If I want to play a Photoshop action, I currently select the action with the mouse and click the play button.

I'm aware of a couple of different ways to do this faster:

  1. Assigning a keyboard shortcut to an action
  2. Assign a keyboard shortcut to the play button

I don't like either of these methods because #1 doesn't scale to many actions, #2 requires two steps: clicking then hitting the keyboard shortcut.

I'd like hear if there are any other ways of triggering Photoshop actions?

Ideal for me would be would be one of the following:

  1. Holding a modifier key while clicking an action just plays it automatically.
  2. Use a "Command Palette", e.g., like in Visual Studio Code

If anyone knows how I can setup either of those options, or just knows of other ways of triggering Photoshop Actions quickly that I've missed, then I'd love to hear about it!

  • 1
    By fastest you mean time to execute or time to start the execution. You can do both 1 and 2 of the ideal section. You can also turn the action palette into button mode in which case it does the result 1 and sort of 2 at the same time (use the hamburger menu and choose button mode). You can also launch things form script and have as many shortcuts you like. Also actions can call actions.
    – joojaa
    Apr 16, 2020 at 17:01
  • @joojaa Thanks button mode was exactly what I was looking for. If you want to share this as an answer I'll accept it. One thing I'm not clear on is how button mode does ideal #2? If there's also a way to select an action by typing its name I'd love to hear about it! Apr 16, 2020 at 17:22

2 Answers 2


As @joojaa mentioned you can run actions from scripts, it's a one-liner

app.doAction("Action Name","Action Set Name")

...that can be saved as a .jsx file to Photoshop\Presets\Scripts folder and then assigned to a normal (Ctrl/Cmd+(optional Alt)+(optional Shift)+Key).

Also actions can be converted to scripts using ActionToScript script from xtools.

What's interesting is that for several versions now Photoshop has a Search function (Edit > Search) and scripts are listed in there but actions aren't. So you can convert your actions to scripts and have a version of VSC Command Palette:

enter image description here

  • I accepted answer from @joojaa because it's more direct solution to the problem, but this is also a phenomenal tip that I'm going to explore, thanks so much for sharing! Apr 17, 2020 at 10:45

What your looking at is called button mode. To enable it go into the hamburger menu of your Actions palette and choose the Button Mode option. Your palette is now just full of one hit buttons you can use for your stuff quickly.

enter image description here

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