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Instructions

for AC's Watermark Signature Actions for Photoshop

*** Warning -- some assembly required ***

This product contains instructions, signature files, and Photoshop actions to automate adding a watermark-style signature to your images. Since you'll want your own name on your photos, instead of "Your Name," and since Photoshop needs to know what folder your signature files are in, you'll need to do some setup work, and the instructions need to be followed closely.

The good news is that once you've set everything up, running the actions is a breeze: you just open an image file, and run one of the watermark signature actions.

Note: If you want to print these instructions, you will probably want to tell your printer to print in Landscape mode.

Setting up the Actions
   Editing the text of your signature
   Changing the size and font of your signature
   Loading the actions into Photoshop
   (Optional) Recording the location of your signature files
Using the actions
Samples
Running the actions in Batch Mode
Creating a Signature Brush
Using your Signature Brush


Downloading and Setting up the Actions

  1. When you purchase the Watermark Signature actions, you will receive the file "watermarksignatures.zip"

    The ZIP file contains 5 files:
    • watermarksignatures.atn
    • SignatureLarge.psd
    • SignatureSmall.psd (just a smaller version of the watermark)
    • SignatureDiagonal.psd (for image protection)
    • A ReadMe file containing a link to these instructions.


  2. Extract the files to a folder on your hard drive.

  3. If you are installing these actions for the first time, open the signature (PSD) files in Photoshop and edit them to show your signature instead of "Your Name." However, if you are installing an update, and you already have your edited signature files from before, you can skip this step.

    Here's how to edit/personalize your signature:

    Open one of the files, and open the Layers window. If the Layers window is not visible, you can show it using "Window" item in the main Photoshop menu. To change the text of the signature, double-click the "T" icon in the Layers window. Double-click the 'T' icon
    The text in the image will now appear highlighted. If you want to leave the "©" symbol in your signature, use your mouse cursor to highlight everything BUT the "©" symbol. Highlight Text
    Start typing your signature. You'll see it appear in the image. When you're done typing, single-click the "T" icon in the Layers window to end the edit. You'll now see your signature in the image and in the layers window. Finished signature file
    Text Size and Font: If you want to change the text size or font of your signature, you can do that by double-clicking the "T" icon again, and then selecting the new font and size from the Photoshop toolbar just under the main menu. If you want a larger size than appears in the list, just type the size you want into the box at the top of the list.

    If the entire signature is no longer visible after increasing the font size, you can increase the canvas size of the signature file. To do that, from the Photoshop menu, select "Image/Canvas Size." When you have everything the way you want it, you can crop any "extra" space from the signature file image.

    Save the file using File/Save in the menu.

    NOTE: If you plan to use the watermark signature on full-sized images (for printing), you will want to use a large font, and you may also need to increase the size of the signature using Image/Image Size from the Photoshop menu.

    Now edit the other signature (PSD) files in the same way.


  4. Now we need to load the actions into Photoshop.

    1. If it's closed, open Photoshop.

    2. If you already have a previous version of the Watermark Signature action in your Photoshop Actions palette, delete it.

    3. Earlier you extracted all the files from the ZIP file into a folder on your hard disk. Go to that folder.

    4. Load the .atn file into Photoshop. You can find instructions in our Getting Started with Photoshop Tip.

      If you look in the Actions palette in Photoshop, you will see the action set appear there.



  5. (Optional) Recording the location of your signature files

    You can actually open an image and run the actions now, and they will work, but you'll always have to tell the actions where your signature files are every time you run them. If you want to have several different signature files, this behavior is just fine, so skip down to "Using the Actions" below.

    However, if you will always use the same signature file for each action, and if you do just a little more work, the actions will remember where the signature files are:

    Open a photo image, so the action will have something to work on. It's best to have only one image open, because the actions need to know what image to work on.

    Open the Actions window. Look for the watermarksignature action set (it's probably at the bottom of the actions window). If it's not already open (showing the names of the actions inside), open it by clicking the little right-arrow just to the left of the action set name. Opening the action set
    If necessary, scroll down to see all three actions.

    Open one of the actions by clicking the little right-arrow to the left of the action name.
    Opening the action
    In the action, 1) click the word "Open" to highlight that step. Then 2) open the Actions menu by clicking the right-arrow in the upper-right corner, and 3) select "Record Again..."

