Pitfalls and Workarounds

Please, keep in mind that not any Photoshop Elements activity can be recorded to a macro.

1. First off, any clicks in the "Effects" and "Graphics" panels are not recordable.

Possible solutions: Instead of "filter" thumbnails, use the corresponding commands in the "Filter" menu. To apply "drop shadow" or some other layer style, create it with the "Style Settings" command (Layer > Layer Style > Style Settings), as shown on the screenshot. To record an action execution, load it into the Actions panel.

2. Brush, Pencil, Sponge, Selection Brush and other "painting" tools can't be recorded.

Possible solutions: For area selecting, use Marquee, Polygonal Lasso, or Magic Wand tool. To imitate the Brush strokes, select some fragment, then feather (Select > Feather), and fill it (Edit > Fill Selection).

3. We can't record any commands and tools that are missing in full Photoshop: "Smart Tone", "Smart Fix", "Auto Red Eye Fix", "Convert to Black & White", Straighten Tool, and some others.

Possible solutions: Look for an alternative, Photoshop-compatible approach. For example, "Auto Levels" and "Auto Color Correction" work fine for automatic adjustments. For B&W conversions, use "Desaturate" or "Gradient Map" command.

4. Separately, we note that, in some cases, "Image Size" command may be recorded incorrectly. Therefore, for altering pixel dimensions, consider "Fit Image" command (File > Automation Tools > Fit Image).

In addition, it must be remembered that the edited images may differ in size, aspect ratio, color depth, and other properties.

To create an "all-image" macro, we should opt for "all-mode" algorithms, test the recorded macro thoroughly, and, if something goes wrong, devise a workaround.

A video on this topic is available here.

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