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Conditional Actions in Adobe ImageReady

Resizing images for Web output automatically and creating batch droplets By Dave Nagel
Have you ever needed to resize a folder full of images, shrinking larger ones but leaving the small ones alone? I have to do it all the time. The problem is that, while many applications let you automate the resizing process, they can't differentiate between between large and small files; instead, all of the images are processed down or up to fit the dimensions you've specified. But Adobe ImageReady has a handy little feature that allows you to scale based on the dimensions of the original image so that you can force images to conform to a maximum width and/or height, rather than a fixed size.

In my case, that maximum size is 640 pixels wide. Any bigger than that, and I start getting hell from my boss about it--you know, ads getting pushed off the screen and all. (Yes, even a man of my grandiosity still gets this kind of treatment from his boss.) But in addition to the width issue, I also like to keep most of my images to a maximum height. Otherwise things just start looking a bit crazy on the page. So I'm going to create an action that will take care of both problems, one that will analyze my original images and set them to a maximum width and height without changing the images that already fit within these maximum dimensions.

In addition to this, I'm also going to save my action as a "droplet, which is a sort of self-contained script that will allow me to drag multiple images onto it to save me some time in the batch process.

To begin, launch ImageReady and open up an image (or create a new one). It doesn't matter what the image is or what its size is. We'll just be using it as a source image for creating our action.

Now open up your Actions palette. At the bottom of this, you'll see an icon for creating a new action. Click it, and give the action an appropriate name.

When you create a new action, the Record button is automatically activated. So anything you do at this point will be recorded in your action. (Of course, you can delete individual steps that are mistakenly included in your action, and you can start and stop recording at any time by clicking the appropriate button in the Actions palette.)

Now that I have my action going, I'll first resize my image's width. To do this and have it record properly, choose Image > Image Size. Set the Width to 640 (or whatever you want your maximum width to be); check the "Action Options" check box; and choose "Width" for the property labeled "Fit Image By." Click OK.

Now, in a separate step, you're going to adjust the image's height. Once again, choose Image > Image Size. This time set your height value. (Don't worry what happens to your current image's width at this point; we'll take care of it later. Right now we just need to worry about the height.) And, again, check the Action Options check box, but this time choose "Height" in the parameter labeled "Fit Image By." I'm setting my height to 640 as well.

OK, so you now have two steps listed in your action, right? They should both be labeled "Resize Image." If you expand these steps by clicking on the little triangle next to them, you'll see that the first constrains the image width, the other its height, just as we wanted.

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