Take Action! Use Actions to Simplify Your Workflow

with 33 Comments

Barb BrookbankWith the launch of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, a great new feature became available toΒ users. That would be the Actions panel... at long last.

I love to avoid any and all repetitive and tedious tasks. This includes ironing, dusting, and setting up new documents. At least I can eliminate one of these. Anyone know how to avoid the first two? Get a maid, you say? Going to have to talk to hubby about that...

Rather than going through the motions of choosing a page size, resolution, and background every time I want to begin scrapping, I created an action to do that for me.

In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to load and use an action. I've included the free "New Scrapbook Document" action set.

Tutorial:This complete Digi Scrap Tutorial is available to our Digital Scrapper Premier Members. If you're a member, please take a moment to log in, then just come back here and refresh this page. Not a Premier Member? Find out more information here.

In the set, you will find three actions. The first one will create a 12in x 12in 300ppi document with a white background. The second one will create the same document with Guides and the third one will create an 8.5in x 11in 300ppi document w/Guides. In both sizes, the Guides are set to illustrate the "rule of thirds".

Step One: Download and Save the Action Set

  • After downloading the "New Scrapbook Document" action set, you should save it where you know you can easily find it later. I have a folder that I've named "My Custom Actions". You could create a folder called "Free Actions" or "Downloaded Actions".

Step Two: Load the Action Set

  • In Photoshop Elements 11 you must be in Expert Mode.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Window > Actions to open the Actions panel.
  • In the Actions panel, open the drop-down menu and choose Load > Actions.
  • Navigate to the folder where you saved the action set. Click on the "New Scrapbook Document" action and click Load.

Step Three: Run the Action

  • When you look at all the available actions in the Actions panel, you will see a new folder (or Set) called "New Scrapbook Document". It will be the last one on the list. Inside it you will find three actions: one named "12inx12in", another one named "12inx12in w/Guides", and one named "8.5inx11in w/Guides."
  • Choose an action and click on the Play Selection icon in the Actions panel.
  • Your new document will be created and you are on your way!

Credits:
Digi Scrap Tutorial: Take Action! Use Actions to Simplify Your Workflow by Barb Brookbank
Action Set: New Scrapbook Document by Barb Brookbank

Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial

33 Responses

  1. Finja
    | Reply

    Wow,
    thanks for the great Atn. It is very helpful and works in PS CS6 πŸ™‚

    Many greetings and hugs
    Finja

    • Barb Brookbank
      | Reply

      You’re welcome, Finja! πŸ™‚

    • joan
      | Reply

      Thanks, this is awesome!

  2. Terry [UK]
    | Reply

    Hi Barb

    Thanks very much for this tutorial and free action set.

    Will the set still be available for use after I turn my PC off or will I have to load it every time I wish to use it. I know you can save new brushes and patterns in PSE/ps using the Preset Manager – do you know if this is possible in v11 for actions?

    Many thanks

    Terry

    • Barb Brookbank
      | Reply

      Hi Terry! Once you load the action, it will remain in the Actions panel until you delete it. πŸ™‚

  3. Bobbie
    | Reply

    I have PE 9 and don’t have an action option under window in the Menu Bar???

  4. Bobbie
    | Reply

    Does not download in PE 9. I get a folder with 2 things, one is a terms of use PDF file and the other is an ATN doc that doesn’t open.

  5. Arleen
    | Reply

    I use photoshop elements 9 too..there is a program called Graffi’s Add-o-Matic..it cost $12 (if it did not go up in price) one time fee..the instructions on how to use it is very easy..it will put your actions and style right into elements..

    • Barb Brookbank
      | Reply

      Thank you for letting us know that, Arleen!

  6. Arleen
    | Reply

    You are quite welcome..

  7. Carol
    | Reply

    Thanks, I use actions all the time and this will be a time saver.

