I have a folder of roughly 119 PSDs that need to be exported to PNG format. They need to preserve transparency properly for their intended purpose in print, and no other file format is acceptable. I also expect similarly large workloads to be a possibility in the future, so I need a repeatable and scalable solution for this. I already tried a bulk export of TIFF and converting to PNG with IrfanView, but transparency wasn't properly preserved.

I've attempted to record an action for saving to PNG, which is typically the solution here from the question I've already read. Neither Export, Quick Export to PNG, or Save As seems to be showing in the record process. Only action I've gotten to show up successfully their is Close. This could totally be me doing something stupidly wrong.

As a programmer, totally open to writing a quick script for this if somebody can point me to a text-based script editor for Photoshop.


1 Answer 1


There are several issues here.

PNG is actually not a particularly good format for print, mainly because the format doesn't support CMYK colour. It's RGB, greyscale, or Indexed only. CMYK however is only required for printing processes which require separations, such as screen printing or lithography, for full colour process printing. You can sometimes get away with PNGs if you are printing digitally. The PNG format was actually designed for display on the web.

Also generally in printing, transparency is not required. White areas in a print document carry no ink, and so are technically transparent anyway. Printing in white is possible for some specialist print processes like screen printing, but for most processes including digital/inkjet/lithographic printing, white ink is not used at all.

As for your problem, it's because Export As and Quick Export are not recordable as Actions in Photoshop. These are relatively new functions that were added to Photoshop fairly recently, and have not been included in Action recording yet, probably because it would cause compatibility problems with older versions of Photoshop which do not have those functions.

However, Export > Save for Web (Legacy), and File > Save As both work in Actions, as you can see below. If PNG is not an option when using Save As, you will have to merge your PSD layers first.

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If you want to write scripts for Photoshop, you can use any text editor. Scripts for Photoshop can be written in AppleScript, VBScript, and JavaScript.

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