Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


Workflow Techniques #104

Photoshop Batch processor: XBatch

script by xbytor and text by Uwe Steinmueller

Now also an updated version for Photoshop CS3

Why yet another Photoshop Batch Processor?

The batch processor (Automation tool) built into Photoshop is very powerful (same can be said about the ImageProcesor script). But I always missed one important feature:

  • You cannot run the batch processors on a source image tree and create a target image tree with the same folder hierarchy.


Xbytor has written for our readers a free batch processor script that solves this problem (read xbytor's introduction to scripting).

The use of XBatch is very simple (especially if you understand the Photoshop Automation tool). To launch XBatch the use File->Scripts menu in Photoshop.

Launch XBatch

XBatch User Interface

Most elements of the Xbatch user interface are easy to understand:

  • Source Directory (folder): here are the images you want to process
  • Target Directory (folder): Here the processed images are stored
  • Action Set: The set where the action resides you want to use
  • Action: Name of the action you want to use

The optional use of a script is not that obvious and many users may not even need this option. There are some things that can only be done using scripts and not actions. Let's assume you you flatten your image (can be done in actions) and then there are still some alpha channels left. Clearing off these alpha channels cannot be performed easily in any action. But there are scripts that can do this. We included in the download file for XBatch (see below) one sample script that exactly does this.

You may now think why not use the script inside the action you perform using XBatch? The good news is that scripts work inside a actions. The bad news is that XBatch is a script and scripts inside actions used from scripts don't work. That is why we added the option to run a script before the actions are called. I our case, we flatten the file in the script and also remove the alpha channels.

You can download XBatch for CS2 from here.

You can download XBatch for CS3 from here.

We want to thank xbytor a lot for creating this very useful script.


We hope you agree that this is a very useful script that xbytor makes available for the Photoshop user community. We initiated the basic idea and xbytor did all the hard scripting work. XBatch also demonstrates how powerful Photoshop scripting can be. Happy XBatch processing. For questions and comment please use our news groups.

About the xbytor

I have a long history in software engineering and photography. Scripting Photoshop has turned out to be excellent way to engage both of these passions. In addition to providing support to other scriptwriters on the Adobe Scripting Forum and, I also offer online consulting services for those in need of additional help.

You can contact xbytor here.



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