A droplet is a small executable file that can be stored on your desktop, or in a folder. You use droplets by dragging an image (or multi-selected images) onto the droplet’s icon. Doing this will run Photoshop and automatically invoke the batch command that created the droplet. Droplets can be created for anything that you can create an action for.

(Have you been practicing with actions and batches? – If not… now’s the time to familiarise yourself)

Actions should be created for all the parts of your workflow that are regularly used, such as converting from one profile to another, cropping to certain sizes, renaming etc. If you’re not already using actions regularly, use some of the time in this session to think about what you do as a matter of course as part of your workflow, and create actions for those stages.

Creating a droplet is very easy, but if you have not been using actions since we looked at them in session 6, you will need to re-familiarise yourself with how to create an action, and also how to run it as a batch file. (see session 6).

Droplets can only be created by existing actions, so if you didn’t engage with session 6 (shame on you!) then you’ll have to create some actions first.

If you did create actions as a result of session 6, Droplets are created from “File/Automate/Create Droplet”

This brings up the create droplet dialogue.

This, as you’ve probably realised, is very similar to the dialogue you see when using “File/Automate/Batch”… and with good reason, as a droplet is just a small executable program that essentially runs a batch file upon an action automatically by dropping an image file onto its icon

(even if you do not have Photoshop running). If you remember from session 6 (download the hand out if you can’t remember) you should set override action “open”, and “Save As” depending upon whether your recorded action contains “open” or “Save” steps. Supressing file open dialogues and profile warnings also prevent the actions being interrupted. You also have the same renaming options too, as one of the many uses of a droplet is the simple drag and dropping of multiple files to rename them.

“Save Droplet In” – This sets where the actual droplet icon will be saved.

Destination – This will set where the processed files will be saved. You can select a folder, or leave blank to select the same location as the droplet icon itself. Be careful with “save and close” as this may over-write your original files. Test that option first.

Once the Droplet is set up, clicking “OK” will create the droplet icon wherever you set it to be saved in “Save Droplet in” at the top of the dialogue box.

Multiple droplets can be saved into the same folder, and a folder of droplets for your most common tasks on the desktop can be a time saving device . Batch renaming of a day’s shoot into the day’s date for example, or converting an entire folder of images into black and white, or converted from Adobe RGB to sRGB for web use… or batch resizing… all become a simple drag and drop process.

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