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How to Install an Adobe Photoshop Action

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Photoshop Actions can be an amazing time-saving resource. They automate a sequence of steps in Photoshop so the program can perform those for you. Several Actions sold on Envato Market and other stock sites produce some outstanding creative effects. In this Quick Tip we will look at how to install and use a Photoshop Action purchased from Envato Market.

1. Download and Extract

Step 1

Begin by finding an action on Envato Market or any stock site that you want to purchase. For this example, I chose the Liquify 2 Photoshop Action.

Purchase and download the Photoshop Action

Step 2

Open the zip file and extract the contents. There should be at least two files: a .txt file with instructions from the author, and an .atn file. This is the actual Photoshop action file.

Opene and extract the contents of the zip file

2. Install the Action

Step 1

Launch Photoshop and open the Actions panel with Window > Actions (Alt-F9).

Open the Actions panel in Photoshop

Step 2

Look to the top right of the Actions panel for the flyout panel menu. Select Load Actions.

Select Load Actions from the panel menu

Step 3

Navigate to the .atn file that was extracted from the downloaded zip file. Then press the Load button.

Select the atn file to Load

Step 4

Verify the action loaded by looking at the bottom of the list of actions in the Actions panel. The new action should have been appended to the end of the list.

Verify the Action is added to the list

3. Use the Action

After installing the action, it's wise to test it to make sure it works properly, and to see what it does!

Step 1

Check the .txt file for any specific instructions regarding the use of the action.

Check the txt file for instructions

Step 2

This action requires a Background layer and a new layer called "brush" containing painted strokes to direct the action where to place the effect.

Follow the instructions for your image

Step 3

In the Actions panel, open the new action set folder, highlight the action and press the Play button at the base of the panel.

Play the Action

Awesome Work, You're Done!

And that's it! Photoshop will work through the action, creating the final effect. Depending on the action you select, this could take several minutes.

The final effect created by the action
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