How Do I Import Actions Into Photoshop?

By Laurel Storm

Actions automate repetitive tasks in Adobe Photoshop CC, saving you time and effort. In addition to recording your own custom actions, you can import actions someone else recorded and made available by loading them through the Actions pane.

Step 1

Press "Alt-F9" to display the Actions pane if it's not visible. Click the "Menu" button on the pane and select "Load Actions."

Step 2

Browse to the location where you saved the action file, select it and then click "Load." This adds the action to Photoshop's Actions pane, exactly as it was originally created.

Step 3

Double-click the name of the action in the Actions pane, type a new name and press "Enter" to rename it.

Step 4

Click the "Create New Set" button on the Actions pane, type in a name for the action set and click "OK" to create a new action set to sort your imported actions into. Because actions can't exist outside of a set, each action you import comes inside its own action set. Although you can leave it there and rename the set to suit your purposes, this can lead to an action list cluttered by many sets if you import a lot of actions. After you create the set, drag the action onto it to move it.

Step 5

Drag the now empty action set to the "Delete" button to remove it. Removing an action set that isn't empty deletes that set and all actions inside it. Note that there is no confirmation prompt for deleting actions or action sets, so make sure to drag the correct folder.

Step 6

Click the arrow button by the name of the action to unfold it and see each command within it. After the action unfolds, the arrow points downward instead of to the right.

Step 7

Click the check mark by a command to disable that particular command. You can do this for an entire action or action set. In the latter two cases, Photoshop displays a confirmation prompt. If at least one command in an action is disabled, clicking the check mark for the action or for the action set it belongs to enables all commands within it. To disable the action or set altogether, click the check mark a second time.When at least one command in an action is disabled, both the action and the containing set display a red check mark instead of a white one. Disabled commands, as well as actions and action sets that are completely disabled, display an empty gray box instead of a check mark.

Step 8

Click the empty gray box next to a command to instruct Photoshop to prompt you to enter settings for that particular command through a dialog instead of using the ones recorded when the action was created. You can also toggle dialogs for entire actions or action sets. In the latter two cases, Photoshop prompts you for confirmation. Regardless of whether any dialogs are already active within the action or set, the first click toggles dialogs on for all steps, while a second click disables them.When the dialog for a step is toggled on, the command displays a small dialog icon instead of the empty gray box. The containing action and set display either a dialog icon with a minus, if only some commands have dialogs active, or a normal dialog icon, if all commands within the action or set have dialogs active.