I have created a Photoshop action which:

  1. Duplicates the current image.
  2. Merges all visible layers.
  3. Removes hidden layers.
  4. Rearranges parts of image.
  5. Adds the layer to a group.
  6. Displays user interface to "Duplicate Layer Group" back to the original image. (Using action "Insert Menu Item...")
  7. Closes the image without saving.

This is working but I would like to automatically duplicate the layer group back to the original image without having to select it from a drop-down box.

See Video: http://youtu.be/VFRj33zHIlY

Is there a way to do this? perhaps by adding a script or something?

  • What do you mean by "duplicate the layer group back to the original image"? If I duplicate a layer group by dragging the group to the new layer icon while recording an action it produces a Duplicate current layer item, and this item when played succeeds in copying the selected layer group. Is that what you want?
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Jan 20, 2013 at 22:25
  • @Mr.Wizard I am using Layer | Duplicate Group... which displays a dialog box which allows you to duplicate the layer group to a different image. This is useful because it ensures that the layer is positioned correctly when its content is surrounded by transparent space. I have uploaded a video to demonstrate: youtu.be/VFRj33zHIlY
    – Lea Hayes
    Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 0:55
  • Don't use "insert menu item" when you are adding duplicate group to the action, that is the reason why it is showing the dialog box. The icon next to the checkmark means that a dialog box will appear.
    – Joonas
    Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 6:50
  • I am impressed that you made a video to illustrate. Thank you.
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 10:49
  • @Joonas I had to use the "insert menu item" because otherwise the layer is duplicated to back to the wrong image. The action will be used extensively when creating these images which means that it is very likely that multiple images will be open of a similar nature. So it is important that an automatic approach duplicates the layer back to the original image.
    – Lea Hayes
    Commented Jan 21, 2013 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


Your problem may require scripting. The name of the original image is included in the recorded action so it only works for that particular image or at least one with the same file name.

A workaround that might be acceptable (though I admit hardly ideal) is to first duplicate your original image to rename it something generic, then run the action on that. For example, this duplicates a starting image as TEST then duplicates that, selects all layers and groups them, then copies that layer group back to TEST:

Action crop


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