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Installing Elements on a PC for Elements 8 and Windows 7–(There are a lot of variations, so if this is not your combination, a quick Google search will yield a lot of results.)

First, unzip the action pack. Then follow the following installation path.

Installation Path
  • Start Menu
  • Computer
  • OS (C:) (This letter might be different for your computer)
  • programdata

programdata is not the same as Program Files. If you don’t see programdata, it’s probably hidden. Find the Windows icon in your taskbar. Click on that and then search for “folder options” in the “search programs and files” box. Click the View tab of the Folder Options dialog box. Click the radio button “show hidden files, folders, drives.”

  • Adobe
  • Photoshop Elements
  • 9.0 (Obviously, this can be different for different versions.)
  • Photo Creations
  • Photo Effects
Installation Technique
  1. Make sure PSE is not running.
  2. Download action files from links to your computer. Unzip the files. (Right click on the zippered file. Choose “Extract All.” Click ok.
  3. You should have one file ending in the .ATN suffix and one ending in .PNG.
  4. Copy the files into the Photo Effects folder. This is where that long installation path comes into play.
  5. Open PSE. Look at the Effects Palette, on the right side of the screen. If the Effects Palette is not visible, go to the menu and click on Effects.
  6. Click on the Photo Effects button (3rd from left under the word Effects). In the drop-down list to the right of this button, select Show All.
  7. Click on the icon to the right of the word “Effects” that has a down arrow next to three horizontal lines. Click on Show Names.
  8. This will be where your new actions are! There will be new little icons with the action names on them. They are in alphabetical order.
  9. If you still don’t see your action, you might need to rebuild your databases. So navigate to the 9.0 folder in the path above. Rename the ThumbDatabase.DB3 to anything you choose. Popular ways to go are today’s date or “OLD″.
  10. Find the Locale folder that is in the 9.0 folder. Open the en_US folder in the Locale and rename the MediaDatabase.db3 file.
  11. Open PSE 9. This will take longer than usual, because the databases are being rebuilt. 30 minutes is not uncommon. Don’t disturb Elements during this time.
  12. Click on the Photo Effects button (3rd from the left under the word Effects). In the drop-down list to the right of this button, select Show All.
  13. You should be able to find your new action now. If you can’t, see Possible Issues section below.
  14. To run the action, double click on the thumbnail. Be sure your image is open before trying to run an action.
Possible Issues
  • If the new action is not in the Effects palette after restarting Photoshop, try restarting your computer.
  • If you get the error messages “Could not load the actions because the file is not compatible with this version of Photoshop.” followed by, “Could not complete your request because there is not enough memory (RAM).”, you probably have two thumbnails in your Photo Effects palette. One should work, but the other will produce these messages. To correct, navigate to the Photo Effects Folder. Look for two JPEGs associated with this action. One will be suffixed with .thumbnail and one will not. Delete the file that does not have .thumbnail in its name and rebuild the database again. Note that Photoshop Elements will automatically create the file ending in .thumbnail.jpg and you should not need to add a JPG yourself.
Installing Elements on a Mac

To Install Actions in PSE 9 on a Mac, download and unzip the action set and copy the files to here:

  • System Library
  • Application Support
  • Adobe
  • Photoshop Elements
  • 9.0
  • Photo Creations
  • Photo Effects

Find the en_US through the following path and rename the Mediadatabase.db3 file to MediadatabaseOLD.db3.

  • System Library
  • Application Support
  • Adobe
  • Photoshop Elements
  • 9.0
  • Locale
  • en_US
  • Restart Elements
Loading Actions into CS4 and 5

The easiest way to do this is to save the actions to a folder in case your computer crashes or you lose Photoshop for whatever reason. I would recommend the Actions folder in your Photoshop file, but it can be anywhere. Then open that folder and make sure the action pack is unzipped, and double click the action. It will load itself into your action palette.


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