I made a quick step-by-step showing how to do basic automation in Photoshop.
1. open one file that you will use to record the actions that you want to repeat
2. go to window —> actions, to get the actions panel to show up
3. click on the little icon the bottom of the panel with the 2 pieces of paper…. “create new action”
4. set the name of the action to whatever you want, and if you want to, it looks like you can even assign it a shortcut key… although i don’t know if that’s worth messing with (see “record.png” i attached)
5. click record and do whatever steps you want to have repeated… be careful not to do anything extra or file-specific (that you only want done to 1 file, or that will change depending on some attribute of the file)… you will see the record button turn red
6. click the little stop button on the actions panel
7. the file will not be saved… thats a whole nother ballgame and its always gotten messy when i try it…. although i’m sure thats its probably not that hard to figure out
8. to do another file, open that file (or a whole bunch of files), and go to File menu —> automate —-> batch
9. make it look like the png file i attached titled “batchSettings.png”. click okay, and it will run through all the open files, doing what you recorded
always test! make copies of files you’re going to do this with in case you screw up…. then just delete the copies once you’re sure its done correctly.
once you get it to work, maybe try using the “open from folder” option in the batch command, and/or the automatic saving options