Photoshop 101: Button-Mode Actions

by Jay Hilgert
on September 3, 2008

I guess this could also be categorized as a workflow tip, but it’s good to know, no matter what you want to call it. I’d like to take a second to show you about Photoshop’s (and Illustrator’s) “Button Mode” in the actions palette. If you aren’t familiar with actions, they are customizable tasks that save you time and make you more productive by eliminating redundant tasks. I haven’t written an article on Actions themselves yet, but here is a nice one I found on the web.

Photoshop 101: Button-Mode Actions

Actions save you time, yes, but you might notice when you create them that Photoshop gives you the option to designate a keyboard shortcut to run the Action. While this is a good thing, I actually prefer to use “Button Mode” for all of my actions. I do this because of 2 reasons. 1) I have so many hot keys set up that I wste too much time trying to come up with keyboard shortcuts that aren’t set up for another task already, and 2) I don’t have to remember all the exotic hotkeys for actions that I constantly edit and/or delete.

With button mode, you can activate an action with a single click. Here’s how to enable button mode:

Click on the palette options in the upper right to enable Button Mode. It may be in a different place on the list for other versions of Photoshop. (CS3 shown here). Note – Illustrator also has button mode.

Photoshop 101: Button-Mode Actions

And now you have button mode. The only thing I don’t like about button mode is the fact that you have to disable it in order to edit, record, or change an action, but It save me lots of clicks in the long run.

Photoshop 101: Button-Mode Actions

About Jay Hilgert

Formally trained at Oklahoma State, Jay Hilgert is a graphic and web designer, font designer (Link), software developer (Brush Pilotâ„¢), and the founder of BittBox.

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