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Photoshop Elements > Actions

Actions versus Plug-ins

When you use an action, it "plays" a series of steps.

The steps are steps that you could do yourself with Photoshop Elements.

But, you can save time and effort by clicking the action.

You may be able to make one or two changes to the action's settings, but that's it.

Unlike actions, plug-ins do things that Photoshop Elements can't do.

When you click a plug-in, a window will open with several buttons and sliders for changing the settings.

Go to Plug-ins.

Actions Are Made in Photoshop Only

Actions are created only in Photoshop, not in Photoshop Elements.

Generally, a Photoshop action will work in Photoshop Elements if the action doesn't use functions and features not available in Photoshop Elements.

Be sure to check whether an action is compatible with your version of Photoshop Elements.

To check, look for a compatibility page on the action's website.

Or, download a trial version, and try it out.

Action Player v. Effects Panel

Follow the installation directions for the action.

If there are no instructions, install the action in either the Action Player—or—in the Effects panel.

The Action Player is located in the Guided Edit section.

The Action Player is convenient, but not all actions will work in the Action Player.

You can't:

• Select a particular layer while an action is playing.

• Use an action that requires you to click the green check mark.

If you want to use an action with these requirements, install it in the Effects panel.

Go to:

Install the Action in the Effects Panel.

Install the Action in the Action Player.

Install the Action in the Action Player

The instructions below are for Photoshop Elements 8.0.

Do the following.

1) Close Photoshop Elements.

2) Click the download file on the website.

3) Select Save.

4) Save the file to My Download Files (XP), Download (Vista), or Downloads (Windows 7), or Desktop (Mac).

5) After the file is downloaded, go to the above download location.

6) If the file is in a zip file, double click the zip file to open it.

The action is a file with the extension .atn.

name_of_the_action.atn

The three files below may also be present.

They're not needed for the Action player.

• name_of_the_action.png

• name_of_the_action.thumbnail.jpg

• name_of_the_action.metadata.xml

The files are for actions located in the Effects panel.

7) Place the .atn file in the location below.

If you're using Windows, and can't find the folders below on your computer, go to Hidden Files & Folders.

XP: C: > Documents and Settings > All Users > Application Data > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0 > Locale > en_US > Workflow Panels > actions

Vista: C: > ProgramData > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0 > Locale > en_US > Workflow Panels > actions

Windows 7: C: > ProgramData > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0 > Locale > en_US > Workflow Panels > actions

Mac: Hard Drive > Library > Application Support > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > 8.0 > Locale > en_US > Workflow Panels > actions

8) Open Photoshop Elements.

The program will take a while to become functional, as it has to rebuild the Mediadatabase.db3 file.

If Photoshop Elements opens normally, the Mediadatabase.db3 file wasn't rebuilt.

The action won't appear in the Action Player.

Go to Mediadatabase.db3.

9) Go to Using the Action - Action Player.

Install the Action

In the Effects Panel

Do the following.

1) Close Photoshop Elements.

2) Click the download file on the website.

3) Select Save.

4) Save the file to My Download Files (XP), Download (Vista), or Downloads (Windows 7), or Desktop (Mac).

5) After the file is downloaded, go to the above download location.

6) If the file is in a zip file, double click the zip file to open it.

The action is a file with the extension .atn.

name_of_the_action.atn

Other Files

The three files below may also be present.

They're installed in the same location as the above .atn file.

name_of_the_action.png

This file is used by Photoshop Elements to create a JPEG thumbnail for the action.

name_of_the_action.thumbnail.jpg

The supplier of the action has already created the thumbnail.

name_of_the_action.metadata.xml

This file creates a set category in which the action is found.

7) Place the .atn file, and any accompanying files, in the location below.

If you're using Windows, and can't find the folders below on your computer, go to Hidden Files & Folders.

XP: C: > Documents and Settings > All Users > Application Data > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0 > Locale > en_US > Workflow Panels > actions

Vista: C: > ProgramData > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0 > Locale > en_US > Workflow Panels > actions

Windows 7: C: > ProgramData > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0 > Photo Creations > Photo Effects

Mac: Hard Drive > Library > Application Support > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0 > Photo Creations > Photo Effects

8) Open Photoshop Elements.

