When we're preparing images for online proofing, we generally like to add a watermark as extra security against image piracy.
To add a watermark to a single image is easy. I've made a simple watermark on a transparent background, and saved it as a PSD on my hard drive:
Then, when I'm preparing a proof, I resize the image, sharpen it for web, then choose "Place" from the File menu. I choose the watermark PSD file, and it places it in the centre of my image (on its own layer, of course), and I simply move it to where I want it.
Then I save for web, and I'm done!
So that's ok for a one-at-a-time workflow, but I like to automate things wherever I can, to save time. So I have made a "Proof watermark" action, which is assigned to my F4 key.
Anybody who has ever tried to automate a watermark placement runs into the same problem ... it places it bang in the middle of the image!
This is often not desirable, right? We frequently like to have it at one side, or nearer the bottom, or whatever. But to move it, you need to stop the action, choose the Move tool, and nudge it manually.
Many people, I think, have started out with grand plans to create an action that does the entire web proof workflow in one action. They want an action that shrinks it, flattens it, sharpens it, watermarks it, saves it, and closes it. But this watermark problem foils them! To move the watermark, they have to stop the action, move it, then re-start the action, or do the save and close manually.
Well, friends, I'm pleased say I have the solution for you, and it's remarkably simple.
First, record the whole action, without worrying where the watermark is placed. Your action might look something like this:
Place (the watermark)
Save for web
Once the action is recorded, go back and select the "Place" step. Then open the Layers palette submenu and choose "Insert Menu Item".
With the little "Insert Menu Item" window open, press Ctrl T to choose the Free Transform function. Press Ok.
Now, when you run the action, it will stop to allow you to move (or resize) the watermark, and as soon as you've done so, simply press Enter and the action continues playing.
Of course, once you have this action, you can set it up as a batch to prepare a whole bunch of web proofs at once!
I'm presently writing my acceptance speech for the Nobel Shortcut Prize which I shall undoubtedly receive for this little gem :D