Workflow 101 – Part 4: How to Use Autoloader in Photoshop

Hi there!! This post is part of my Workflow 101 Series, where I walk you through my process of taking the pictures in my camera all the way through their final edit.


In Part 1 of the series, I talked about the importance of getting images correct in camera. In Part 2, I talked about how I set up the bit-depth and color space to get consistent color throughout the editing process. In Part 3, I talk about how I use Lightroom in my workflow. Here in Part 4, I’m going to talk about how to use Autoloader.




Yes, Autoloader. Ever heard of it? Well, I actually thought about trying to do something ‘clever’ and calling this post someting like ‘Workflow 101 – Part 3.5’ since Autoloader isn’t necessary to edit your photos. But then I thought… Yes. Yes, it is a necessity for me! I don’t know how people edit a session’s worth of photos without using Autoloader. You see, Autoloader is a Photoshop script that opens your photos one at a time, lets you edit them, and then saves them in the format and in the location of your choosing. Then it automatically loads (Autoloader, get it?!) the next photo in your folder.


Autoloader basically saves the hassle of opening, saving, and closing your files manually when you’re editing in Photoshop.


If I were to edit a session without Autoloader, my process in Photoshop would be…

  • File -> Open
  • Browse through my folder structure to my folder of unedited images
  • Try to remember the name of the last image I worked on so I can choose the next image to open
  • Select the file to open in Photoshop
  • Do my Photoshop edits
  • File -> Save As
  • Browse through my folder structure to my folder of final, edited images
  • Change the Format to ‘jpeg’
  • Change the Quality to Level 10
  • Close the image
  • Select No, “don’t save changes to Adobe Photoshop document”

And that’s just for ONE picture!


When I’m using Autoloader, my process is…

  • Hit my keyboard shortcut
  • Do my Photoshop edits
  • Hit my keyboard shortcut


Autoloader opens the next photo in my specified folder, then when I’m done editing, it saves my photo in the format and location I specify and immediately opens the next image for me to work on. It takes out a lot of the tedium of editing. Genius!


Now that you have an idea of what Autoloader is, I want to show you how easy it is to set up and use! When you want to start editing a folder of photos, you have to set up the ‘Autoloader Set.’ Here is what the dialog looks like:


This is how I use it:

  1. Choose the folder of photos I want to edit
  2. Tell it to ‘Run an action immediately after the image is loaded’ – Then I select the action I want to run. There is an action I created that I run first thing on every image called ‘Workflow Part 1’. So as soon as Autoloader opens my image in Photoshop, it also runs my Workflow action on the image. This saves yet another step!
  3. Choose the folder where I want my edited photos saved when I’m done
  4. Choose the file format in which I want my photos saved (for me, jpeg level 10)


Autoloader also gives you the option to automatically run another action right before it saves your file. So if you have an action you run on every image at the end of your processing (for instance, maybe a sharpening or resizing action), you could tell it to automatically run that as well.


After you set up your options, you’re ready to use it! Simply hit your keyboard shortcut (that you designate) to open your first image, and get to work! When you’re done editing the photo, hit the keyboard shortcut again… your photo is saved and closed, and the next one is opened and ready for editing.


One other great thing to note… if you don’t finish editing your entire folder of photos, Autoloader will save your spot for next time.


I’m telling you, this little Photoshop script is soooo worth its weight because it really saves lots of tedius steps when editing. Autoloader and Portraiture/Noiseware were my very first purchases (past my camera and Photoshop) when I started my photography business. So you see, I really don’t know how to edit without using Autoloader!! It is an integral part of my editing workflow.


Here is a short video on how I use Autoloader in my workflow:



As you can see, it really saves some steps in the editing process. You can find more info on the Autoloader site. Thanks for visiting, the next post in the Workflow 101 Series will be “How to Do a Clean Edit.” Until next time!

Full Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase something I’ve linked to. Rest assured, I was promoting these products well before I became an affiliate for them because they are products I personally use! Anything I may earn is used to support this blog. Thank you for your kind support!

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3 Responses to Workflow 101 – Part 4: How to Use Autoloader in Photoshop

  1. kimberly smith says:

    I cannot tell you how much your Work Flow tutorials are helping me! Thank you SOOO much! -Kim

  2. Too much benefited from this tutorial. Give more tutorial.

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