The program will take a while to become functional, as it has to rebuild the Mediadatabase.db3 file.

If Photoshop Elements opens normally, the Mediadatabase.db3 file wasn't rebuilt.

The action won't appear in the Effects panel.

9) Go to Using the Action - Effects Panel.

Using the Action

Action Player

In the Editor, click the orange Guided Edit tab.

Look for Automated Actions, and then click Action Player.

Let's say you've installed an action called Glare Remover.

If Glare Remover isn't part of an action set:

• You must select it in the action set menu.

• You must select it again in the action menu, if it isn't automatically selected.

Unlike Photoshop, actions in Photoshop Elements can only be used on a single file.

Effects Panel

Do the following.

1) Open the Effects panel.

2) Look for the action in the All section, the fourth icon with fx.

The name will appear when you hover the cursor on it.

If the action didn't come with a .png or .jpg file, there'll be no icon, just a blank square.

3) Click the action.

Speed Up Installation

You can create a shortcut (Mac: alias) to the actions folder and to the Photo Effects folder.

Then, when you want to install an action, do the following.

1) Close Photoshop Elements.

2) Drag the file(s) for the action to the actions shortcut or to the Photo Effects shortcut.

3) Open Photoshop Elements.

Make a Shortcut to the Folders

Windows

1) Navigate to the actions folder, or to the Photo Effects folder.

Don't open the folder.

2) Right click on it, and select Send to > Desktop (create shortcut).

Mac

1) Navigate to the actions folder, or to the Photo Effects folder.

Don't open the folder.

2) Right click on it, and select Make Alias.

Can't right click with your mouse?

Press and hold Ctrl, and click your mouse button.

3) Drag the alias to your Desktop.

Problems?

Mediadatabase.db3

If the action doesn't appear on the menu, or function properly, the Mediadatabase.db3 file may not have been rebuilt by Photoshop Elements.

Do the following.

1) Close Photoshop Elements.

2) Navigate to the following location and look for the Mediadatabase.db3 file.

XP: C: > Documents and Settings > All Users > Application Data > Adobe > Photoshop
Elements > x.0 > Locale > en_US

Vista: C: > Documents and Settings > All Users > Application Data > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0 > Locale > en_US

Windows 7: C: > ProgramData > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0 > Locale > en_US

Mac: Hard Drive > Library > Application Support > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0 > Locale > en_US

3) Rename the Mediadatabase.db3 as Mediadatabase_old.db3.

If necessary, you can revert to the old Mediadatabase.db3 file by changing Mediadatabase_old.db3 back to Mediadatabase.db3.

4) Open Photoshop Elements.

The program may take a while to become functional, as it has to rebuild the Mediadatabase.db3 file.

ThumbDatabase.db3

If the action doesn't appear on the menu, or function properly, the ThumbDatabase.db3 file may not have been rebuilt by Photoshop Elements.

Do the following.

1) Close Photoshop Elements.

2) Navigate to the following location and look for the ThumbDatabase.db3 file.

XP: C: > Documents and Settings > All Users > Application Data > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0

Vista: C: > ProgramData > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0

Windows 7: C: > ProgramData > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0

Mac: Hard Drive > Library > Application Support > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > x.0

3) Rename the ThumbDatabase.db3 as ThumbDatabase_old.db3.

If necessary, you can revert to the old ThumbDatabase.db3 file by changing ThumbDatabase_old.db3 back to ThumbDatabase.db3.

4) Open Photoshop Elements.

The program may take a while to become functional, as it has to rebuild the ThumbDatabase.db3 file.

AutoHotKey

You can use AutoHotKey to run scripts, which are like actions.

Go to Batch Processing with AutoHotKey.

Sources

Adobe Exchange - Photoshop Search in the Photoshop category by using the term Elements

Booster Elements 1.5

Graffi's Workshop Outlet

Grant's Tools

Hidden Elements Richard Lynch

PanosFX.com

Preset Pond

ShutterFreaks Photoshop Elements Actions