A Little Practice
So, now that you know what an Action is, let's make a simple one that you can use as-is or add to others. That way, you'll get a little practice at the art. Plus, you'll have a good building block for future actions.
Change Resolution and Save As...
First, let's create a new set to use for these examples:
At the bottom of the Actions palette, click the Create a New Set button.
Name the set Samples.
Now, let's start recording an Action:
Open a file. It doesn't matter what the file is because we are using it only as a bed for building the Action.
Click the Create a New Action button at the bottom of the Actions palette.
Name the action Downsample and Save As.
Choose Sample as your set.
Set the function key to F12.
Choose Violet as the color from the pull-down list (Why? Because I like it. That's why.)
Click the Record button.
Now, let's actually record something:
Select Image Size from the Image menu.
In the Image Size dialog box, set the resolution to 72 pixels/inch, select constrain proportions, select resample image: Bicubic, and leave the other settings as they are.
Select Save As from the File menu. Choose a name you like, save it to the desktop (so it will be easy to find), and set the File Type to Photoshop. Leave everything else as is and click Save.
Stop the recording by clicking the Stop Playing/Recording button on the Actions palette.
You now have an Action, but we need to tweak it just a tad.
Edit the Action
The Action, as it is, will down-sample a graphic and save it to the desktop of your computer with the same name you used while creating the Action. It's much more useful to have the Action stop and allow you enter a new name or save it to a different location. Let's add the stop.
In the little gray square next to the Save As Command, click to add a stop (Photoshop now calls this the Toggle Dialog box, but I call it a stop). This procedure essentially pauses the Action, allowing you to enter the name and set the location for the save.
Voila! You have created your first Action. Now, if you want to create another action that includes a down-sample, you can start with this Action and build on it.