Sunday, January 01, 2006

Changing an Existing Photoshop Action Text Layer

[ Updated 1/22/06: No need to use a hex-editor just to change the text string. Danny Raphael explains a much less dangerous method in the comments. ]

This entry is almost entirely for my use exactly one year from today. That will be the day when I want to remember how I changed the text associated with a text layer in an existing Photoshop CS 'action' without having to re-record the whole thing.

It probably won't provide any interest for anyone else. You've been warned.

Note: This process appeared to work just fine for me, but I only made a simple change of two bytes in the entire file. Doing anything else, or even doing just this probably puts you at risk of destroying your entire actions file. You're on your own if that happens.

  1. Make a backup of "%APPDATA%\Adobe\Photoshop\8.0\Adobe Photoshop CS Settings\Actions Palette.psp.lnk"
  2. Open the actions palette file in a hex editor (I used heXEdit 4.3 for DOS, because I am just that old-school)
  3. Search for the string 2005 in Unicode hexadecimal ("0032003000300035")
    [Hit S, then B, then enter the search string, if you are using XE]
  4. Change the last byte from 35 to 36 (i.e. change 2005 to 2006)
    [Hit E to edit, make the change, hit enter and choose to save your changes, if you are using XE]
  5. Continue for all occurrences of 2005, and exit XE
  6. Load up Photoshop and verify that the action's text layer entry has been updated correctly


Danny Raphael said...

Using a Hex editor makes sense if you have to make several changes of this nature.

But if we're talking 2-3 Text commands in an action, the following might be more efficient:
* Open any document

For each Text command:
* Fouble-click it (to open the text dialog)
* Type the replacement text
* Click the "accept text" checkmark at the top of the screen. This updates the Text command with the new text.

When finished, close the test image.

- - - - -

Need a favor...

I've got a question regarding file
"Actions Palette.psp.lnk".

E-mail me when you can, would ya?

Danny Raphael

Steve Eck said...

See, that is precisely the kind of info I was looking for so that I didn't need to break out the hex editor. It seems counter-intuitive that you can change the text-layer generated by an action in a destination image and have that change the action's settings.

But I guess it lets me change the action's text layer contents, which is all I really wanted to be able to do.

Thanks for the info!