Tutorial: Photoshop Action Installation & Use


Since my Photoshop Actions 101 post (found here) I had a few questions.
The number one being "How do I install my Photoshop Actions?"

Now, when I show you, don't feel like a lame-o. Because when I got my first set I had the same question and then realized how EASY it really is!

Let's go!

(I am going to use FREE Actions from The Pioneer Woman for this tute. These are a wonderful starter set...just sayin'.)

1. Click here to go to PW website.

2. Click to download your actions and unzip onto your desktop (or folder of your choice).

3. Double click on the .atn file to open it. Now, something magical occurs. Your installed Photoshop program will automatically begin to run and the actions will load into your Photoshop program.

4. Click Alt+F9 and your pallets menu will appear. It looks like this...

Note: If your Actions are not there, don't despair. With Photoshop open, minimize it slightly so you have Photoshop up and you can see your Actions file on your desktop. Now simply click and drag the Actions file to anywhere in your Photoshop screen. It should install.

5. Click on the blue arrow to the left of the title of your set.  Now it should drop down to show different actions within this set.

Now you're ready to PLAY!

1. Open a photo of your choice in Photoshop.
2. Size it to something reasonable, say 5x7" at 300 dpi.
3. Save it as a NEW file.  You don't want to mess with the original photo and then accidentally save it, therefore replacing the original.  You can try these actions out all you like on this new file and not have to worry about anything being permanent.
4. Open your newly saved photo.

 5. Choose an action to try. I'm going to do "Fresh & Colorful".  Click once to highlight.  Then pouch the "Play" button.

6. Most Actions will just run straight through and give you a finished result.  But some actions give you some freedom to tweak their effects.  A box may appear that gives you instructions you may choose to carry out before moving forward. 

7. Adjust layers and press "Stop" button in pop-up box when finished or just press "Stop" button to skip this step. 

8. When you're happy with the look you need to put the pieces of this photo back together into one layer.  Do this by "Playing" the Pioneer Woman's Flatten Action or by choosing Layer > Flatten Image.

Now, you're done!  Save the image and enjoy the results!

Any questions?


Liz said...

Can you use the actions if you have a trial version of Photoshop. I tried downloading them and could never get them in there. Maybe it was the trial version or maybe it was me :(

Deanna said...

I've been using her actions for about 3 years...LOVE them!!! But I had my friend download them, cause I didn't know how!

THANK YOU for showing me HOW to do it myself!

Veronica said...

Oh, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I'm usually pretty good with the computer, but I truly was stumped!! God Bless You!!
Just like I tell my kids, no dumb questions only the ones you DON'T ASK!

Kandi Phillips said...

Emilie, I love reading your blogs! You are so inspiring, have a great sense of humor and remind me that we're all moms with responsibilities but find the fun in life. Thanks for sharing this! I've always wanted to use actions but never knew how so thanks for the great tutorial. I had taken some pics at a cute cupcake shop on Friday and wanted to put a vintage look on them and remembered your post here. I used the "seventies" action from PW and they turned out exactly how I wanted them and what I was envisioning - all thanks to you and your awesome post! I'll be sharing them later on and linking back to your awesome tute. Thanks again and keep doing everything you do! :)

Kim said...

I love these photoshop actions! I have Elements 10. Will these work with that? I tried to unzip the file and it said windows did not recognize the file. I searched online for the program to open it and nothing. Do you have any tips? Thank you so much!