Rapidly Saving .jpgs in Photoshop

By Chris Clark, 10/17/2012, in Code & tutorials

Cliffs notes: Now, whenever I hit F2 in Photoshop, I get a high quality jpg of my file saved to the same directory. No more "File->Save As" nonsense every time I want a static version of the image.

What/how/why: I was working on some product mock-ups this morning in Photoshop using layers to show and hide different bits of the mockup, depending on the state of the application. It was time to wire all of the various states together in a clickable mock-up (I use invisionapp.com to do this - highly recommended) so I needed to save off a whole bunch of images from Photoshop, with different layers set to visible. I quickly tired of going to File->Save As->Select Jpg file type->[Type file name]->Hit save. There has to be a better way!

After Googling some options (I am not a PS expert), I decided to create a script that would save the image as a jpg, with a unique name generated from a timestamp. I found some sample code for the various pieces and came up with the script below:

//Cobbled together from:

#target photoshop;

if (app.documents.length > 0) {
  var thedoc = app.activeDocument;

  var docName = thedoc.name;
  if (docName.indexOf(".") != -1) {
    var basename = docName.match(/(.*)\.[^\.]+$/)[1];
  } else {
    var basename = docName;

  //getting the location, if unsaved save to desktop;
  try {
    var docPath = thedoc.path;
  } catch (e) {
    var docPath = "~/Desktop";

  var jpegOptions = new JPEGSaveOptions();
  jpegOptions.quality = 9;
  jpegOptions.embedColorProfile = true;
  jpegOptions.matte = MatteType.NONE;

  var filename = docPath + '/' + basename + "-" + getTime() + '.jpg';

  thedoc.saveAs((new File(filename)), jpegOptions, true);

function getTime(){
  var currentTime = new Date();

  //Make single-digit mins show up as 6:01 and not 6:1
  var minutes = currentTime.getMinutes();
  if (minutes < 10) {
    minutes = "0" + minutes;

  var timeStamp = currentTime.getFullYear() + "-"
  + (currentTime.getMonth() + 1) + "-"
  + currentTime.getDate() + "-"
  + currentTime.getHours() + "."
  + minutes + "."
  + currentTime.getSeconds() + "."
  + currentTime.getMilliseconds();
  return timeStamp;

If you save this as "Quick save to jpg.jsx" to \\Program Files\\Adobe\\Adobe Photoshop CS5.1\\Presets\\Scripts (or /Applications/Adobe Photoshop CS6/Presets/Scripts on Mac OS X), you will then be able to access the script by going to File->Scripts. I went one step further and recorded an action of the script firing and bound it to my f2 key.

Now, whenever I'm in Photoshop, I can just hit f2 and get a .jpg image saved to my current directory, with no dialogs or anything! Neat!

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