FAQ: Troubleshooting the Website, Actions, Presets



I am having trouble adding things to my cart?

First check that you added the quantity of “1″ t the cart. If you did and items are not going into your cart, it is almost always a browser issue.  The best solution is to clear all of your cache and cookies.  Then retry.  If that does not work, please try another browser. If you lose your password, please do a reset.  If you do not get the reset, please check spam and junk mail filters.

How do I use the shopping cart and download products from your site?

Shopping at MCP Actions is easy. Just add the items you want to your cart by selecting the quantity you desire for each action set, product or training class, and click Add to Cart. Once you select the products you want, click Proceed to Checkout. Log in or create a new account. Actions ordered and accounts created on my old site, prior to December 17, 2009, are no longer valid, so please create a new account.

At step 2 of the payment process, please read carefully and select the appropriate option. You have the choice of using a credit card or paypal for products and services that have a charge. If you are only downloading FREE products, you need to choose the option that says, “Use this option if your cart totals $0.00.”

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Once you complete payment via “free option,” “paypal,” or “credit card,” you will get to this screen. There are links to videos (which are also located on my site in the FAQ area – drop down) and to your downloads. Click on “My Downloadable Products” to get to your actions and workshop information downloads.

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Click on the word “Download” next to the desired product.

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From here download your products. Use unzip software to extract the files. Inside you will find Terms of Use, your action(s) (which ends in .atn), and a PDF with instructions. Remember that most sets have a video you can watch as well by coming back to my site and looking on the product page.

How do I re-download if I have lost my actions, my computer crashed, or if you have a new version available for my version of Photoshop or Lightroom?

For all products you should get a confirmation email. If you do not, it likely went to your spam or junk mail. Just click on the Download links.

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If you miss this email and download page, or need to access the products in the future, log on to your account. Go to My Account. Enter your email and password. Go to My Downloadable Products on the left side.

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Once there you will see all of your current and past purchases (12/19/09 and on). You can click on whichever product you wish to download. If we have a new version of a past product, due to past incompatibility, we will have the files waiting for you.  The title will still read the same as our e-commerce cart will not allow us to adjust the name from the original (for example if you bought it for Lightroom 3 – it will not say Lightroom 4, even after we add those.)  Just re-download and they will be part of the zip file.

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My download is not working. My zipped file is corrupt. What can I do?

To start with, make sure you know where downloads go on your machine. Sometimes they download and you may not realize it. If you get a spinning wheel or download that will not end, check and make sure your firewall is not blocking the file. Sometimes firewalls will either block a download or even cause it to be corrupted. If this may be the case, temporarily turn off your firewall to download the products.

If you get your download but get errors when you upzip it, you may not have allowed it to download completely. Please re-try and give it more time. Since the files are zipped on a mac, they create two separate folders when PC users view them. You need to discard the one that starts with ._ if you are on a PC as these will appear empty to you. Look in the folder with just the name.

When unzipping on a PC, make sure you “open” rather than “save” when unzipping the files. Customers who had trouble said this was the fix for them.

If these options do not work, try another web browser, such as Firefox, IE, Safari, Flock, Opera, etc. As a last case scenario, if you own a 2nd computer, try using it.

If you still cannot get paid items to download or unzip correctly after multiple tries, I can manually send them to you. Please contact me within 3 days of purchase. I cannot offer this service for free actions and presets.

I just purchased actions or presets and I am not sure how to install and use them. Can you help?

Every product page has links to videos on how to install and use the products. Please watch these to ensure you get your products installed and running correctly.




What do I do if I get error messages, my actions stop working or are acting crazy?

For full Photoshop, read through this article on troubleshooting Photoshop actions.  Also read through the rest of the tips listed on this page. If you continue to have issues, please contact jodi@mcpactions.com.

For Elements support, read through this article on troubleshooting Elements actions and this article on installing actions in Elements. Also read through the rest of the tips listed on this page. If you continue to have issues, please contact erin@mcpactions.com. There is no charge for having Erin assist you with installation of MCP’s paid actions in Elements. Erin does charge a fee for installing free actions or actions from other vendors.

