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Adding Photoshop Actions

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  • Adding Photoshop Actions

    This question is directed to Richard Lynch and also anyone else that may have possible solutions.
    First, I want to thank Richard for going above and beyond the call of duty to assist element users. I have ordered your book but not yet received it.
    My issue is, I ordered 'Intellihance' from the Fred Miranda site but have not been able to utilize the action. I went back to his site AFTER I had ordered the program and read the Miranda actions do not work in Elements.
    I am wondering if there is a known bypass method to get this (and other) photoshop actions to work in Elements? I use PSE2.
    Again, Thanks for more than just trying to sell a good book!


  • #2
    A ray of hope

    Hi John:

    Until Richard logs in for a specific reply, I'll toss in my .02.

    Generally speaking if an action is incompatible in Elements, it's because it attempts to do something that Elements does not permit, for example, delete a channel or invoke a Curves adjustment layer.

    In some cases the workaround is to write an action (or modify the original) in order to achieve the same (or nearly the same) results as the original action would get under Photoshop. I've seen Richard (and others with PS action writing and PS-to-Elements-action-conversion experience) do this.

    I'd say there's a high probability of success. It's just going to depend on the action.



    • #3
      Danny - you'd actually be surprised what actions will play in Elements using Richard's action player without change. Curves aren't a problem; layer masks, all sort of other stuff that Elements doen't have on the surface are actually lurking there and can be called into play by an action. (there have been a couple that I've tried that have reallly surprised me!) However widespread channel manipulation does give Elements problems and requires rewrites, as do stops without continue, fades and such-like. There's usually a way to do most things in Elements with a bit of perserverance and lateral thinking.
      I've done simple rewrites on other actions, but the fact that the action has to be ordered suggests that it is a commercial product for sale - in this case I definitely wouldn't attempt any rewrite without permission from the original copyright holder - good practice for any action, commercial or not. (And if it were complicated I'd leave it up to Richard anyway, who is the expert!)

      Susan S.


      • #4

        I think if you poke at Mr. Miranda with an email, he'll come up with a solution. I offered to do the stuff for him, but he wanted to do it himself. I've been waiting for his samples...he seems interrested but I think because people ask me rather than him, he doesn't hear how many people would enjoy using his stuff. Tell him you already bought them!

        Have you tried using the actions interface and just renaming the file? You can get the interface here:

        I want to agree with Susan AND Danny -- there are a lot of actions that will just work without adjustment, and some just need a name change. Better actions will usually be adjusted for Elements to take care of things that might make the actions easier to use. My goal these days is to make the actions not just work in Elements, but work in different language versions -- which is a problem in some cases because of how Adobe handled naming conventions.

        I have yet to find an action that I can't adjust to work with Elements -- if that helps. If Fred gives the OK to alter stuff, I'd be glad to have a look.

        I'm hoping we'll have Fred and a few other people making actions for Elements soon!


        • #5

          Very good feedback. I was aware that there are Elements' workarounds for Curves and Layer masks.

          It wasn't clear to me that an action under Elements can directly execute Image > Adjustments > Curves or Layers > Add Layer Mask > Hide commands. Is this true?

          BTW: Besides STOPS (w/o continue) and channel ops, if you have a list of other commands that Elements can't handle (directly), I'd like a look.

          I've heard Elements doesn't do Select > Color Range and Image > Adjust > Channel Mixer. Truth or fiction?

          Thanks for adding substance to this discussion.



          • #6
            Richard would be the expert on this, but as I understand it you can add both curves and channel mixer *adjustment layers* using actions in Elements (which comes with a layer mask!) - but it doesn't seem to recognise the command Image>adjust>curves (or channel mixer) (for me at least - but I only tried quickly just now- I usually use adjustment layers as a matter of principle). As far as I know the select>colour range command used in an Action does not function in Elements. At least, I've not managed to get it to work!

            Susan S.


            • #7
              The problem with some commands is that they do not appear in the same place in Elements. If you are executing a command via menu selection, then those commands which cannot be found in that path will fail. There are other ways to access the commands -- sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't. That is to say if they work, they work all the time, but you sometimes have to find the key.

