Tutorial – Installing Actions in PSE 8.0

We’ve all been there – we’ve either found some awesome free actions for Elements, or shelled out some dough for even MORE amazing actions (like the ones I’ll be installing from MCP Actions). And now what? How the heck do you get that downloaded action INTO Elements? Oh, if only it were as easy as it is in Full Version Photoshop. Alas, it looks as though Elements users are stuck having to navigate through their computers to figure it out on their own. Worst part? Each new version of Elements switches it up! So, once you get it figured out in PSE 5.0, you’ve got to do it completely differently in 8.0 ! LIFE IS HARD ENOUGH! WAHH!

Okay, I’ve got that out of my system. And now, I’m going to walk you through, step by step, HOW to install actions in PSE 8.0 with pictures and my awesome written instructions. Why? Because I’ll most likely forget how I did it the first time and need a reference! LOL!. Let’s get those babies installed:

1. CLOSE ELEMENTS. Make sure that program is taking a break – close it up. We don’t need it right now.

2. Find on your computer where you saved your new actions. This could be your desktop, My Documents, Pictures, wherever. Mine were saved in my pictures library. Most Elements Actions, will have 2 files for each action. One will be a .atn file and the other will be an image (.png, .jpg, whatever) The first is the actual action, the second is the little icon you’ll see in your effects palette after you open Elements. But, you can ignore what I just wrote and just highlight all of them (using Ctrl+click) and copy the files (Ctrl+C).

3. Now, Click on Computer>Local Disk (C:)  A list like this will appear. Find Program Data (or something very similar) and click on that.

4. Now find “Adobe” from that new list and click on that.

5. Now look for “Photoshop Elements” and click on that.

6. Now find your current version of Elements (mine is 8.0) and click on that.

7. Click on “Photo Creations”

8. And click on “Photo Effects”

9. Now you will simple paste your new actions here by clicking “Ctrl+P” You should see your new actions appear on the list.

10. Now, you can open Elements! Click on “Edit”. It may take a moment longer to load because it’s adding your new actions to the Effects Pallette!

11. Once Elements is open, look to the right hand side of the screen and click on “Effects”. The list of available effects will appear. Scroll down until you see the icons for your new actions!

12. Done and done! Now, to use the action…. open a photo in Elements, click once on your desired action, then click “Apply”. The action will begin all on its own. You may have to read the prompts carefully and follow them to get the most out of the action. Some actions run from beginning to end on their own. Each action is different.

Actions are so useful and fun to use in Elements, once you get them installed and get the hang of how to use them. You can create gorgeous works of art! I hope you can get your favorite Elements actions installed and put them to good use!


5 thoughts on “Tutorial – Installing Actions in PSE 8.0

  1. Thank you for all of the information and for the wonderful tutorial for PSE 8. I have been wanting to install some actions but have had no idea how to do it. I hope you win the Actions worth 300.00. Wow what an awesome prize.



  2. I just found your site through some other site and oh my heck!! Thank you!! I have been so frustrated trying to figure out how to add actions to elements… esp version 6. I've read other tuts but have never been able to accomplish it. Your way was soooo easy and the pictures were such a great help! You just made my day!! (esp. because my Photoshop CS2 won't work on my new computer!!!!) Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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