Learn to Install Photoshop Actions the Easiest and Best Way
There are many ways to install Photoshop actions into Photoshop. While there is not a wrong way, there is one method that helps them “stick” better. We often get support questions asking, “What happened to my actions? They vanished from the actions palette.” The most common reason for this is using the “double click” installation method, where you literally click on the .atn file and it opens in Photoshop. I do not know why it has this imperfection. Most people love this method since it takes the least effort, up front anyway.
A better, more reliable way to install actions into the full versions of Photoshop is the following:
- Save the actions you want to install on your computer. You can create a folder on your desktop and name it “actions” or move them to another easy to find location.
- If this file says .zip, you need to use unzipping software to unzip it. Just do a quick Google search if you do not have any software for this purpose. It is often free. Once unzipped, you will see a file with the extension .atn. This is the important file. Make sure to back up your actions file on an external hard drive or DVD. This way if you lose it due to hard drive failure or if Photoshop has problems, you can quickly reinstall.
- Open Photoshop.
- Make sure your “actions” palette is open. If not, go to WINDOW – ACTIONS.
- In the actions palette, navigate your way to the top right corner, and click on the lines. This will initiate a drop down box.
- Next, click on “load actions” in the drop down menu.
- Your actions will now appear in the actions palette and are ready to be used. If you want to practice before buying any, download some of our free Photoshop actions today.
Below is our Installing Actions video I recorded many years ago with more details on installing and also using actions in Photoshop:
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