photoshop creative

How can I use actions in my work?

Posted in:
Q&A, by Mark White
April 7, 2016

Every Thursday we answer your questions!


Actions are simple scripts that make changes or add effects to your pictures. Go to Window>Actions and you’ll see the Actions menu pop up on the right-hand side of your display. Situated there you’ll find a Record button and a Play button, along with a New Set button, and a New Action button. Add a new set and then add a new action. Hit the Record button, and then make whatever edits you want to perform, such as using adjustments, filters, merging layers, duplicating layers or even cropping. Hit the Stop button when you are finished.

You can save similar actions in each set. Save your action sets to your desktop by finding the option in the Actions menu; the icon with four horizontal lines and an arrow in the top-right corner. You can also load actions you’ve downloaded from this same menu.

The beauty of actions is that they can be created for just about anything. The most popular is to use them for photo effects, such as retro filters, but you might want to try sharpening your pictures with them, changing the picture mode or even just applying a soft focus. Remember to check out the FileSilo for a selection of great free actions to get started!

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