Edit Log

Do you know what a Photoshop edit log is?  Did you know that Photoshop will make one for you if you want?

A bit of background - have you ever spent some time aimlessly messing about with a picture and when you were done thought - "wow - that looks great - gotta do that again on this other shot".

The only problem is that you've forgotten some of the steps and cannot reproduce the same results - very frustrating, isn't it?

Trust Photoshop to have an answer for you ... you can set the program to log every adjustment and every keystroke and save it as a text file wherever you want it saved on your computer.

Now isn't that totally useful?

Setting Up The Edit Log

Setting up the Edit Log is simple - go to ...

Edit > Preferences > General (Windows)


Photoshop > Preferences > General (Mac)

edit log preferences

This panel is at the bottom of the General tab - put a check mark in History Log and then select Save Log Items To:  Text File and choose a location.

You can choose the Edit Log Items in the drop down list - there's not much point in doing this unless Detailed is selected.

My file is saved to the desktop because it is easy to find it there.

That's it - you're done.  Every time you open Photoshop the Edit Log will be activated.

How It Works

Here is an image that has been modified and the steps as they are appear in the Edit Log.

This is the image that'll be used ...

edit log original

It's too dark, little Libby's nose and ears are just a bit too pink and it needs a crop.

Open The Original
edit log original
2011-12-04 16:54:45    Photoshop launched
        Reset Brushes of current application
        Reset Tool Presets of current application
2011-12-04 16:54:59    File _6202233.ORF opened
            As: Camera Raw
            Model:  “Olympus E-300”
            Settings: Image Settings
            Space: sRGB IEC61966-2.1
            Depth: 8 Bits/channel
            Scale: 1
            Resolution: 240
            Resolution Unit: Pixels/inch
            Output Sharpen For: None
Original Image
First Entires in the Log

Crop The Image
edit log cropped
            To: rectangle
            Top: 4.1 cm
            Left: 10.38 cm
            Bottom: 25.62 cm
            Right: 24.45 cm
            Angle: 0°
            Target Width: 0 pixels
            Target Height: 0 pixels
            Target Resolution: 0 per cm
Libby Cropped
Log Entries For Cropping

Duplicate Layer and Change Blend Mode
edit log screen blend mode
Change Blend Mode to Screen

Duplicate Layer
        Duplicate current layer
    Blending Change
        Set current layer
            To: layer
            Mode: screen
    Master Opacity Change
        Set current layer
            To: layer
            Opacity: 94%
        Set current layer
            To: layer
            Opacity: 67%
        Set current layer
            To: layer
            Opacity: 100%
Blend Mode Change
Log Entries For ...
Duplicate Layer
Blend Mode to Screen

With this step I also changed the opacity of the top (Screen) to see if it would have a positive effect.  It didn't so I changed it back to 100% Opacity.

Paint Out The Pink
edit log screen paint out pink
Set Foreground Color
        Duplicate Layer
        Duplicate current layer
        Select brush
    Brush Tool
    Brush Too
        Set Foreground Color
            To: HSB color
            Hue: 208°
            Saturation: 0.392
            Brightness: 94.118
    Brush Tool
    Brush Tool
        Hide current layer
        Show current layer
        Select brush
    Brush Tool
Paint Out The Pink
Log Entries For ...
Painting out the Pink in
Libby's eyes, nose and ears.

The log entries for this step were very, very long and covered many, many, many pages.  The entries for Hide and Show current layer made it easy to evaluate before and after painting over the pink part of Libby's eyes, nose and ears.

There is a lot of really useful information in the edit log - it can kind of be a tutorial on its own!


That's all there is to it and it can be very useful in a whole bunch of different situations.

Give it a try - it may be exactly what you are looking for ...

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