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    Default How to install Actions into PSE6~ Tutorial

    I decided that I would try to put together a walk-through together of how to install photo effects and later styles into Photoshop Elements6. I hope it help some out there trying to figure it all out. It took me a really long time to figure it all out and it was extremely aggravating!! But now I have it totally figured out and it really is quite easy! So here we go-
    The first this you need to do is make sure all your folders are visible. To do this go to Start, My Computer, Local Disk (C), Documents ans Settings, All Users,
    NOW in the All Users folder go up to tools on the top bar, at the bottom of the drop down list is Folder Options- open that, Select the View tab- Look down and find "Hidden files and folders" select the bubble to "Show hidden files and folders"
    Select Apply- Now your Application Data and other folders will not be hidden.

    Lets do Photo Effects- Actions first-
    This is where you will put all atn files- Atomic Cupcake actions, Photo editing actions ect.
    This is a screen shot of the expanded folder list-





    This is a screen shot zoomed in on the folder list- so you can see the path to take

    This is a screen shot of what you will see in this folder-


    So here is what I do-


    When you download an action it will be a atn file. The atn file is the actual action. Most actions also come with a PNG file. The PNG file is just a image of what the action does.
    Here is a screen shot of the Photo Effects folder-


    • Have you Extras folder open and your Photo effects folder open .
    • In you Extras folder highlight both the atn file and the PNG file ( hold down Ctrl key to select multiple items ).
    • Once highlighted right click and select copy.
    • Select the Photo Effects folder and go to Edit, Paste
    • This should paste the atn and PNG file into the Photo effects folder.

    That is it your Action is now in PSE6.

    There are a few things I have encountered that add a few more steps....
    Lets cover those-
    Some Actions do not come with any image file, that makes it hard to remember what it does.
    Some Actions come with an image file but the image file is not a PNG.
    So what you need to do is make PNG files for those Actions. You can see up in the screen shot of my computer right above that there are some actions that have a picture of a girl. Those are pictures of my daughter that I used as the image for files that I downloaded that came with no image.
    Lets cover how to handle it if the image file is not a PNG first.

    • All you have to do is open the image in PSE6 and "save as" a PNG file. Save it in the same location that the action is in so they are together.
    • IMPORTANT* The PNG and the atn file have to have the exact same name.
    • What I do is-
    • Right click the action/atn file and select rename.
    • Go to the name and right click, select all, copy.
    • Go to the image/PNG file and right click, rename, select all, paste.
    • This will paste the exact name into both files.
    • Now go through the steps to put both files in the photo effects folder.
    • Close down PSE6 and Reopen it- they should be installed and ready to go.

    Ok now lets talk about if the action/atn file has no image with it.

    • Find an image that you think will be good to display the action
    • Open the image in PSE6 and run the action on the image.
    • In PSE6 select File
    • The file need to be 64 pixels by 64 pixels 72 dpi
    • Click and drag the image to the new blank file
    • Resize the image by dragging it to the proper size to fit onto the new blank file.
    • Merge layers
    • Save image in the same location your action is in so they will be together.


    • IMPORTANT* The PNG and the atn file have to have the exact same name.
    • What I do is-
    • Right click the action/atn file and select rename.
    • Go to the name and right click, select all, copy.
    • Go to the image/PNG file and right click, rename, select all, paste.
    • This will paste the exact name into both files.
    • Now go through the steps to put both files in the photo effects folder.
    • Close down PSE6 and Reopen it- they should be installed and ready to go.

    * ONE LAST STEP*
    The last step is to rename your Media Data Base file. I have read other tutorials where they tell you to delete this file altogether. I did that once and it messed up my Photoshop, I had to uninstall the whole program and reinstall it… it was a big pain!! So now I always just rename it.
    Here is a screen shot of that folders path zoomed in-

    Here is a screen shot of the file to rename zoomed in-


    As you can see I just rename the MediaDataBase file by typing "old" and the date on the end. Once I have reopened PSE6 and have it has successfully rebuilt the MediaDataBase I will go back and delete the "old" file.

    So that should cover it... Ok I know it seems like A LOT of info but it really is easy once you do it you will be glad you did. There are some many cool actions out there it would be a sham not to use them!! If you have a question leave me a comment and I will try my best to help you. If you find this helpful please let me know and I will continue to make these kinds of walk-throughs.

    Last edited by GingerScraps; 05-06-2010 at 06:40 PM.

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