How to install Actions in Photoshop Elements 6

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yesterday I posted about Atomic Cupcakes special birthday deal, where you can download all their actions for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Most Photoshop users know how to install actions in Photoshop but installing them in Photoshop Elements is much more of a mystery and changes with each version that Adobe releases.Here are instructions for installing them in PSE6 (edited: PSE7) under Vista/XP:

  1. For each action there are two files (an .atn and a .psd).
  2. You'll need to resave the .psd into .png format.
  3. Copy the the .png and the .atn files into your Photo Effects folder making sure the names are identical.
  4. In Vista your Photo Effects folder is located at C:\Program Data\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\6.0 or 7.0\Photo Creations\Photo Effects.
  5. In XP your Photo Effects folder is located at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\6.0\Photo Creations\photo effects
  6. Open Photoshop Elements 6.0 or 7.0 Editor.
  7. In the Effects pane, select the Photo Effects icon.
  8. Make sure the drop down menu has Show All selected.
  9. You should now see icons to the actions (each with the Atomic Cupcake logo on it). If you can't see all the icons then switch between the different effects icons until they are all loaded (it took several refreshes on my computer to get them all to show).


If you can't see the Program Data folder, you need to check that your hidden folders are showing(the Program Data is a hidden folder and won't display unless you expressly set it that way). Note: there is a Program Files folder that isn't hidden, but you want the Program Data folder.

In Vista, open Windows Explorer, Organize, Folder and Search options, View Tab, ensure that the Show hidden files and folders button is switched on.

You will need to restart Windows Explorer for the changes to take.


And, if anyone knows how to create a submenu/filter for the Photo Effects drop down (for example, to say Atomic Cupcake) I'd love to know how to do this in PSE6. Email me!

*Edited 07/17/2008* I have now been given a link to instructions on how to do this but am going to post them on my blog. The long and short of it is that you need a .xml file for every action you want to appear in the drop down, so for the Atomic Cupcake collection you are looking at creating over 100 .xml files!

*Edited 09/30/2008* Vista instructions work with PSE 7.0.

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