  8. Marie Scribner
    | Reply

    I have Photoshop Elements 11. I have never been able to figure out how to download Actions. I still don’t understand even though you make it sound so easy. I will keep trying.

  9. trinanne
    | Reply

    Wonderful Action! I don’t know how many times I’ve opened a document, used the crop tool for the thirds and brought out guides.
    I’ve tried making my own landscape orientation (11 in x 9.5 in) w/Guides. I get the action recording and get a “make” for opening the page but I don’t seem to be able to add the guidelines to the recording. HELP!

    • Barb Brookbank
      | Reply

      Hmmm, could this possibly be my next Digi Scrap Tutorial? πŸ™‚

      • trinanne
        | Reply

        Yes,please – teach us about actions.

  10. marielouise
    | Reply

    Me again. I figured out it isn’t Elements it is the free downlaod action that isn’t working for me.

  11. Jeannine Hetfleisch
    | Reply

    I have a ? Can you load one than one action at a time into Elements 11? I have lots of them in Elements 10 that I want to move over, but can’t figure that out. Thanks for the freebie! Love it!

    • Barb Brookbank
      | Reply

      Hi Jeannine – as far as I can tell – you can only load one action at a time.

  12. Shirl
    | Reply

    Thank you for this wonderful worksaving action download. Anything to shorten my workload is always welcome. It is because the Ataxia has my hands everywhere and this will save steps and anguish for me. I took Jan’s suggestion and try to do my digital scrapping in short spans. I really love PSE-11 and its ability to use action and brushes so much better. You are an angel. πŸ˜‰

    • Barb Brookbank
      | Reply

      Thank you, Shirl!:) you’re the angel!

  13. Bonnie Cuddihy
    | Reply

    FINALLY PSE v11 makes loading actions easy rather than a pain! Thank you for the great action–something all of us can use. Prior to this, in earlier versions of PSE I did use Graffi’s Add-O-Matic with success. Thanks again.

  14. Suzanne
    | Reply

    These are GREAT!! Do you know of any other free or for purchase digital scrapbook workflow actions? I’ve searched in the past without success. I’d love one in particular that will save a psd as a jpeg. I’d like to know what else is out there. Thanks!

  15. Marly
    | Reply

    Wonderful – thank you so very much for sharing this action – I know I will be using it often (smile)
    Marly

  16. Marie Scribner
    | Reply

    I cannot get the free action to open.

    • Barb Brookbank
      | Reply

      Hi Marie – sorry you’re having trouble. Can you explain your problem a bit more? Did you get the action loaded?

    • marielouise
      | Reply

      I open the zip file and there are two pages. one, tou, the other a paper titled New-Scrapbook-Document, i open it and it takes me to:
      Choose the program you want to use to open this file: recommended Programs Adobe Reader. When i click on Browse; Adobe,Photoshop Elements 11, presets Action and I get a blank page.So somewhere along the line I have missed a step. That is about as clear as I can get at this point.

      • Barb Brookbank
        | Reply

        Hi marieloise – sorry for the confusion, (are you using Windows? if so – go to where you saved the zip file, right-click on it and choose extract > all. It will unzip the .atn file so you can use it. Once it has been extracted you have to go to PSE 11 and load the .atn file as instructed above – starting in Step 2.

  17. Cherri
    | Reply

    Thank you thank you!

  18. Pam Evans
    | Reply

    These are awesome. Thank you, Barb!

  19. Deborah Blodgett-West
    | Reply

    Thanks for these actions! I just got PSE 11 and haven’t really investigated the new stuff yet (from PSE 9). An actions tut would be a great idea!

  20. Peggy Drechsler
    | Reply

    Thank you for these actions! I like the 12×12 with the guides the best, but all will be helpful!

  21. Glenys Masson
    | Reply

    Thank you for this, I had been wondering for quite some time if it was possible to create “macros” in PSE. Well I mightn’t be able to create them but it looks like I can use them. Actions = macros by another name…

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