    When the "Open" dialog pops up, browse to the folder where you extracted the signature files, select the appropriate one for the action you're editing (large, small, or diagonal), and click "Open."
    Re-recording the Open step
    When you've finished re-recording the Open step, Look back at the Actions window. To the left of the "Open" step, 1) click the rectangle to empty it. This will tell the action to not show the "Open" dialog the next time you run it.

    2) Close the action by clicking the down-arrow to the left of its name.
    Finishing up


    Now edit the other two actions in the same way.

  6. Close the signature files.

Using the Actions

Now that you've done all that work, using the actions is really easy.
  1. If you have the signature files open, close them.

  2. Open an image file. It's best to have only one image open, because the actions need to know what image to work on.

  3. In the actions window, find the watermarksignature action set. If it's closed, open it by clicking the right-arrow to the left of the action set name.

  4. Now you're ready to run an action:

    1) Click one of the actions to highlight it, and then 2) click the "Play Selection" button at the bottom of the Actions window to run the action. Running an Action


    Depending on whether or not you did the optional Step 5 under "Downloading and Setting Up the Actions" above, the action will stop once or twice when you run it. The last stop will show you the Layer Style window.

    Changing the Appearance of the Signature

    If you would like to change the appearance of the signature on your photo, you can adjust the "Bevel and Emboss" settings. For example, Depth and Soften can be used to adjust the prominence of the watermark signature.

    Be sure that the "Preview" checkbox is checked, so you can see the results of your changes. When you are done, click "OK."

  5. Positioning the Signature

    Starting with version 01.03, the small and large signature actions place the signature at the lower-right corner of the image. The diagonal signature action places the signature in the center of your image. If you want to move or resize the signature after the action completes, you can run the "Resize or Reposition Signature" action.


Samples

Photo with watermark signature. When you run the action, you can control how prominent the signature is by adjusting the bevel and embossing.

Photo with Watermark Signature
This action also automates placing a diagonal watermark-style signature across your image for image protection.

Diagonal Watermark Signature




Getting Ready to Run the Actions in Batch Mode

Note: Batch mode requires version 01.05 or later. Check here for update information.
If you want to run one of the Watermark actions in Batch mode, use the actions that start with "Batch." There are some requirements:
  1. You MUST complete the no-longer-optional Step 5 above, so the action will know what signature file to use.
  2. You have to be satisfied with the default beveling and embossing of the signature, or re-record that step.
  3. You have to be satisfied with the default positioning of the signature on your image.
  4. The batch actions automatically save the images as JPG at a quality of 8. If you want other settings, you will need to re-record that step.


Running the Actions in Batch Mode

Note: Batch mode requires version 01.05 or later. Check here for update information.
  1. Close all files.
  2. Choose File/Automate/Batch from the main Photoshop Menu.
  3. Choose the set and action you want to run. Be sure to use one of the actions with a name starting with "Batch."
  4. By "Source," select "Folder." Then click "Choose" and choose the folder containing the images you want to add watermarks to.
  5. By "Destination," select "Folder." Then click "Choose" and choose the folder where you want the newly-watermarked images to go.
  6. Put a checkmark by "Override Action "Save as" Commands." This is what tells Photoshop to actually put the watermarked files in the folder you specified above.
  7. There are lots of choices for the File Naming section. I just go with the default of "Document Name" and "extension."
  8. Click OK to start the batch process.


Creating a Signature Brush

(New feature with version 01.09)

A signature brush will enable you to "paint" a signature of any color on your images. To create your brush, run (play) the "Make Signature Brush" action. The action will create a new temporary file to work on, and will give you instructions for creating your brush signature.

When you're done, the brush has been added to your current brush palette.



Using your Signature Brush

  1. First, choose the Brush Tool.
  2. Click the arrow to the right of the brush in the top menu.
  3. Select the brush from the list of brushes (it's probably at the bottom).
  4. Choose the size for your brush.


Using your Signature Brush

To paint your signature onto your image, set your foreground color, and then click on the area of the image where you want to put your signature. If you want to change it, just click the "Undo" button and try again.

Some colors will work better than others, depending on the colors in your image.
Signature "painted" on using a signature brush.

Signature made with Signature Brush