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Actions in Adobe Photoshop

An action is a way of automatically applying a technique to an image using a prerecorded series of commands. Actions are triggered either by pressing one or a combination of keys or selecting the action from the Actions palette (1). Many actions are already supplied with Photoshop and can be found at the bottom of the Actions menu (2) by clicking on the side-arrow at the top right of the Actions palette.

An action can be as simple as opening a new canvas or as advanced as creating a drop shadow on an existing picture or, as in our example, making snow.

Ready-made actions can be downloaded from the internet, saved to your hard drive and then installed in Photoshop. Use the Load Actions command (3) in the Actions menu to search for and install the downloaded ATN or Photoshop Actions fi le.

You can also create your own Photoshop actions using the Record mode, so if there are techniques you fi nd particularly fiddly or ones you'll want to use again, record the commands as you run through them and assign the action a shortcut key.

  • 1. Actions can also be applied to several images in one go using the Batch command or created into droplets.
  • 2. If a command cannot be recorded you can insert it manually using the Insert Menu command.
  • 3. If you make a mistake, keep going, you can edit the script later.
  • 4. Some settings may need modifying for different images. Clicking on the box to the left of the action will stop the script at thatpoint and bring up the dialog box so you can manually adjust before continuing the script.

How to use Actions

To open Actions window go to Window and select Actions

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Let's work! First you need a photo and actions.

1. Open your photo, open actions window and load Kubota Actions from the archive

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Load actions

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Select a package ( I use Kubota Mini Actions ) and press Load

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2. Now let's to put some effects on the photo. Select B&W and press Play Selection

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press play actions

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And that's it, look at the next picture to see the result

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Try other effects from the package, play the soft glow actions, the result is great

Actions in Adobe Photoshop


  • The source of actions definition is from Adobe Photoshop CS3 A-Z ebook
  • If I have time i put some links to download more actions

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