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History Logging (CS2 Only)

This is a new feature that knocked my socks off! It's something that has been requested for a long time: a way to keep track of what steps you take in creating an image. This new feature is called History Logging, and allows you to keep track of every step you take, even the filter settings used. It runs silently in the background, keeping track of your movements in a text file or saved as metadata with the image, or both.

To turn on the History Log go to Photoshop > Preferences > General on the Mac or Edit > Preferences > General on the PC. The History Log section is toward the bottom of the General Preferences page. Check the History Log box and the options become available.

history log

By default, metadata is already checked when you check History Log, and it will be saved as metadata embedded in the image file, but you can elect to save it as a text file instead or both.

Metadata: This saves the history log as metadata that is embedded in the image file. You can view it by opening the image and going to File > File Info and choosing History from the menu on the left.

Text File: Saves the information as a text file. Click Choose to select a name for the file and the location to which it is saved.

Both: Saves the information both as metadata with the image and as a text file. Click Choose to select a name for the file and the location to which it is saved.

Make your choice and then move to the Edit Log Items section.

Edit Log Items tells Photoshop how much information to save. The following examples are the History Log using the three choices for this image:

history log image

Sessions only: This one only records the start time and date of every editing session, and does not include any information about edits made to the file.

sessions only

Concise: Records every editing session on the file, both start and stop times, and also includes the edits in the History Palette. The History Palette will include things like the name of the filters but does not record settings used in the filters:


history log

Detail: Detail is what we have been waiting for. Not only does Detail record the filters used, but it also records the settings on them as well! Here is an example of the History Log with Detail checked, and a detail from the log so you can see how it records the settings. There is plenty of information here for you to duplicate a special effect created previously by using the history log. After you have made your choices, click OK to turn on the History Log and exit the preferences dialog.

historylog hisptrylog

If you do not change the file each time you start a new image (go back to the Preferences and choose a new file name for the history log), Photoshop will simply add to the current log. If you have elected to have the metadata embedded in the images, you can see it using File > File Info. Click History to see the log.

hisotry log


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©1995-2006 Sara Froehlich