Workspace import/export script for Photoshop

I sometimes hear requests for an easier way to migrate one’s settings from one version of Photoshop to another, or to share settings among users. To that end, Photoshop engineer Tai Luxon has whipped up a little script you may find handy:

I wrote a script to enable simple importing and exporting of Photoshop workspaces. This is a side project with limited testing, so the usual disclaimers apply. It should work in both CS4 and CS5 (although it is a little more robust in CS5), so you can use it to migrate workspaces from CS4 to CS5 in addition to using it to enable easier sharing of CS5 workspaces between machines/people. Please let me know of any snags that you run into and if this is useful.

To run the script, choose “File->Scripts->Browse…” from with Photoshop, then browse to the script’s location on disk.
[Update: Tai has revised the script to deal with an issue related to invalid font styles, and I’ve posted the revision at the link above.]

26 thoughts on “Workspace import/export script for Photoshop

  1. It’s actually very easy: copy and Paste from one preferences folder the other, and it’s done.
    [Copying prefs in that way seems like a bad idea, I’m afraid. It’s certainly not something we test & fix bugs to enable. –J.]

  2. Thanks, it’s a useful function anyway, wether by script or by just copying files. Would love to know if CS4 and CS5 workspaces are interchangeable (esp for people who update from CS4).

  3. Oooh, neat! On CS4, I get an error that says “Invalid font style ‘Italic’:210.”
    But it works in CS5. This is something that could be baby steps into a fully-integrated feature synced with CS Live to bring brushes, patterns, tool presets, actions, styles, etc into the cloud.
    [Believe me, I’ve been pushing that idea here for years. –J.]
    I know I could just do lots of copying and pasting…but this does make things a lot easier. Thanks for pointing us to it!

  4. 🙂 Please tell me this includes a way to get rid of the top “PS / workspaces” bar at the top of photoshop? (/end of heckle… 😉
    [You know you can just slide it to the right, right? –J.]

  5. Now I’m curious! Do you mean the double line gripper that enables me to move [just] the workspaces part to the right? That one snaps back to keep revealing at least a single word… and it’s entire parent bar keeps visible unless I detach & drag it off screen… am I missing something?

  6. [Believe me, I’ve been pushing that idea here for years. –J.]

    There is no distrust John.
    I believe that millions of users appreciate and benefit from your work.
    But, is there any answer on why someone enthusiastic and dedicated Product Manager at Adobe is getting the brakes from Adobe for these “many years”?
    [It’s not that anyone doesn’t want to do it; it’s just that other things have taken priority, for a whole variety of reasons. I’m glad to hear that people like the idea. Our job of course is to demonstrate that pursuing a solution here is the right thing for our business (i.e. that it’s more valuable to customers, as measured in terms of their willingness to pay, than other things we could build). –J.]
    Sure accomplishing that task is not “JDI”, but something REALLY worth bringin it on for the next 18 month cycle.

  7. Wonderful!, just wondering why this is not a native feature in CSX suites, we need a way that enable us to export our settings (workspaces, shortcuts, presets…) in order to be able to work properly in other machines or simple to get easily updated from suite to suite…

  8. 1. Works great on Photoshop workspaces. But what about
    Illustrator and InDesign workspaces?
    2. In Photoshop CS3 under Selective Color, I was able to select
    white and black using command 7 and command 9. As of CS4 and CS5, I can’t select white or black using commmand + numeral (the command sequence ends at “command 8 = magenta”). Is there a way to fix this?

  9. Sure it’s a year or so later, but just discovered this and wanted to record my thanks, very useful indeed 🙂

  10. I was looking for a way to export my workspace before a o.s. reinstallation, and found this script…thanks a lot for programming it and sharing it! This will help me save some minutes (and some headaches) after reinstalling.

  11. Thank you very much for this! 😉 Just switched over to a new Mac and didn’t want to redo it on the new one. Appreciate the effort put into this. Thanks again. Worked great!

  12. Hi there, it’s absolutely amazing to be able to transfer-backup your workspace settings. I was wondering though if there is something similar to export backup and import preferences. I know that you could back them up before something happens but in case you haven’t that would come quite handy..If anyone knows a way to do that in CS5 please let me know..

  13. Did not work for me. 🙁
    From cs5 to cs5. Made a clone from one start-disc to another. Strange!!

  14. Tried this to export my office workspace setting to my home system – didn’t work. It loaded the file and the workspace showed up on my home system, but it wasn’t the correct configuration. Both systems are CS6.

  15. I have been working with CS6 and the new function in the presets which is workspace import/export. It works badly and I stumbled many times in classes I teach at two local colleges. It was very buggy and would not work at all sometimes and the idea of having to restart Photoshop after acquiring the imported workspace was quite a disconnect from a fluid setup of Photoshop on workstations that remove settings once Photoshop is closed. I tried using your script for CS4 & CS5 and it worked flawlessly! I was delighted because it allows for the import of a workspace while Photoshop is open and does not require a restart for the settings to go into effect. Thank you for your brilliant addition to a continuous smooth workflow!

  16. Does this only work by having the user browse for the file or can this be put in the Scripts folder and then chosen under File > Scripts …

  17. One comment:
    THANX!!!! Just that!!!
    I do not know for the rest of the world, but for me it was VERY useful, and it flawlessly did what it was intended for. Besides, it is free; so it’s only fair that I take the time to thank you.

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