What Are Photoshop Actions?

Whether you need to modify a photograph or create stunning graphic design, you can save time and ensure excellent results by installing and utilizing Photoshop actions. These powerful tools can optimize your editing process for maximum efficiency. Read on to learn more about how these actions work and the benefits you can enjoy by using them correctly.
 


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Understanding Actions 
Essentially, a Photoshop action functions like a shortcut or macro. Each action contains a series of tasks or steps that have been recorded in the proper order, so you can easily recreate a set of functions to achieve a desired result. This can save a significant amount of time over initiating each step individually, and it can also ensure you don't forget steps or complete them in the wrong order.
 
What sort of tasks can be included in an action? Tools, menu options, and commands can all be combined into one or more actions. For example, you may find an action that automatically manipulates an image by adding layers, using filters, enlarging the size, and saving the new image in your preferred format. Some actions can even interact with dialog boxes and fill in the required fields.
 
Downloading and Installing Actions 
The Photoshop software includes some predefined actions. You can easily use them in their original form, or you can modify them according to your own custom parameters. You can also develop your own actions to save yourself time on future projects. The Actions panel allows you to view, edit, delete, and create actions.
 
Additionally, you can find and download Photoshop actions created by others. Actions come in files formatted with the .ATN extension. Generally, you'll download the files in a compressed zip format, then unpack the contents of the file onto your hard drive. The unzipped folder should include the .ATN file you need to add into your software. You may be able to drag the file right into the Photoshop window, or you can use the dropdown menu. Simply select the Action panel and click on the Load Action option.
 
Utilizing Actions
Once you have your actions in your software, you can easily utilize them with the Action panel. Before initiating an action, select the layer in which you want to use the action. Then, simply select the action you want and click the play button.
 
Incorporating Photoshop actions can help you achieve the results you want in a short amount of time. You'll be able to ensure repeatable results and greatly increase the efficiency of your workflow.
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