Photographers don’t usually rush to batch edit images in Photoshop since Lightroom is the better choice for working with multiple images. However, there is a workaround to edit multiple photos at a time in Photoshop; it just takes a few more steps.
You can use two options to edit batches of images in Photoshop, although there is only one method of exporting these images. Using these processes will save you plenty of time if you have similar edits to add to several photos simultaneously. You can skip to the batch export option if you have separately edited your images but want to export them together quickly.
How To Batch Edit Images In Photoshop Using Camera Raw
The first method to batch edit images is using the Camera Raw workspace. If you have RAW (CR3) files, when you open them in Photoshop, they are all automatically opened in the Camera Raw window.
However, if you want to edit images that are not in Raw format, Camera Raw doesn’t automatically open. Here, I will use TIFF files to show you the extra steps to take if your images don’t open directly in Camera Raw.
If you are using RAW files, you can move straight to step 3. When pasting the edit settings, you will find the rest of your images in the film strip at the bottom of the Camera Raw window.
Step 1: Open The Images As Smart Objects
To save time, especially when you have several images to edit, you can open the files as smart objects, automatically converting the image layer to a Smart Object when the file is opened. You want the files this way so you can re-open Camera Raw and re-edit the photos throughout your project.
Instead of opening each file and then converting them to smart objects separately, you can go to File > Open as Smart Object.
Then, find your files on your hard drive, select the images you want to edit and click Open.
The files will be added to separate tabs in Photoshop, which you can click through using the bar above the photo workspace.
You can also check that the image layer has a Smart Object icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the image thumbnail to ensure that you opened the images correctly.
Step 2: Click Filter > Camera Raw Filter To Open The Camera Raw Window
Open the tab with the first image you want to edit. Remember that your edits will be added to the entire batch, so choose the one that will help you make the best edits.
Then, open the image in Camera Raw by selecting the image layer, then going to Filter > Camera Raw Filter. You can also press Shift + Control + A (Win) or Shift + Command + A (Mac) as a shortcut.
Your image will open up in the Camera Raw workspace.
Step 3: Edit The First Image Using The Adjustment Sliders
Once your image is open in Camera Raw, you can edit it as you’d like the entire batch to look. Use the various sliders in the right-hand panel to add multiple adjustments to the image.
You can use the icon at the bottom to toggle between before and after views.
Step 4: Copy The Edit Settings And Exit Camera Raw
Once you are happy with the edits, you can copy the settings you changed and then paste them on the rest of the images. You can create a new preset (Shift + Control + P/Shift + Command + P) if you plan on using the settings long-term, but if these settings are only for this batch of images, it’s easier to copy/paste them.
To copy the settings, click on the three dots on the right-hand side of the window. Then, select Copy Edit Settings from the options.
You can also use the shortcut Control + C (Win) or Command + C (Mac) to copy the adjustments quickly.
Once you have copied the settings, exit the window by clicking OK.
Give Photoshop a moment while it processes the changes and adds them to your image.
You will notice a smart filter sub-layer is added to the image layer. You can double-click on the sub-layer whenever to add finer adjustments to each image as needed.
Step 5: Open The Next Image In Camera Raw
To paste the adjustments onto the next picture, open it in Camera Raw by opening the image tab. Then select the image layer and use the shortcut Shift + Control + A (Win) or Shift + Command + A (Mac).
Step 6: Paste The Edit Settings, And Exit Camera Raw
Then paste the settings by clicking on the three dots and selecting Apply Previous Settings. To paste the settings, you can use the shortcut Control + V (Win) or Command + V (Mac).
You will see the edits added to your photo.
Click OK to close the window.
Step 7: Repeat Steps 5 And 6 For The Rest Of The Images
You can now move through the rest of the photos and repeat the last two steps by opening Camera Raw, Shift + Control + A (Win), or Shift + Command + A (Mac), and pasting the settings Control + V (Win) or Command + V (Mac).
Do this until all your images have the same edits added. You can then open the smart filters to further edit the photos individually if needed.
