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EDIT: Actions & Presets2018-10-24T12:25:41-05:00

Featured Freebies: Actions & Presets

Start to Finish Tutorials

1 Great Secret from the Pros: Actions & Elements 11

I've mentioned the new Photoshop Elements 11 several times on this website.  Today, we are going to focus specifically on using actions in Elements 11.  Let's start at the beginning. What are actions? Actions are a recorded series of edits to apply to your photo.  They can adjust exposure and white balance, create beautiful effects and looks, or help you prepare your images for presenting to the world.  I edited the image below using actions.  (Click to zoom in.)   Why should I use actions in Elements? Actions can speed up your workflow, sneak in a few tricks not normally available [...]

Quick and Easy Access to Your Favorite Actions

A few weeks back, I posted this freebie to help you organize your actions in Photoshop Elements. However, if there are just a few actions and effects that you want quick access to, there is a much easier way.  You can see my favorite actions below. Look at the Favorites Panel in the screen shot above.  It's available in every version of Elements from 6 on up.  To display it, go to your Window Menu and click on Favorites. You can add anything from the Effects or Content tab into your Favorites. Effects is where most actions live, in addition [...]

Photoshop Elements Tutorial: Organize Your Actions with this Free Download

(This article applies to Elements 10 and prior.) Photoshop Elements and actions.  It takes forever for us to install them, and once they're installed, we have to scroll through a long list of stuff in Photo Effects in order to find them. You have to scroll forever unless you know the magic trick for organizing your actions into menu categories, that is.  These menu items allow you to filter out the actions you're looking for quickly.  To assign a menu category to an action, you just need an XML file for each action.  Your menu will look something like this [...]

Photoshop Elements Tutorial: How to Move Actions When You Upgrade PSE

As if it's not hard enough to install actions into Photoshop Elements, what happens to your actions when you decide to upgrade to the latest version of PSE? The unfortunate answer is that you have to re-install the suckers. Luckily, you can, in most cases, just copy the files from your old version of Elements to the new one.  Here's what you do: For actions installed into Photo Effects Close or Quit Elements - this isn't the same as hiding or minimizing. Navigate to the Photo Effects folder on your hard drive where you installed your actions into the old [...]

Ready, Set, Actions! Free Download for You

Did you know that you can read the first 2 and a half chapters of my eBook, Ready, Set, Actions! for free, just by liking my Facebook page? You will learn: What actions will do and what they won't do An overview of the two ways to install actions into PSE What to do before running an action How to run actions An important note about messages that pop up while actions run What to do after running an action Which order to run actions in What to do with those Levels dialog boxes that pop up The SECRET to [...]

What’s the Deal with Installing Actions on Lion?

Mac is certainly making things difficult on us action lovers lately. First, there's the mess regarding Elements purchased from the App Store, and how you can't install most actions into it. Now, Lion is making it difficult for us to find the main Mac Hard Drive. If you've installed actions on a Mac before, you know that you have to begin the navigation path on the main Mac HD.  You can't start on your specific user account - it won't work. However, the new Lion Finder doesn't have a Mac HD option in the sidebar.  You have two options for [...]

Photoshop Elements Free Action & Video Tutorial: Restore & Colorize a Scanned Photo

This photo is one of my favorites.  Ever.  The kids are my dad and aunt. The photo is all the more special since I lost my dad a few years back, and I've been wanting to restore it for a long time.  My aunt has a December birthday, so I'm going to frame it and give it to her as a Christmas decoration. This tutorial and the accompanying action are not for the faint of heart, or for those who have never used Elements before.  The action will create layers for you, but you will still need a sound understanding [...]

Photoshop Elements Free Action: Trim

The latest Photoshop Elements free action from Texas Chicks sneaks a simple but useful full Photoshop feature right in the back door of PSE. The trim command removes unused pixels at the edge of your images, so that your file size is only as big as it needs to be.  This is useful more for bloggers and scrappbookers - you won't use it on a single photo, only collages or groups of images and graphics. In full Photoshop, it looks like the screen shot below.  In PSE, you will access it through your Effects Panel (Elements 7-10), or your Action [...]

Free Action for Photoshop Elements: Change the Background or Create a Backdrop

First off for you Lightroom users, I added new online Lightroom classes to the schedule.  They will meet during the evening in early June.  Look at the schedule and register here. A couple of months ago, I shot all students, teams and coaches at a large gymnastics academy.  A big job like that requires a big backdrop.  Mine was 107 inches wide, and as you can see below, it wasn't big enough!  (Read about my backdrop and stand here, if you're interested.) Many of the team shots included 20 to 30 kids, and even when they were grouped tightly into [...]

Photohshop Elements Tutorial: Select Brights or Darks Actions

Lots of you downloaded my newest free actions for Elements last week:  Select Brights and Select Darks.  If not, read this article to learn how to download these free actions for Photoshop Elements. I use those actions in today's edit to give you a few ideas of what you might do with them.  I used Select Darks to quickly select shadows, and then I brightened them.  And Select Brights helped me add haze to the highlights.  You can use these two actions anytime you  want to adjust either the brightest parts of your photo or the darkest, without spending lots [...]

New Free Action for Photoshop Elements: Create and Customize a Notecard

Happy holidays to each of you.  Thank you for being such fun photography buddies! My holiday gift to each of you incredible readers is a free action for Photoshop Elements. It's that time of year, right?  Lots of thank you notes to write.  As if that weren't bad enough, wringing them out of the kids can be tough.  It's a little easier when they can customize their own card. The free action for Photoshop Elements creates a 5x7 note card in front of your eyes - it's configured to print on 7x10 paper that folds in half to create a [...]

New Free Action for Photoshop Elements

Patti Brown, from Kaleidoscope, recently released a free action for full Photoshop for her readers. You all know how much I love Patti Brown.  Her textures are gorgeous, but her light overlays - oh, they are what truly rock my image editing.  You can add sunbeams or bokeh to your images, and transform your image into a piece of art, like this: Those are examples from Kaleidoscope's Supernatural collection.  Patti calls Kaleidoscope a Collection of Color and Light.  And it truly is. The other thing I love about Patti Brown is that she shares her photography and editing tricks freely [...]