It's not often that you may run into a situation that could benefit from this type of application besides page layout or editing large numbers of a type of document, but when the time of opportunity arises, you'll be glad that photoshop offers this time-saving technique. Many photoshop routines can be automated. The times when I found myself using automation is when I was editing a large group of photographs to the same modification and then today when I needed to transform about 50 photoshop files from RGB to CMYK. Not that the task itself is difficult to do, but when you are crunched for time, it's pertinent to know a command that can get the job done. Getting your files together into one folder, you can begin the process of automation in the step-by-step that follows:
1) Open the actions palette in photoshop
2) In the action set folder you will be storing your actions. Actions have to be saved in sets, but it's not hard to do:
Actions are mini recordings (macro style) of commands (what you are doing to a document while it is in photoshop) By using automator you are short-handing what you do in one document to repeat itself into other documents so that you don't have to repeat yourself in each one. You create the action and store it and then when you are ready to apply the action to the batch, you simply press play. As mind-blowing as the concept of "recording" and "copying" yourself into commands in photoshop, it's surprisingly easy. Make sure that you record yourself doing everything you want done to a file and then closing it out in the end of the process so that your desktop is not a tsunami of photoshop documents. If you are going to apply this action to a really important group of images like I was earlier today, it'd naturally be a wise move to "test" your behavior on a small set of images before you let loose on changing a large group. For designers who already spend substantial amounts of time in front of the computer, knowledge of techniques such as automation can allow for important coffee or bathroom breaks, or perhaps even a brief session of facebook stalking. Either way, you cut time spent doing mindless alterations on the screen and you feel more awesome because you have expanded your knowledge to the tiniest increment of the omnipotence of photoshop.