I've run into a problem with batch processing. I have a file with only a folder full of adjustment layers in it (I did not create the adjustment layers, someone else did), and I need to apply those adjustment layers to about a hundred images. I'm trying to make a photoshop action to do this, but I can't find a way to import the adjustment layers in a way that batch processing will accept.

The things I've tried so far:

  • I used place to import the .psd file that the adjustment layers is in, but then the adjustment layers don't apply to my image. Linked and embedded give the same (lack of) result.
  • I kept the .psd with the adjustment layers open, and had the action switch to that file, duplicate the layer using right-click and "duplicate layer". I tried to use the action for batch but it threw an error by the second image.
  • Same as the last attempt, but instead of right clicking and using "duplicate layer", I dragged the folder from one file to another. The action didn't recognize that a duplication happened and the batch attempt spat out the same images without any of the adjustment layers.

So, does anyone know if there is a way to make this happen? I think I need to find a way to duplicate layers from one file to another without having the original file open. Any help is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


I know this is an old ask, but here is how I did it

Screen Shot of Action to Add Adjustment Layer

Start with the desired Adjustment layer already open (and only that document open).

Record your action (let's call it Add Adjustments).

  1. "Open" a document (any will work at this point). Use the Ctl-Tab (Command-Tab) on Mac.
  2. Use "Select -> All Layers", Duplicate Layer -> New. Call the document "AdjustmentsDuplicate".
  3. Ctl-Tab again (and again until it lands on the document you are trying to work on).
  4. Select the layer (assuming Background here, but if your document to be adjusted have multiple layers you would first need to flatten the image.) Again do "Duplicate Layer" but this time target the "AdjustmentsDuplicate" document.
  5. You can now click on the AdjustmentsDuplicate document (or use the Ctl-Tab). It should already have your copied layer selected, so use Layer -> Arrange -> Move to Bottom.
  6. Save the results.

At this point you have three documents: The AdjustmentLayers document, the Duplicate with the new document at the bottom (which you just saved), and the original item to be adjusted.

  1. Close (without save)
  2. Close (without save)
  3. End recording.

To perform this action on a folder full of files, use File -> Automate Batch, select Folder, overide "Open". Select a destination folder and override "Save". Be sure to create a unique name for the saved files. (There is a way to preserve the original name, but it requires an additional script.)

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