I am getting error messages when playing my actions. What is wrong and how can I fix this?

First, make sure you have the correct action installed for your Photoshop version. This is the number one cause of errors. Also make sure the file is unzipped properly.

At this time, many features of Photoshop are only available in 8-bit mode. If you shoot raw and you use LR or ACR, you may be exporting as 16-bit/32-bit files. You will need to convert to 8-bit if the action steps are unable to work in 16-bit/32-bit. In the top toolbar, go under IMAGE – MODE – and check off 8-bit.

If you are in the right mode, and get an error such as “The object layer background is not currently available” it may mean you have renamed your background layer. If the action calls upon the background, it cannot work without one. You will want to create a merged layer (or flattened layer) of your work up to this point, and then name it “Background” so that you can use the action.

Why can’t I save my photo as a jpg after using “Color Explosion” from the Complete Workflow Actions?

You need to finish running the action. When it asks you to paint on the photo with the mask selected, it explains to click play to resume the action. The message is not a joke. If you do not do this step, you cannot save as a jpg. So, if you are using this action and run into this problem, make sure to finish running it. It will sharpen your photo and then convert back to RGB so you can save it. If you already saved it as a .psd, go to IMAGE – MODE – RGB. Then you can save your photo to a jpg.

How can I get the layer mask to work properly?

We recommend watching this video that addresses all major issues people have with masking.

How can I get the “Sharp as a Tack” layer working in the “Eye Doctor action” and how can I get more light into the eyes?

The Eye Doctor actions are very powerful and tweak-able. If you are having problems after reading the steps below, please watch this video.

Important things to remember:

  • Nothing happens when you run the Eye Doctor until you “activate” it.  To do this, you will select the layer mask for the layer you want to activate.  Then you will paint with a white brush.
  • When activating a layer, the “brush tool” is the only one that can activate a layer.  Check to make sure you are not using the “history brush tool” or even the “clone,” “eraser,” etc.
  • Once the brush tool is selected, check the top toolbar. Your opacity of the brush should be set to 100% in most cases when using the Eye Doctor.  Control the intensity of this effect by the layer opacity instead. Check to make sure you are using a soft edge brush that feathers on the edges. And check that the blend mode listed in this top toolbar is set to normal.
  • For the color swatches/color picker, make sure white is in the top left box, and black in the bottom right.
  • In the layers palette, make sure that nothing is covering up your Eye Doctor layers. The Eye Doctor is layer sensitive.  Adjustment layers may be above it.  If a pixel layer, one that looks like a mini version of the image in the layers palette, is above the layers of this action, this layer will cover up the results of the Eye Doctor. Before running it, if you have pixel layers (duplicate background copies) or any retouching pixel layers, flatten before running the action.
  • Sharpening (this applies to Photoshop, not Elements users, as Elements sharpening for this action is global). In the layers palette, make sure when you paint on the eyes, that the layer mask (the black box) has a white outline around it  For most layers, it will select automatically.  For the “sharp as a tack” layer, you may need to select it manually, by clicking on it. If you do this after you painted 1st, you need to start over or you will reveal white paint on the eyes.
  • Remember not every set of eyes needs all layers activated.  Opacity of the layer is your friend so that you make the eyes look better, but still natural.
  • This set is not a fix for lifeless eyes, out of focus eyes.  It is intended to enhance eyes that had some light and clear focus in camera.

What can I do to prevent my photos from distorting when I resize for storyboards and blog it board?

There are two important keys to using the transform handles when resizing. If you wish to maintain proportions, you need to hold down the Shift Key the entire time as you drag the handles. And you need to make sure you drag one of the 4 corner points to resize. If you do not hold the Shift Key down completely or if you drag from one of the 4 middle points instead of corners, your photo will be distorted. Once you resize, you need to accept the change by clicking on the check mark in the top toolbar.

Why is my action stopping at every single step?

