Here at Photography-RAW, we get many questions from photographers about how to optimize how they use Photoshop actions. Both actions built by themselves or our professional Photoshop Actions Package for Photographers or even about actions bought from other vendors. In this article, we will share a quick tip about how to prevent Photoshop from stopping each time a step in the action involves a dialog.
It is likely, that either you or the one who created the Photoshop action accidentally toggled dialogs on for the specific action.
The ability to stop up and display a dialog waiting for user input is a super useful feature, but very annoying, if it pops up for almost every step of a Photoshop action when you want the action to use the default settings every time.
In the image below you can see the individual steps from the High Pass Dodge and Burn Action. Each line/step of the action, tells Photoshop what to do next to your photo.
Left to the steps you will see small boxes appearing. These boxes tell you that a dialog will appear when the action reaches this particular step. So to run this particular action, you will be interrupted with popup dialogs four times. This is probably not what you want.
To deactivate the popups you can either deactivate specific dialog windows or toggle all dialogs off for the entire action.
To toggle off a specific popup dialog, click on the box to the left of the step where you want to skip the popup.
For instance, the step with “Making Snapshot” before modifying the image, you will have a chance to name of the snapshot. You will likely not want to name the snapshot, each and every time, so just toggle it off if you accidentally toggled it on. However, the step called “High pass” shows you a dialog where you can change the Radius of the High Pass filter. You might want to control it, and in this case, you can leave this popup dialog toggled on.
If you want to toggle off all popup dialogs of a Photoshop action, because you or the creator of the action accidentally toggled it on, you can do it in a single click. Just click on the box left to the Photoshop action name itself. This will toggle off all dialogs with a single click. The issue with Photoshop actions stopping all the time often appears in the first place because you by accident click on the box instead of the action name, to select it.
Generally, the only time you would want a box toggled on is when the step is a STOP step, which can contain important messages about what you should do next. The other instances where it is useful is when you want to interact with the action and be able to change some settings before continuing.
If you are very familiar with using Photoshop actions, and knows how a particular action behaves, you may also want to play with the action skipping specific steps. This could be a step where the creator intended the Photoshop action to stop and display a message to you. But if you have run the action hundreds of times, then you probably know what to do. In this case, you can toggle off the step entirely by toggling the checkmark off.
In the below sample one could disable creating a snapshot, if you know that the Photoshop action is not going to mess up your image in any way, you can safely skip this step.
If you cannot get the Photoshop action to work at all then you might want to delete the action and reinstall the Photoshop action it using the original file you got from your vendor.
If you experience other issues with your Photoshop actions, check of our Guide to Troubleshooting Photoshop Actions.