Is there a way in Photoshop to open multiple images as layers in a single PSD?
August 3, 2004 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Hopefully a simple question, but I can't think of a googly-good way to ask. Is there a way in Photoshop to open multiple images as layers in a single PSD? For instance, can I select 10 .jpg images and somehow magically make them into a stack of layers in one .psd file I'm working on? Right now, I'm doing this by hand (open file, select all, copy, paste into .psd, wish for a better way).
posted by kokogiak to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have PS here so this is a wild assed guess. Can you open the first file and then from Explorer drag and drop the others onto it, or perhaps into the layer palette for it?

I know you don't have to do an actual copy/paste though. Try just drag and dropping the layers around. Better answer later when I can play with it.
posted by smackfu at 2:33 PM on August 3, 2004

you may be able to do this with a photoshop macro.
posted by Kwantsar at 2:40 PM on August 3, 2004

Response by poster: Playing around with smackfu's guess - I cannot drag from Windows Explorer onto the open image, but if I have all the images open (separately) in Photoshop, I can just click-drag from source image to target image. That's marginally better, but I still have to line things up, still pretty manual.
posted by kokogiak at 2:41 PM on August 3, 2004

are these all randomly named files, or are they ordered 01.jpg, 02.jpg?
posted by GeekAnimator at 3:04 PM on August 3, 2004

Response by poster: Numbered files in this case, but I'd also like to be able to do it for randomly-named files.
posted by kokogiak at 3:15 PM on August 3, 2004

you should be able to do it with an action or two(hopefully you have photoshop 7 or so).

I was just messin around and came up with this. go to your action tab in the 'history/tool presets/action' window.

at the bottom of the action tabs window is an icon that looks like a sheet of paper click that and 'create new action' name it koko's action and hit record...

the 'play' arrow will turn on(turn red). from here you sort of go about doing the whole process once. open one of the files, select all, copy, find the file to paste into, create a new layer, paste the clipboard. then go back to the actions tab and hit the stop button(looks like a square).

You may mess up along the way(I did) but it records every step and you can delete indivual steps or hihight a certain step and re-record from that step.

after all this you just click on the top level of the action 'koko's action' and press the play button.

one more thing. on the step where you open the file if you click the little box to the right of the action it will turn on a dialog box, so every time it gets to that step it will ask which file to open, then you click the file.

anyway maybe that helps. its not exactly a batch processor but it is a simple intor to actions.
posted by darkpony at 3:20 PM on August 3, 2004

Create a photoshop action, with the following sequence of commands:

"select all"
"close window"

Save that action as a droplet.

Have a single window open, sized to match all your jpegs.

Drop all the jpegs onto the droplet.

Haven't tested this, so the above instructions may need some tweaking, but that'd be the general idea; each file should open in turn, and get copied into a new layer in your main doc.
posted by ook at 3:21 PM on August 3, 2004

oh yeah like ook said. I just read about batching it...

in 'file/automate/batch'

or 'file/automate/create droplet'

batch will let you specify a folder to run the action on. the droplet I guess you drag them all onto the droplet.
posted by darkpony at 3:30 PM on August 3, 2004

checka yer email.
posted by darkpony at 3:41 PM on August 3, 2004

I can just click-drag from source image to target image. That's marginally better, but I still have to line things up, still pretty manual.

If you hold down shift while dragging a layer out of the layer pallet onto the canvas area of another file, it will be centered so you don't need to line everything up.
posted by willnot at 4:22 PM on August 3, 2004

Response by poster: Hooray for darkpony & ook! The Droplet method works fine - took a little bit of setup, but it will do exack-ly what I'm after. Thankee so much.
posted by kokogiak at 5:06 PM on August 3, 2004

Also potentially useful: when you right click a layer and "Duplicate Layer..." you have the option of selecting the destination from any open files or a new file.
posted by modofo at 5:22 PM on August 3, 2004

As long as we're on the subject: if you find yourself needing to automate photoshop a lot, and if you know javascript, the underrated scripting support plugin is worth looking into. Much more flexible and controllable than actions or droplets -- plus you'll look like a hotshit guru, with 50 windows flying around churning out your bidding while you sit back sipping on your coffee. Which is always fun.

(Dunno whether that's available for CS or not -- I haven't bothered to upgrade yet -- but for PS7 it's a lifesaver.)
posted by ook at 5:37 PM on August 3, 2004

Response by poster: ook - that scripting plugin looks amazing. I just installed it and am already salivating. Javascript is a second language to me these days, and stuff like this makes me a happy man.
posted by kokogiak at 5:52 PM on August 3, 2004

I would put the files in a directory and open it as frames in ImageReady, which comes with Photoshop. Then save it from IR as a psd file, and it will reopen as layers in Photoshop. Works for me.
posted by zadcat at 7:06 PM on August 3, 2004

Okay, zadcat wins. All our show-off macros are a complete waste of time; this is, in fact, built right into ImageReady: File ->Import ->Folder as frames. Just goes to show there's always an absurdly complicated way to do something, if you just look hard enough :)

(seriously, I can't believe I never noticed that before; I tend to forget ImageReady has any features other than Save Optimized As...)
posted by ook at 7:37 PM on August 3, 2004

Response by poster: zadcat does win - but I now have a whole new set of tools I know about (droplets, scripting plugin and imageready imports). Yay AskMefi - ask for one solution, get several of increasing value!
posted by kokogiak at 8:41 PM on August 3, 2004

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