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Issue with Actions and duplicate layers


emillielane

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i have an effect that i use often that has about eleventy-billion steps to achieve. i was trying to record a new action to automate the process, and i'm running into an issue. The first step in the process is to create a new layer with either text, or a shape. That part i would do manually. The next step is to duplicate that layer three times. The next step is to set all four layers fill percentage to 0%. Steps two, and three are where i'm running into the issue. When creating a new layer with text, or a shape, it automatically names the layer. After i record the process, and try to use it on another set of text or shape, it looks for layers with the original names, and fails to complete. To try getting around that, i started recording the process after changing the name of the original layer to "1". Running the action after that works...mostly. It still doesn't change the layer fill percentage to 0%.

How do i create an action that will duplicate the original layer three times, regardless of what the original layer is named, and how do i then get that action to set the fill percentage of all four layers to 0%?
 

thebestcpu

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Hi emillielane
It is not quite clear to me the nature of your exact issue.
I have attached an ATN file that takes the original layer (cannot be a background layer), sets the Fill to 0 and then duplicates the Layer 3 times to give you 4 layers total with the names up the upper three named as copies of the first layer name.
However, I infer from you posts that what you want is your eleventy-billion steps of a succeeding Action to refer to these Layers with a specific name. The names can be set up once the way you want to which you other Action can refer, yet the next time you do this in the same Layer Stack, it will look again for those unique Layer labels (and not starting on a new Layer). I could totally misunderstand yet I understand the issue of having an Action find the right Layers from which to work.
There is another approach in using Actions when referring to Layers. Instead of referring to them by name, the can be referred to by relative position e.g. X layers below or X layers above. This is achieved by using combinations of various keyboard shortcuts in this link: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop-elements/using/keys-layers-panel.html
You can select one Layer up or down or select the bottom of the stack or top of the stack. You can also move Layers incrementally as well.
These relative operations do not depend on Layer names and gets rid of a bunch of issues. You have to re-record you Action using these relative references yet could help solve you problem.
Then again, I may not understand your issue.
Hope this helps
John
 

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emillielane

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You're right in that if i record the actions on a layer named "grass" for example, and then try to use the same actions on a layer named "sky", it fails because after duplicating the layers, it's looking for layers starting with "grass"... It sounds like the keyboard shortcuts you mentioned are the way to go. i had no idea there were keyboard shortcuts to do things like "select the layer above/below". i'll give them a look, and re-record.
 

emillielane

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Using Alt + [ or ] to switch between layers after duplicating the layer three times worked perfectly! No need for the layers to be named anything specific since i was simply moving up the list instead of "selecting" a layer with my mouse.

Thank you very much for your help, and that link.
 

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