PSE11 and PSE 12 Make Loading and Using Actions EASY!!!



Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 is out now!   PSE11 and PSE12 are the closest to Photoshop I have seen, and they make action loading just as easy as Photoshop.  You don't have to worry about thumbnails, deleting mediadatabase files, or finding those pesky folders to load your actions.  Yes, it is incredible but true. ;-)

You can even load your actions in sets if the action writer has them written that way rather than loading them one-at-a-time.  I even packaged all of my favorite actions from this site and put them in one simple action set, so if you want to help support my blog and easily download and load them into PSE11/12 or CS all at once please check it out here!

Best of all, you can see all of the steps of the action in the action pane or you can undo the action, step-by-step.  This is brilliant because you can go back in time and see every step the action is going through as it runs.  Or perhaps you want to remove the last effect or see all of the layers in actions that have flatten as the final step.  Now you can Undo, just like Photoshop users!

Unfortunately you still can't write actions, but Adobe has to have a reason to encourage you to upgrade to their more pricey program Photoshop.  But now PSE might be all you ever need to edit.

Here is a little YouTube video from Jack Okorn that shows how to download, extract, and install the actions in PSE11-12.



1.  When you open PSE11-12 you will probably be in the Quick Mode.  Click Expert on top.


2.  Make sure Expert is selected (step 1).   Open your action pane by going to Window (step 2), Actions (step 3).


3. Open your layers pane by going to Window, Layers.


4.  When you open Actions, you should see a box like the one seen above.  Click on the Actions tab, then on the little box to the right of Actions (step 1) and then Load Actions (step 2).


5.  Hopefully you will know where you downloaded your actions (I download to my desktop).  Then click on the .atn file, not the thumbnail.  Click Open.


6.  You will see your action in the action pane (CoffeeShop Boost It in this case).


7.  To run the action, you might have to open the little yellow folder by the name by clicking on the little gray triangle to the left of it, then click to select the action by the little blue triangle (step 1).  Then click on the play button (step 2) and you will see your action play on your layer pane (step 3).


8. Now for the cool part!  If you want to take apart the action or perhaps go back in history to the middle of the action, go to Edit, Undo (in this case Undo Rename Layer). You can go back quite far and you can also go forward.  This is something you can do in Photoshop but were never able to do in PSE.  This is really nice if you are running an action that flattens your image at the last step.  You now can Undo and see all of the layers and make adjustments!


9. Here is another great feature. Now you can see all of the action steps for each action in your action pane!!!  This is wonderful if you want to study the steps in the action.  Click on the little blue triangle by the action to open it and see the steps. You can even open each step by clicking on the little blue triangle by each one.  To hide them again, just click on the little blue triangle by the name (or each step).

Hope this little tutorial helps.  Go order Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 and start editing!


Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.

18 Comments:

britz October 17, 2012 at 5:56 PM  

I had just bought PSE10 a week before PSE11 was released & was still using the trial version when I saw PSE11 was available. I was hesitant about whether to go ahead and open up my PSE10 package from Amazon and just use it, or pay the extra $ to get the PSE11. I've been playing around with the trial version of PS11 and I think I'll go ahead and return my 10 pacakge and upgrade to 11 with your endorsement. Thank you!

Anonymous November 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM  

Can you load multiple .atn files at once? I've tried to copy multiple files but it doesn't seem to work I can only choose one file at a time.

madiscrapper24 November 25, 2012 at 7:48 PM  

Thank you so much for the step by step guides. Had to get a new laptop and PSE because I couldn't find my old disk. The 11 version was on sale and love it. Loading all my actions to the new laptop and getting them was installed was a breeze thanks to you!

Beverly December 1, 2012 at 7:15 PM  

You are awesome, Rita!! Followed your steps to install the Perfect Portrait action, and it is a breeze!! Thanks for the encouraging note about upgrading to PSE11 - so happy I did.

girlunwinding December 8, 2012 at 4:59 PM  

You are a true hero! I had a hard-drive crash and had to reset to factory settings. Lost everything!! Decided to upgrade from PSE8 to 11. Hated losing all my favorite action sets, but thank you thank you thank you that I can go grab them all again. Also appreciated so much the tutorial to load them into 11. Phew...that was pretty easy!

Kacie January 31, 2013 at 4:33 PM  

This makes me super happy!! I was having a freak out that I wouldn't be able to use all the actions that I bought, such a relief!

Mary Beth March 14, 2013 at 4:47 PM  

oh yay! I just upgraded to PSE11 due to my old mac dying, and now I have to go and re dl all of my fave actions from you, this does seem much easier! And now, to relearn this new PSE11, it looks so different than PSE6! Again, a big thank you for all that you do, you are THE BEST~!

Mary Beth March 14, 2013 at 4:48 PM  

oh yay! I just upgraded to PSE11 due to my old mac dying, and now I have to go and re dl all of my fave actions from you, this does seem much easier! And now, to relearn this new PSE11, it looks so different than PSE6! Again, a big thank you for all that you do, you are THE BEST~!

Tami Catledge April 17, 2013 at 10:01 AM  

This is not working for me. is this only mac compatible?

no way May 17, 2013 at 6:10 AM  

Perhaps this is only me...I can load and use the actions just fine, but if the computer is shut down and turned on again, the actions are gone and I have to re-load all of them. Am I supposed to "save" my actions somehow once they're all loaded, or am I doing something wrong? Thanks! Becky

Anonymous June 2, 2013 at 12:58 PM  

do I need to purchase Adobe Photoshop 11 & Premiere Elements or just photoshop elements 11 I am confused..

Matt September 9, 2013 at 9:04 PM  

The actions work great! Just wondering if a picture icon (of the action you want applied to your picture) can be added on to the effects tab along with all of the basic effects that come with PSE11. Do you know what I mean? I loved seeing the picture icons because it helped me remember what each of them did. From what I see, now I can only see the name of the action if I have that action folder open and click on the action I want by name; since I'm not loading the PNF file that goes with the action I guess there goes your pretty picture icons too? Also, is there any way to get that action to automatically show up on my "Effects" tab as one of those squares?

Heather Pavlovic November 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM  

Can I load actions to PSE 11 if they were made for earlier editions?

LEWIS November 21, 2013 at 7:03 AM  

Thank you so much for the action offer. I have been wanting to try one, but not sure how to proceed. I loaded your Perfect Portrait 3 and started to try it. Love how it just does most everything for you, but I don't know what adjustments to make on the "New Layer Levels" (I've been leaving it as is on Level 1), or the "RGB Input/Output" - don't know where to put the marker - and lastly, the "Replace Color" adjustment. My photos are ending up worse than I started...help!

Wendy September 4, 2014 at 10:05 AM  

I am trying to load actions into PSE 12, and it keeps telling me that it cannot load the action because it's not compatible with this version :(

Rita September 4, 2014 at 5:46 PM  

Make sure you are loading the atn file.

Anonymous October 27, 2014 at 6:22 AM  

Is this compatible with PSE 13?

Jamie P. October 28, 2014 at 1:52 PM  

Does the PSE 11-12 preset actions work on PSE 13?