Actions for Photoshop Elements 7 and later -- FAQ for actions using the Action Player



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Why are some actions designated for web images only or print images only?
What do you mean by a "web-sized" image?
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?"
How can I get a preview of what effect an action will produce?
How can I remove an effect and try another?
Will these actions work with Photoshop?
The textured actions aren't producing textured frames or mats. Why?
I previously got textures on my mats, but not anymore. How do I fix this?
Is there a tutorial for my actions?
The action is behaving strangely, and none of these questions and answers help. What now?



Why are some actions designated for web images only or print images only?

Some of our actions are optimized for web or print images. Differences include frame or mat size, texture size, and default settings. Web frames and textures will be too small for print images, for example.

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

The action is trying to duplicate a selection or a layer, and it is unable to do so.

The two most likely reasons are:
  • You may be running an action that needs you to have selected part of the image first, and you haven't done that. If this is the case, follow the instructions to select part of the image before running the action.

  • Your image mode may not be 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 or Grayscale before running the actions.


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

The action is trying to set a selection or a layer style, and it is unable to do so.

The two most likely reasons are:
  • You may be running an action that needs you to have selected part of the image first, and you haven't done that. If this is the case, follow the instructions to select part of the image before running the action.

  • Your image mode may not be 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 or Grayscale before running the actions.


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How can I get a preview of what effect an action will produce?

We try to use descriptive action names, but we understand that may not be enough. For most actions you can can see samples on the web pages linked to in the ReadMe file.

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How can I remove an effect and try another?

In most cases, you can use the Elements "Undo" function.

If you want to go back to the last version you saved on disk, you can use "Edit/Revert." This is one reason why it's always a good idea to save your file before running actions :)

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Will these actions work with Photoshop?

Yes, but the installation instructions are completely wrong. In addition, because Photoshop is more full-featured than Elements, you will usually be much happier with Actions designed for Photoshop.

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The textured actions aren't producing textured frames or mats. Why?

You may need to install the style files. You should have received a Style File Zip file with your actions. Extract the files from that Zip File into an empty folder and open the ReadMe file for instructions.

If you have installed the style files and still aren't seeing textures, verify that the styles are in the list by going to Edit/Full, clicking the "Layer Styles" icon. Then look for "ACBigStyles," "ACStyles," or "SFWoodStyles" in the drop-down list to the right.

Showing Layer Styles

If the items aren't in the list, you may need to force Elements to update the list. Here are the instructions:

for Windows XP

for Windows Vista or Windows 7

for Mac


I previously got textures on my mats, but not anymore. How do I fix this?

If you got textures on your textured mats previously, but aren't getting them today, Elements may have "forgotten" the styles. Usually all that is necessary to remind Element of the textures is to click the "Layer Styles" icon and then single-click "ACBigStyles," "ACStyles," or "SFWoodStyles" from the drop-down list to the right.

This doesn't make any changes to your image: it just reminds Elements of the styles so when you run a textured mat action, the style will be applied automatically.

Showing Layer Styles

If you are using a Mac, make sure that you are logged into your admin account. Because of the way Adobe's installation program works, styles will not show up properly for non-admin accounts.

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Is there a tutorial for my actions?

We do have tutorials for our more "hands-on" actions. You can find a link to a "Tutorial" or "Detailed instructions" in the ReadMe file you received with your actions. Action sets that are simpler may not have tutorials, but will have instructions in the ReadMe file.

Here are links to most of our tutorials for actions run from the Action Player:

Chameleon Mats and Frames
EZPrint Mats and Frames
Luminous Frames
Woodgrain Frames


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

Some suggestions:
  1. Restart Photoshop Elements

    People have reported that sometimes, especially right after loading a new action, Photoshop Elements behaves strangely, and that after closing Elements 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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