What is a Photoshop Action

January 9th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

What is a Photoshop Action?

Simply put, a Photoshop Action file (.atn), is a file that contains a sequence of steps (or actions) that can be applied all at once to a document you are working on with the simple click of one button.



Why are Photoshop Actions Useful?

There are several reasons why using Photoshop Actions can be advantageous in your design process.


1. Automation of a set of steps you usually repeat with multiple documents.

Say for example, you are looking to create thumbnail images for a bunch larger images you  have on your computer. Say you have 20 of these large images, and you want to convert each one to a thumbnail thats 50% smaller and also make them black & white.

If you wanted to do this manually, you would have to manually select the Free Transform tool, reduce the images down to 50%, and then open the Hue/Saturation settings and set it accordingly to get a black & white image. And of course you would have to perform all these steps again for each image, thus 20 times! You can see how daunting of the task this could become.

With a Photoshop Action, you can record the sequence of steps as you do it one document (image), and save that sequence of steps as a .atn file. For the remaining documents you wish to apply the same steps to, you simply select this .atn file in the Actions Window (we will get to that soon), and run it by pressing a Play button. And just like that, before your very eyes, Photoshop will automatically perform the sequence of steps you saved, and will leave you with the final product.


2. Enables you to use Photoshop Action files created by others.

This reason is probably the most useful, and is what Ace Photoshop Actions aims to provide you with! Say you wish to design a ebook cover in Photoshop. Most novice Photoshop users wouldn’t know where to start. Kind of like how now a days people say “theres an app for that”, well guess what, for the design you wish to do there’s probably a Photoshop Action for that! Some of the popular categories for Photoshop Actions can be seen on the right bar of our website, have a look. From polaroid effects, text effects, to neat photo filter effects, the possibilites are actually endless if you think about it. Several designers continue to find innovative photoshop actions to create.


3. No need to follow a tutorial

Say someone out there creates a cool text effect using a bunch of different layer styles. This person could spend a day or two writing a tutorial to walk you through the steps and setting for the layer styles, or, that person could simply create a Photoshop Action file (.atn) and provide you with that file! You simply create a document, choose the font tool to write out some text, load up the action and press play. All the layer sytles and steps will be automatically be applied for you.


How to Install Photoshop Tutorials

Now that you know what Photoshop Actions are, continue to read: How to Use Photoshop Actions