Some actions are designed to run straight through, while others may have a few spots where they need feedback.

If your actions are stopping at every single adjustment and popping stuff up so that you have to keep hitting ok, you have a slight glitch. This may happen as a result of a Photoshop setting or you may have accidentally turned this on for a particular set of actions. The easiest way to fix this is to reinstall.  If that is not an option for you, here is how you can fix this annoying problem.

My actions are acting possessed. I think I messed them up accidentally. What can I do?

Your best bet is to reload the actions. You may have accidentally recorded or deleted a step.

My actions worked in an older version but in CS4, CS5 and CS6 in 64bit, I get “invert” errors. What can I do?

Open your adjustment panel. In the top, right corner, there is a drop down menu. Make sure you have “add mask by default” checked off and “clip to mask” not checked off. You may want to read this article for more details.

I get an error about the “background layer” not being available while using actions in CS6.  What is the problem?

If you crop first and then use actions in CS6, you may run into problems.  Here is a blog post teaching you what to do.  It includes a free action to fix the problem too.

My actions are not working right – but they are from another vendor, not MCP. Can you help me figure out the problem?

You will need to contact the company you purchased from. Since I do not own their actions, I cannot help troubleshoot them. If you buy from a reputable company, they should be able to help you



Why do my other presets disappear after I install Quick Clicks?

Lightroom can only access presets from one location at a time.  When you open the Preferences window and have the choice to check “Store presets with catalog,” make sure you make the same choice each time you install presets.  If you can’t see all your presets by installing them with the box checked, install them with the box unchecked to fix.  Or vice versa.

The Quick Clicks Customizers from Section 5 of Quick Clicks are not changing my photo.  Are they broken?

The Customizers are not broken.  They are designed for you to save your own favorite combinations of presets.  See the instructions that came with your download or the Lightroom video tutorials  for more details.

My preset isn’t acting the way it should.  How do I fix it?

It is relatively easy to override a preset without intending to.  This can happen if you right click and select “Update with Current Settings” without being aware of it.  To fix this, uninstall your presets and re-install from your backup copy.  Or uninstall, download from your account at MCP Actions, and re-install the new set.

My Lightroom presets do not work in LR4.  How do I get the updated presets?

If you previously purchased presets for Lightroom 2 and 3, and subsequently upgraded to LR 4, we have provided a complimentary preset upgrade.  You can download them from My Downloadable Products on the My Account area of this website. Just click on the download, then save and unzip. See Troubleshooting FAQ for a screen shot of how to download your actions if you are having trouble.

 Why do my photos “jump” when I apply some presets?

Our presets use Lens Correction, which corrects the distortion created by certain lenses.  This correction identifies the lens you used and applies correction specific to that lens.  Lens Correction is not available in earlier versions of Lightroom.

Why do my photos look blown out after applying a preset?

If you applied a Raw preset to a JPG photo, your image is likely to appear over exposed and to have to much contrast.  Use the presets for your specific file type for the best results.

When I first load my photos into Lightroom, they look wonderful for just a second and then it changes.  What’s happening?

If you shoot in Raw, the first time you see an image in Lightroom it will briefly show you the rendered version of the photo.  This is what you see on camera and is Lightroom’s attempt to make your Raw look like a JPG.  After the image loads completely, you will see the photo as it looks with standard Raw settings applied.

How do I mask areas of a photo that I’ve applied a preset to?

Masking is not available in Lightroom.  However, you can use the Local Adjustment Brush tool to make certain adjustments that might override settings applied by the preset.

How do you make adjustments to presets?

You can adjust the various settings that go into a preset by using the individual sliders on the right side of your workspace in Lightroom.

How can I adjust the opacity (or strength) of a preset?

You can create snapshots of your image from before and after your preset is applied, export them to Photoshop, and adjust the opacity there.  See our Lightroom video tutorials  for more details.

Why don’t some features, like Film Grain and Lens Correction, work in my presets?

Older versions of Lightroom do not support these features.