Wednesday, April 04, 2007

CT's Choice: Actions - What Are They? Where Are They?

The Basics of Using Actions

Digital Tutorial by Beth Price,
Creative Team Member

What Are They? Where are They?

Actions in Photoshop allow users to combine a series of commands into one quick button in order to create an enhanced or new look. Here are some free actions you can try out, but don’t stop here, keep looking and you’ll be amazed. You can find actions available to create all kinds of effects on your photos, such as black and white conversion, sepia, cartoon, and lots more. You can also find actions that create special text effects, such as the free chipboard action at

You’ll have to look up directions for installing actions depending on the version of Photoshop you use. It seems each version of PhotoShop Elements has its own set of instructions, so I refer you to this site at for specifics on loading actions into your particular software.

I use PSE 5, and because it’s the newest version, there aren’t as many actions that will work on this software. It seems some scripts use commands that PSE 5 can’t read. And not all .atn (action) files disclose if they are compatible, so all I can say is, load them and try it! You can simply delete them if they don’t work. That being said, I love using actions on my pages when I want that little something extra.

Here are a couple examples of what a difference an action can make in a photo –

Butterfly un-edited

Butterfly using Midnight Action by Dave Jaseck

And here is a lovely portrait of a landscape, showing before and after with Dave Jaseck’s midnight sepia action.



If you are inspired to learn more about actions from today's tutorial, please show your appreciation by leaving us a comment! Thanks!!!

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Gina said...

I would love to know how to do what you did in Photoshop. You mentioned some link, but I saw no url links. Can you provide it again?

Anonymous said...

Hi Gina, the links got dropped, so i'll give you the sites I reference here:
the website that gives installation instructions is

the site that gives you some free actions to try (including the ones given in the tutorial) is

hope you have fun with these!
Beth Price

LVMommy22 said...

this was a great introduction to actions! it has inspired me to finally go look at atomic cupcake - i'm going to try the chipboard action that everyone is making such great stuff with ...
:) M

Shirl said...

Can these be used in DIP????

Julie Ann Shahin said...

As far as I know Digital Image Pro is not compatible with actions.

Shirleen said...

Oh Man!!!Thanks anyway!

LivE said...

Your site totally rocks--I just discovered it today, and you are so generous! Thanks so much! I will certainly be back for more learning! :)