Photoshop Actions, you may remember, allow users to do record and replay complex tasks with no programming skill. But exporting, sharing, and installing downloaded actions can be confusing. Here’s simple instructions on how you can do all three.
In an older article, we covered how to record simple actions and use them to perform potentially thousands of complex edits in moments. Now we’ll show you how to install any you might have downloaded, as well as export your own in order to upload, archive, or share. Keep reading!
Download and Use Photoshop Actions
Assuming you’ve got a Photoshop action you want to install, open Photoshop and navigate to Window > Actions to open the Actions Panel. If you don’t have one to test, you can find one on the author’s site, here, or use this link as a direct download. You can also try some basic Google Searches for Photoshop actions; you’re likely to find some very excellent and useful ones with very little searching.
Once you’ve opened the Actions Panel (Window > Actions), click the to open the contextual menu. Find Load Actions from this menu and click it.
You’re given a simple load dialog. Find where your downloaded action is and click “Load.”
You can save your downloaded actions in your default Photoshop folder, which is usually in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop\Presets\Actions. Another helpful place is in your Dropbox folder, if you happen to use Dropbox for file sharing. This will allow you to install your downloaded and saved actions on cross platform installations of Photoshop.
Loading your downloaded Actions couldn’t be simpler, so get busy downloading some, and putting them to good use!
Export and Share Your Custom Photoshop Actions
If you’ve already done some basic legwork and made your own custom actions, you’re probably ready to export them into action files other people can use—or maybe you just want to use them yourself on other computers with Photoshop. It’s quite easy.
Photoshop can only save sets of actions, rather than single actions alone. Click the “New Set” icon pictured above to create a new set.
Title the new set the same as your existing action or actions, or name it anything memorable.
Then simply drag your action into your new set.
With your new set selected, click the at the top of the actions panel. The contextual menu will have an option for “Save Actions.”
And there you have it, simply save your file into the proper place, like your desktop, Dropbox, or default actions folder. From there, you can upload and share your actions file like any other basic file that Photoshop can open.
Have questions or comments concerning Graphics, Photos, Filetypes, or Photoshop? Send your questions to email@example.com, and they may be featured in a future How-To Geek Graphics article.
Image Credits: Red Eyed Tree Frog by Carey James Balboa.
Eric Z Goodnight is an Illustrator and Graphics Geek who hopes to make Photoshop more accessible to How-To Geek readers. When he’s not headbanging to heavy metal or geeking out over manga, he’s often off screen printing T-Shirts.
- Published 04/18/11