In my computer I have 2 different versions of Photoshop installed, Adobe Photoshop 2020 and and Photoshop CS5. Yes I’m still using CS5 because of picture package feature which I need for printing rush ID pictures. As we can see, in higher version of PS such as CC, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and in 2020 they have removed this feature. I believe that not only me but other PS users are asking on how they can integrate picture package on higher version of Photoshop. I was busy at that time, so instead of asking the same question, I retain the older version and use it every time I need to print rush ID.
Then suddenly in my not-so-busy hours, I came back not by the same question but, “why they actually removed it?”
Although not all the time, but most of the time, developers are releasing new version because they believe they need to make changes which will improve their software a lot. There are times they will add something new or remove to lessen the clutter and give way for more innovation. For the case of picture package and all the ease it gives to their users, why on earth they remove it on higher version.
The answer is – so users will adopt the “action” features. Action is already there since the old version of Photoshop but I can say that this is underrated tool. Action works such as Macro wherein you can record action and play it everytime you need to do the same actions. Once you understand the concept of how you are going to write actions for later use, you will say that it is really come in handy. And I can tell you, Action is far better than automate picture package.
Action can be set either step by step or instant. In step by step it is like executing the record action one by one while in instant, you will get the complete set of action instantly. To compare it with Picture Package it is faster. Also what I really like in Action that is going to use in automating picture package is that, you can record not only the template but also the entire procedure including printing, printer set-up etc. This can really do a 1-click production instantly. Plus less error in printer settings.
I still see lot of people looking for picture package. They are also willing to install plugins to let them do the old school way to higher version. They don’t want changes because for them it is difficult to do new things compare to basic that they have usually do for years. Well I can’t justify it either difficult or not by means of my case to them. What I can do is to share how can you automate picture package template using actions.
I’m going to do this in list and with image so it will be easier to understand.
* Open your image In Photoshop.
* (Clean background if necessary)
*Crop the image with WxHxResolution, 2x2x300, px/in setting
note: in every package your are going to make, you need to do the above instructions manually.
Here we are going to make/record your action. Actually I can let you download pre-made command but I want you to know the concept so you can make your own. It will be better if are going to create your action macro/action which you can use to other packages/sizes or other project since this is a very useful tool to automate task in Photoshop. To start creating action follow the steps below:
1. Open Action. (Menu Tab>Windows>Action) or (Alt+F9)
2. From action tab, create a new set and name it picture package.
3. In action set/folder, create a new action and name it package 1 (2 pcs 2×2, 4 pcs 1×1). then record. Here you are recording every action so you need to follow carefully.
4. Press M or do marquee tool. Then CTRL+A, Right Click, Stroke (width 1px, black, inside, then ok)
5. Save the image. (picture package.jpg)
6. Next create new. (A4 size or whatever size you are going to print your document), 300 resolution, RGB color, 8bit, white background. This will open a new tab.
7. In your new tab, place embedded the saved image (picture package.jpg). then put it in top left corner as shown below:
8. then copy the image by holding alt and drag to the right.
9. here we will create a 1×1 so another copy by holding alt and drag and then CTRL+t or free transform to adjust it on 1×1.
10. Duplicate those 1×1 image by holding ATL and drag until you have 4 copies. Make sure to arrange it well since this will serve as your template.
11. Let’s print. CTRL+P. adjust everything base on your printer and your preferences in printing ID pictures.
12. Go back on action tab and then stop playing/recording to complete the package 1.
Note: This is a complete action for printing package 1. It will work instantly so you need to prepare your paper and printer first before playing the action. It is also important to always do the first 3 steps (with asterisk above) since you are not able to automate that part specifically cropping the desired portion of image.
You can also create different packages in the same procedures with minor alteration such as picture package name, resizing pictures, as well as cropping. 2×2 and 1×2 works with 2x2x300 cropping since these are scalable. While making passport size 1.3 x 1.7 you need to crop different sizes.
Once the action is working properly. All you have to do are instruction with asterisk and then run action correspond with package you want to print.