I spend a lot of time in Photoshop for someone in BI. Between cleaning up images, building logos for my latest project, or producing material for user groups, I probably use it at least once a week. Through it all, I usually need to produce variants, in different file formats and sizes. So it can quickly become a dozen uses of the Save As… or Save for Web functions.
I hate manual work, so you can see why it was frustrating in the extreme. Then I realised how silly I was being by not having already googled for it!
It took a while because my keyword searches weren’t the terms Photoshop use but I found the Secret Sauce. And if you’re the sort of person who’d type “photoshop image macro” – here’s how you do it!
The trick is the option File > Generate > Image Assets.
Once this is ticked, you can then do one of two things:
1. Rename a layer to use a file extension (and the other available syntax) so for instance going from “MyLayer” to “MyLayer.png”
2. Creating a Group (the folder icon at the bottom of the Layers pane) for your layers and using the renaming trick there
Doing a single layer will produce an image with the layers contents in whatever file name you specified into a folder in the same place as your Photoshop file. The Group version also produces an image but for all the layers contained within it.
Example – the CaRdiff logo
I thought I’d give you an example I was working on in the weekend. I had to produce a logo for the R user group I’m setting up.
I knew that the logo had to go up on meetup.com and that the image renderer could be funny so I didn’t know whether a png, gif, or jpeg would work best.
The easy solution was to enable the asset functionality and rename the logo group “CaRdiff.jpg,CaRdiff.png,CaRdiff.gif” so that it would generate all three. I also put a white background layer inside the group to make sure Meetup wouldn’t do something crazy when it was resizing the image.
The option File > Generate > Image Assets is a real time-saver for me and clear evidence of why you shouldn’t just grin and bear manual labour. OK it can take a while to find the right solution, but boy does it feel good when a task you really dislike is removed.