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.