How to install Photoshop Actions

Installing actions varies depending on your software version.  For Photoshop and Elements 11 this is quite simple.  For Elements 10 and below there are multiple steps and best to show you via video.

  • SAVE the zip folder you received after purchasing
  • Unzip or Extract the files action set you have purchased
  • Open your Photoshop or Elements
  • If you can’t find the Actions Palette just click “Windows” on your top toolbar and then click “Actions”
  • In the top right corner of the actions palette, click on the small box containing an upside down triangle and 4 horizontal lines.
  • Click Load Actions
  • Find the ATN file associated with the set you want to install

What does it mean if I get a response that the file I am installing is not compatible? 

This means that you are either:  A) Not installing an ATN file (action) or B) you are trying to install a temporary file from the zipped folder.  You must, must, must properly unzip a folder after downloading.  If you are not sure how to unzip files you will need to look up your app online to find out how (computers use various programs for unzipping so we can not instruct how to do this on yours).

Microsoft users:

  • To unzip all the contents of the zipped folder, press and hold (or right-click) the folder, select Extract All, and then follow the instructions. - More info here




Click the right arrow & then Load Actions


How to install photoshop actions



Playing Actions

Once you have the actions installed its time to start playing them.  Click the action in the set you want to place onto your photo.  I always suggest you start with a flat image or click the “background” layer before adding new actions.

When stacking images it is ALWAYS best to click the “background” layer again before placing a new one on top of those you have already played.  This will help avoid getting errors.




How To Use Layer Masks

Layer masks can be tricky.  So often I am emailed saying that actions are not working properly.  This is really just a misunderstanding of how to use layer masks.  The great news is that once you see how it is done you will have full utilization of your actions and they will then become your favorite tool!