How To Batch Edit Images Using Photoshop Actions
The previous method may take too long if you have more than a few images. In this case, you can use Photoshop Actions to edit your batch of photos. You can also add this process to the previous one to add more complex edits.
A benefit of using actions is that you can apply more complex edits to the images and simply run the process to apply them to all your pictures. However, you may need to create several actions for the various edits you want to add to your image.
You can also create a droplet on your desktop that you can use to apply the edits and share the droplet with your colleagues for them to use.
Step 1: Create A New Action Set
Open the tab of your first image again, and open the Actions panel. If you can’t see it in your workspace, go to Window > Actions. Photoshop has default actions available, and you can see if any actions contain the editing process you want to add.
Then, create a new Action Set by clicking on the Folder icon at the bottom of the panel. An action set is helpful if you have a few similar edit processes you want to create and group together.
Name the action set and click OK to add it.
You will see the folder appear in the Actions panel. Keep the folder selected.
Step 2: Create A New Action And Press Record
Now, you can add a new action to the folder you created by clicking the Plus icon at the bottom of the panel.
Name the new Action and press Record to start recording your action. Remember that anything you do from now will be added to the action, so move straight to the editing process you want to add.
Step 3: Add The Edits You’d Like To The Image, And Press Stop
You can now add the edits to your image. For example, I added a Color Balance adjustment layer by clicking on the icon in the Adjustments panel.
Then, I used the various sliders to add a color effect to the image.
Once you have added the edits, press the Stop icon at the bottom of the panel.
If you accidentally added an extra edit, it is added to the action even if you used Control + Z (Win) or Command + Z (Mac) to undo the edit. You can delete any part of the action by clicking on the layer and then on the bin icon.
The new edit is now added to your first image.
Step 4: Open The Next Image And Press Play
To add the edit action you just created to the remaining photos, open the next image tab and the Actions panel.
Then, select the action and click on the Play icon in the panel.
The adjustment is automatically added to the image.
Repeat this process for all the photos to add the new edits to the batch of images.
Step 5: Create An Action Droplet
If you want to apply this action to a large batch of images or share the process with a colleague, you can create a droplet. A droplet sits on your desktop (or wherever you save it), and you can simply drag and drop a group of images over the droplet.
Once the photos are dropped on the droplet, the editing process will automatically run on all the images.
To create a droplet, go to File > Automate > Create Droplet.
In the Create Droplet window, set the location where you want to save the droplet, and you can also name the droplet when choosing a location.
Then, select the Set and Action you want the droplet to use. Click OK when you have added the settings.
Open the folder where you saved the droplet, and you will see the droplet icon and the name you set. You can now drag and drop multiple images over the icon to batch-edit photos.
How To Batch Export Images In Photoshop
Once you have edited your images in one or a combination of the above methods, you can export the images as a batch instead of exporting each one individually.
Step 1: Go To File > Scripts > Image Processor
Go to File > Scripts > Image Processor to start the batch export process.
This opens the Image Processor Window.
Step 2: Change The Export Settings
You can now move through the Image Processor window and change the settings. First, check the box next to Use Open Images to ensure you export the images you just edited.
Then, set the export location. You can choose the same location as the original files, and a new folder will be added in that location with the edited files, or you can set a new location.
Next, you can set the File Type. You can save the images as JPEG, PSD, or TIFF files. Each option has a few settings you can adjust.
I chose JPEG and set the Quality to 10 to retain the quality of the images I used. Then, if you are saving them as JPEG, check the box next to Convert Profile to sRGB to ensure the colors stay the same across various devices.
You can also check the Resize to Fit box if you are working with images of the same orientation and want to resize them to a specific size.
Lastly, you can set Preferences if you want to, such as adding a different action you created, like an action that adds a watermark to the images. You can also add copyright information to the batch of photos.
Step 3: Click Run And Locate Your Images
Once you’ve adjusted the settings, click Run at the top of the window to export your images. If you set it to save in the same folder and receive any error messages, try saving the images in a different folder, as this should solve the problem.
Go to the folder you saved the images in, and you will find a new folder named JPEG (or the format you saved them as).
Open this folder to find your batch edited and saved files.