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combining images into a PSD template

New Here ,
Nov 27, 2023 Nov 27, 2023

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I have a folder with many images, all images are sized correctly, I also have a PSD file, used as my template. can someone tell me how I can automate placing the images into the PSD, placing it into the correct position, and saving the result as a .png, and also, if possible as an Adobe PDF? The reason for my request is that I have created 350 Christmas cards for instant download and the saved .png and PDF files are what my customers buy. Thank you for any help you might be able to give.

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Adobe
Community Expert ,
Nov 27, 2023 Nov 27, 2023

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in the future, to find the best place to post your message, use the list here, https://community.adobe.com/

p.s. i don't think the adobe website, and forums in particular, are easy to navigate, so don't spend a lot of time searching that forum list. do your best and we'll move the post (like this one has already been moved) if it helps you get responses.



<"moved from cc desktop">

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New Here ,
Nov 27, 2023 Nov 27, 2023

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Thank you.

I figured out that I can do this with an action but now I am stuck and not able to save the results as .png and .pdf 

I tried export as nad that does not work in an action and I tried save as which does not allow me to save as a .png

this is what I was trying to implement:

Yes, this is a common issue when using Actions in Photoshop for batch processing. The key is to set up the file naming correctly when recording the action, especially when saving the files. Here's how you can fix it:

  1. Record the Action with Save As Steps:

    • Open one of your images and your PSD template.
    • Start recording a new action.
    • Perform your usual steps (like copying and positioning the image in the template).
    • When it comes to saving the file, use File > Save As.
    • In the Save dialog, choose the format (PNG or PDF) and make sure to save the file in a designated folder. Important: Do not change the default file name that appears in the 'Save As' dialog while recording the action. Photoshop will use this setting to retain the original file name.
  2. Use the Batch Function Correctly:

    • After recording your action, go to File > Automate > Batch.
    • Choose the action you recorded.
    • Select the source folder where your images are located.
    • Under 'Destination', choose 'Folder' and select a folder where you want the processed files to be saved.
    • Here's the crucial part: In the 'File Naming' section, you need to ensure that the original filename is preserved. Typically, you would use a combination like Document Name + extension or just Document Name if you're saving in the same format. This tells Photoshop to use the original document name for each file.
  3. Testing the Action:

    • Before running the batch process on all your images, test the action with one or two images to make sure it's working as expected.
    • Ensure that the files are being saved with their original names and in the correct format.
  4. Adjustments If Needed:

    • If the files are still not being saved with the original names, go back and check your 'Save As' step in the action. Make sure you didn't accidentally type a new name when recording the action.
    • Also, double-check the 'File Naming' settings in the Batch dialog to ensure they're set to preserve the original file name.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 27, 2023 Nov 27, 2023

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For this type of work, instead of using actions, you should consider using data-driven graphics (variables). It’s like a mail merge, but for Photoshop documents. You have a template, and one or more pixel or text layers that need to be replaced with a different image or text. You set up data-driven graphics, and what Photoshop will do is swap out your designated layer with each new image or text string, and save a copy of each variation.

 

If that seems interesting, watch the video below to see exactly how it works. I haven’t watched the whole thing, but I recognize the presenter and he is one of the best Photoshop instructors on the web. If you don’t have half an hour, at least start 20 minutes in where he begins the final merge.

 

If you master this technique, in the future you will not only be able to automate replacing one graphic in each greeting card, but also replacing a text layer if you ever want a card to do that.

 

 

For the instructions in Photoshop Help, click this link:

Create data-driven graphics

 

---

 

If you decide to continue to try to achieve this using actions (I wouldn’t), there are two ways to get PNG in the action:

 

A. Choose File > Save a Copy. However, this will add the text “… copy” to the end of each filename, unless you go into Preferences / File Handling and enable “Do not append ‘copy’ to filename when saving a copy.”

 

B. Choose Layer > Flatten Image, because PNG cannot be available in Save As for a layered image (PNG does not support layers, Save a Copy will flatten). After saving as PNG, either insert an action step that does Edit > Undo to back out of flattening (if you plan to save that PSD variation), or just close the file without saving (if you don’t need to save that PSD variation).

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New Here ,
Nov 27, 2023 Nov 27, 2023

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Conrad C,

Thank you for your answer.

