New Doc Size in Actions, CS3

Posted By
Mar 8, 2009
Okay, so I have a pair of actions I’ve been using pretty much since actions existed in Photoshop, that I use all the time, and they worked perfectly right up to CS2. Unfortunately, an annoying change in CS3 has made them cease to function properly. Here’s how it goes:

Select All
Copy Merged
Create New Document
Flatten Image OR Delete Background Layer (depending on which of the two actions)

Basically, this is how I take what’s visible in the PSD file, and convert it to a single-layer BMP or PNG (depending on whether I need alpha) that I need to import the graphics into my project. I use these constantly, which is why I’m distressed that the latest versions have made a change that breaks it.

The problem is the Create New Document line. Previously, whenever you chose Create New Document, the default size matches whatever is on the clipboard. Now, it chooses whatever size document you created last, and then when you create the action, these numbers get hard-coded into it, so every time I try to use the action, I get a document of exactly that size, instead of matching what I had in the clipboard. I can’t seem to find a way to make it behave as it used to, using the clipboard contents to set the new doc size.

The only option I can think of is to make it create a document that’s larger than anything I’ll ever need, and then adding a crop step into the action. This works, but it takes 5 times as long, since it’s first generating a huge image and then reducing it. Since I use this action all the time, it puts a serious hamper on my workflow – I often need to do large numbers of these things in a row, so it pays to be efficient.

Since I’ve yet to find anything about CS3 that is enough of a groundbreaking improvement that I can’t live without it, I’ve just gone back to CS2 most of the time. Is there a setting I’m missing? Or have they fixed this in CS4? Because if not, this is kind of a deal-breaker. None of the new features seem to great enough to warrant this extra annoyance for me. Just a lot of fancy UI features that I don’t like very much anyhow. (Hint for Adobe: Making all the toolbars dockable reduces the amount of useable workspace. May be pretty, but it’s not very practical.)

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