Flexible Frame and Mat Actions for Photoshop FAQ



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Can I use these actions on large (high-resolution) photos?
Why are the frames too small for my images?
How can I make the frames and mats wider or narrower?
What do you mean by a "web-sized" image?
I'm trying to frame a very small image, and the frame looks too big. Why?
My mats and backgrounds are slightly larger at the bottom than at the top. How can I make them symmetrical?
I recently loaded an update. When I run an action, why do I see an error message saying that one of the other actions is not currently available?
Why do I see this error: "The command "duplicate" is not currently available?"
Why do I see this error: "The command "set" is not currently available?"
Why don't I see textures when I run textured frame or mat actions?
How can I get a preview of what frame or mat an action will produce?
How can I remove a frame or mat and try another?
Will these actions work with Photoshop CS?
Will these actions work with Photoshop Elements?
The action is behaving strangely, and none of these questions and answers help. What now?



Can I use these actions on large (high-resolution) photos?

AC's Flexible Frames are designed for web-sized images, and will not work well for high-resolution images, such as those intended for printing. The best way to frame high-resolution images is to use AC's Big Frames. If you frame a high-resolution image with AC's Big Frames, you can then resize it for the web.

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Why are the frames too small for my images?

AC's Flexible Frames are designed for web-sized images, and will not work well for high-resolution images, such as those intended for printing. The best way to frame high-resolution images is to use AC's Big Frames. If you frame a high-resolution image with AC's Big Frames, you can then resize it for the web.

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How can I make the frames and mats wider or narrower?

To make the actions run without your intervention, we created several standard widths, but if you want to change them, you can.

To do that, scroll down near the bottom of the action set, where it says "Changing Sizes." Below that are several actions that start with the word "Expand." These actions are called by the various frame and mat actions to control the size.

If you open up one of the Expand.... actions by clicking the little arrow to the left of the action name, you will see that it contains one or more "Expand" steps. You can re-record any or all of them: just use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select part of your image (any part will do), click one of the "Expand" steps, and choose "Record Again" from the Actions Window menu.

If you want to expand more than 100 pixels, you will need to use two or more expand steps.

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What do you mean by a "web-sized" image?

We use the term "web-sized" to refer to images of the size usually posted in online galleries or photography forums: usually, about 600 to 1200 pixels on the long side.

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I'm trying to frame a very small image, and the frame looks too big. Why?

The frame actions are optimized for images that are the size usually posted in online galleries or photography forums (usually from about 600 pixels to 1200 pixels on the longest side).

If you want to frame a smaller image, the frame may appear too large. Assuming that you have the image in larger form to begin with, there is a solution:
  1. Starting with the large version, downsize it to 800 pixels on the longest side.
  2. Frame the image.
  3. Downsize the framed image to the smaller size.


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My mats and backgrounds are slightly larger at the bottom than at the top. How can I make them symmetrical?

Some actions make mats and backgrounds slightly larger at the bottom than at the top, for aesthetic reasons and to allow room for titles. However, if you want all sides to be the same size, you can set up the actions to do that.
  1. In Photoshop, open the action set and scroll down near the bottom, where it says "*** Add Bottom Space ***."


  2. Just below that line, you will see three actions that add different amounts of bottom space.

    Click the checkmark to the left of each of the three actions. This will remove the checkmarks, and will essentially "turn off" those actions. From now on whenever you create a mat or frame, the bottom will be the same size as the other sides.

    By the way, you can ignore Photoshop's warning about the step being undoable.
    Unchecking the actions that add bottom space.


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I recently loaded an update. When I run an action, why do I see an error message saying that one of the other actions is not currently available?

If you have more than one version of the same frame action set visible in the Photoshop actions window, Photoshop can get confused when it tries to find an action. Deleting the older version of the action set from the Actions window should solve the problem.

Another possible cause is that you have renamed the action set. Returning the set to its original name will fix this.

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Why do I see this error: "The command 'duplicate' is not currently available?"

Your image mode is probably not compatible with the actions. Examples of incompatible modes are indexed color and multi-channel. Convert your image to one of the other modes, such as RGB, CMYK, Lab, or Grayscale before running the actions.

Also, if you are using Photoshop 6 or 7, make sure your image is in 8-bit mode. 16-bit mode is fine for Photoshop CS.

Prior to version 08.03, the actions changed images to RGB and 8-bit automatically. To allow Photoshop CS users to keep their images in 16-bit mode, and to allow more flexibility for everyone, the actions no longer make these changes.

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Why do I see this error: "The command 'set' is not currently available?"

Your image mode is probably not compatible with the actions. Examples of incompatible modes are indexed color and multi-channel. Convert your image to one of the other modes, such as RGB, CMYK, Lab, or Grayscale before running the actions.

Also, if you are using Photoshop 6 or 7, make sure your image is in 8-bit mode. 16-bit mode is fine for Photoshop CS.

Prior to version 08.03, the actions changed images to RGB and 8-bit automatically. To allow Photoshop CS users to keep their images in 16-bit mode, and to allow more flexibility for everyone, the actions no longer make these changes.

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Why don't I see textures when I run textured frame or mat actions?

You probably didn't load the style file that was included in the ZIP file.

To load a style file, go to your Styles Window in Photoshop. If you don't see the Styles Window, you can make it visible from the Photoshop "Window" menu. In the Styles Window, click the little arrow in the upper-right corner, and select "Load Styles." Browse to the location where you extracted the files, and load "ACStyles.asl."

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How can I get a preview of what frame or mat an action will produce?

We don't have unique examples of every separate action, but you can see sample images showing most frames and mats, either separately or in combination on our frame action webpage, and more individual actions here.

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How can I remove a frame or mat and try another?

Before a combo, frame, or mat action is run, a snapshot is added to the History window. To return to a previous state, you can go to your History window and click one of those snapshots.

If you've run more than one action of the same type (two frame actions, for example) on an image, the history snapshots will take you back to the state before the last one. If you need to go back farther, your best bet may be to select "Revert" from the Photoshop File menu. This will reload the image from disk, undoing all the changes you made since you opened it. This is one reason why it's always a good idea to save your file before adding frames :)

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Will these actions work with Photoshop CS?

Yes, these actions work with Photoshop CS, as well as Photoshop 6 and 7.

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Will these actions work with Photoshop Elements?

These actions will not work with Photoshop Elements. However, we do have actions especially designed for Photoshop Elements.

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The action is behaving strangely, and none of these questions and answers help. What now?

Some suggestions:
  1. Restart Photoshop

    People have reported that sometimes, especially right after loading a new action, Photoshop behaves strangely, and that after closing Photoshop and restarting it, the problems go away.

  2. Contact Us

    If you need more help, contact us at shutterfreaks@shutterfreaks.com.
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