I do like the solution given in the video but have a problem doing one thing in there. I have so many images that it would be difficult for me to type the name of each image into the spreadsheet. how can I extract the actual name of the image from the folder? 

this is what I have

D:\Gearbubble\Designs\Digital Downloads\Cards\christmas 2023\Christmas Card Bundles\Christmas Card Bundle 2\Ready 1\Christmas tree plus cat.png

this is all I need

Christmas tree plus cat.png

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 27, 2023 Nov 27, 2023

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I never type out all of that. Instead, I use copy and paste, with these steps (I’m using a Mac so it might be different in Windows):

1. Switch to the desktop (in my case macOS Finder), and open the folder with the images in it.

2. Choose Edit > Select All.

3. Choose Edit > Copy Items.

4. Switch to the spreadsheet application (I’m using Microsoft Excel).

5. Choose Edit > Paste.

 

On my Mac, that pastes the copied filenames into a vertical series of cells, and then I can do any tweaking needed before copying and pasting those cells into the spreadsheet where the other data is formatted for Photoshop.

 

That pastes filenames only. If I wanted a full path (again this might be different in Windows), I hold down the Option (Alt) key while clicking the Edit menu, and that changes the Copy Items command to Copy Items as Pathnames, and so I just choose that.

 

If it doesn’t work that way on your computer, first research which modifier keys or commands can do the same thing in Windows; for example, it might involve right-clicking. If that doesn’t work, there are many utility applications, some probably free, that can list filenames from a folder as text that you can export to a text file, or copy and paste. Another way is to use a command line in a terminal app to list the contents of a directory, because that returns a text list you could copy and paste.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 27, 2023 Nov 27, 2023

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Some info on getting filenames/paths at my blog:

 

https://prepression.blogspot.com/2015/04/illustrator-variableimporter-script-tutorial-6.html

 

Both operating systems offer multiple methods of retrieving the filename and path information, using either native methods or using third party utilities. The following is by no means an exhaustive list of available methods, they are simply the options that I have personally used.


Manually Acquiring File Names & File Paths – Mac OS:

  • File names: Select single or multiple file/s in a Finder window and then copy the selected documents to the clipboard. Next paste the clipboard contents into a plain text editor such as Bare Bones Software “TextWrangler” or Apple “TextEdit” (ensure that the TextEdit document is set to plain text, not rich text).
  •  
  • File paths: Select single or multiple files and drag and drop them to a blank Apple “TextEdit” document window (ensure that the TextEdit document is set to plain text, not rich text). The file path and file name of the selected document will be entered as plain text. Alternatively one can select a file and use the “Get Info” command and select and copy the path found under General > Where.

Manually Acquiring File Names & File Paths – Windows OS:
  • File names: In the directory that holds the images, hold down the shift key then use the right click contextual menu command “Open command window here” – then type the following into the command prompt: dir /b >list.txt which will create a new text file titled “list.txt” with the names of the files in plain text. Alternatively one could create a command prompt batch .bat file, or use third party software such as “DirList” or “Simple File Lister” to retrieve the directory contents as a text file. Yet another option is to use the file path method mentioned below, then to use a simple search/replace routine in a text editor to remove the file path leaving only the file name and extension.
  •  
  • File paths: Select single or multiple files, hold down the shift key, right click and select the “Copy as path” contextual menu command, then paste into a plain text editor such as Notepad or spreadsheet program such as MS

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Community Expert ,
Nov 27, 2023 Nov 27, 2023

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@michaels98767078 

 

Your template example for the 5x7" image doesn’t contain bleed!

 

2023-11-28_10-34-11.png

 

Here the guides indicate the trim and fold:

 

no-bleed-vs-bleed.png

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Community Expert ,
Nov 27, 2023 Nov 27, 2023

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@michaels98767078 – This can be done via an Action and the Automate > Batch command.

 

The Batch command will open each separate variable image and play the Action.

 

The Action would size and position the variable image opened by Batch (you may or may not need the template).

 

2023-11-28_11-33-05.png

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Community Expert ,
Nov 27, 2023 Nov 27, 2023

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New Here ,
Nov 27, 2023 Nov 27, 2023

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Hello,

Thank you both for so much help. I found that copying the path onto Excel and then parsing it on the backslash does the trick.

There is no bleed area because this is a final file for the end user to print on his home computer or at a printer. That is why I have to be precise in the images I place. After the customer prints, he cuts on the line, folds the paper in half gives or mails the card to someone. I am simply trying to automate as much as possible in order to still list and sell some of these in my Etsy shop.

Again, I truly appreciate your help

Michael

 

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