              As for Channel Mixing and Layer Masks, these both come with the free tools I've made available on . So while these are not incorporated in the same way that you may normally do it in Photoshop, obviously it is possible to access them.

              I have not made a listing that I think is ready for distribution, and I'd be more interested to know that there is interest before I go and do so. Please contact me off list ([email protected]), and I'll try and get you what i have.


              • #8
                PS - Color Range can be handled using Hidden Power and Saturation Masking or Blend Mask. if you tell me a specific instance you are trying to use color Range with, I'd be glad to give you a solution.


                • #9
                  Richard or Susan S.,

                  I've tried to get a few actions from the Adobe site to work, but I just get a "page not found" error in the window. I know I'm missing something big, but can't figure it out. I've tried renaming, putting into folders, putting into folders instead of the Bud Guin material, tried holding my breath and turning blue. Still, can't get anything to work. What steps do I need to take to get the actions to be seen in PE2? I'd really appreciate the help.



                  • #10
                    Have you read the readme files that come with the package that explain how to make other actions work?

                    If you have done that, it would seem you are not putting the actions in the right folders. The page not found error...when does that appear -- in the tabs when you click one?

                    Please review the advanced.rtf file, and other readmes and see if your answer is there. let me know and maybe we can hash out the problem here. It may be a good exercise for others who may be having trouble.


                    • #11

                      The actions I'm discussing are from the Adobe Studio Exchange, Photoshop section, and have no readme files. I have not had a bit of problems with those you made available, or even those from the Shipley site. The exception to that is that the ones from the Shipley site are not as durable - I typically get a program complaint that the "Make function is not available" whenever I try to use more than one at a time. I had thought I could get the Photoshop Actions to work through your installer, which is why I asked the question. I apologize if I've become confused.



                      • #12
                        The read me file Richard is referring to is called advanced.rtf and came in the zip files with the HPA2 action player. You need to put the action itself in the presets/photoshop actions folder, and then create an html file using the instructions that Richard provides to allow the action to be called (you don't need to write html, just put the file and action names into the blanks in the template - the fun bit is finding the action name!)Some actions will work - some will need to be modified - it may be as little as removing capital letters from the action name (requires temproary access to photoshop or a photoshop demo). Which ones are you interested in?
                        Susan S.


                        • #13
                          Actions are GREAT

                          Richard, Susan and Danny,

                          Thanks so much for your input and advise.
                          The first thing I want to say is I got Richards book in the mail yesterday. I read a couple chapters and installed the actions on the CD. WOW! I now have fully operational capacity that is worth big bucks in other programs.
                          The book is excellent. So far, the explainations are very clear and help me understand why adjustment tools are benificial, how they work and how to use them. This is the first $40.00 book ($28.00 at that is beyond a doubt much more valuable than its price. In addition, Richard seems to be genuinely interested in helping other Elements users have the capacity found in the 'big brother' program.
                          I sent an email to Fred Miranda but have not heard a reply from him. I will try renaming his file and see if it will work as is in the recipe section.
                          I also appriciate (alphebetically) Danny and Susan for their replies. So many people really take the time to reply.
                          I'll post again to update my progress.


                          • #14

                            Thank you for showing your expertise here. I'm glad you are around to help some people out!

                            I can tell you there are some fabulous learning actions on the Adobe Studio Exchange -- even if you don't appreciate the results. I tried to get in touch with a number of the people that put together some of the planet actions, but failed with every one I tried to contact. I'd love to get some of those converted for Elements -- if I could only find the authors.

                            Rick, if you can get in touch with the people that wrote the actions you want converted, I'd be glad to help out. It seems Susan would help you as well. Any action sets we get converted I can make available for download for everyone from .

                            Let us know.


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the help. Richard's actions worked so well that I have not even looked for an rtf or readme flie.

                              I have four actions that looked interesting that I'll try to get working this week. Time is a problem; grandkids are coming over today [my son's in the service overseas], then I go on night shift tonight (the company frowns on my working with PSE during working hours, for strange reasons of their own: they've no sense of priorities).

                              I'll try to contact the action developers, as well.

                              Thanks again to both of you.



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