How to load and use actions in Photoshop & Photoshop Elements

  • Photoshop CC, CS6, CS5, CS4, CS3
  • Photoshop Elements 15 or newer

Photoshop actions were initially developed to automate the execution of certain repetitive, time-consuming tasks. Adobe soon realized the potential of this amazing tool and empowered it with new features.

Photoshop actions are now used to create amazing, complex static and animated effects. Moreover, they are easy to use because they utilize Photoshop’s familiar user interface and commands.

Downloading the PanosFX actions

The free Photoshop actions can be downloaded directiy from the site using the respective download buttons. The commercial PanosFX actions can be downloaded using the Customer Panel and/or the download links that are emailed to the buyer after the purchase.

The user receives a zip file that contains the actions for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, as well as other useful files (documentation, etc).

To use the PanosFX actions, you must decompress the zip file. A folder will be created containing the actions file (“filename.atn”). I strongly recommend you create a parent folder (e.g. “Photoshop actions”) in advance and move the subfolder with the PanosFX actions therein. This approach will help you maintain an organized collection of Photoshop actions.

Getting to know the Actions panel

The Actions panel is the interface that allows you to load, play (execute), create, edit, and store Photoshop actions. If the Actions panel is not visible select Window > Actions from Photoshop’s main menu.

The image below shows the basic features and concepts of the Actions panel in Photoshop CC. The Actions panel looks very similar in Photoshop Elements and in earlier Photoshop version (CSx):

Photoshop Actions panel

How to load and run Photoshop actions in 4 steps:

4 Steps
  1. Click the Menu button of the Actions panel.

  2. Select "Load Actions" from the fly-out menu. Navigate to the folder where you saved the actions file and load it. The Action Set will be loaded in the Actions panel.

  3. Click on an action to select it.

  4. Hit the Play button to execute it.
  • Some sets may contain a single action or multiple actions that do different things.
  • Some sets may contain a core action that must be executed first and a number of supplementary actions.

How to unload an Action Set:

To remove an Action set from the Actions panel, simply click on the set and then click the trash can icon at the bottom of the panel. This won’t delete the action file from your hard disk; it will merely unload the Action set (and its actions) from Photoshop.

With a little extra money, you can get the entire collection of PanosFX add-ons, at a small segment of their total cost. In addition:

  • You also get 5 exclusive products (they are not sold separately).
  • You get for free any new products that will be released in the next 12 months after your purchase. Yes, for free!
  • You are granted a 12-months free download period, during which you can download any updates released for your products.
  • You get 50% off, if you wish to renew your license when the 12 months free download period elapses.

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