is simply Automate the action on a batch of images saved in a specific folder.

  1. Go through File => Automate => Batch
    The Batch => Automate command
  2. Input the settings as shown in the screenshot below. The Batch menu allows you to play a previously saved Action on multiple similar files.
    The final batch dialog
  3. The Source section is where you select your desired source folder and the Destination section indicates where will the output images be located at. We selected to Override "Save As" commands so that the recorded action "Save for Web" stepz are also applied.
  4. Finally, the File Naming section allows selection of various ways to save your output files, in the screenshot below the output images will have their original file name along with their original extension.
  5. Lastly, click on the OK button and see the fun and beauty of Photoshop resizing the images automatically for you saving you a lot of time.

If you have comments or questions, please feel free to comment below.