Photoshop Quick Tips #9: Using Photoshop Actions


A really good element of Photoshop that a lot of people don't even know about is the Photoshop Action, if you never used it before you should definitely check out this tutorial and see what these actions are all about. I also selected some great actions for download, so check it out!

Actions are effects already pre-done in Photoshop that you can add to your photo at any point, to explain better I will show you how to use the actions. A regular Photoshop already comes with a lot of actions and I am going to use some of them to show you how it works and by the end of the post I will link some good actions for download. First thing you want to do is open a photo or a image you are working on, I just got a regular photo I took long time ago.

To open the Action window and start taking some actions you need to go to Windows > Actions (Alt + F9)

After that, the Action window should open like this one.

These are your default actions, just like brushes you can load more stuff that already comes with Photoshop or load the ones you downloaded. In this case I will load the Photo Effects that already comes along with photoshop.

or you can just load the actions you downloaded.

Now that I opened the Photo Effects Actions, I will chose an effect to use on my photo, for the action to work, make sure that the arrow is checked, click on the effect you want an press play as you see on my photo bellow.

After you press play you will get the effect you choose. In this case I used the blizzard, the result is not so good but it's just so you learn to use the actions.

The Actions don't have to be used in the whole image you can select the part of the image that you want to apply the effects and do so. Most of them comes with snapshot in case you don't like the effect you can just go back to where you were before. I downloaded an Action Pack from Night-Fate on deviantart that you can see here it comes with 4 different effects and I applied each one of them on that same photo just so you get an idea of what these packs provide.

Here are some really good actions packs for download now that you know how to use them. Just click on the image, the download button is on the left side make sure you give the right credits to the creator.

I hope you liked this quick tips, if you have any questions please leave it as a comment and I will be more than happy to help. Thank you.

Written by

Fabio Sasso

I'm a Brazilian product designer based in Oakland, California currently working for Google as a Staff Designer. I am also the founder of Abduzeedo, an award-winning digital publication about design and a personal project that has become the source of inspiration for millions of designers and enthusiasts.