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Elements Users – The Best News Ever!

by Erin Peloquin on September 26, 2012 · 48 comments

Adobe has just released Photoshop Elements 11.  It’s available now for instant download, and CDs will ship in the next few weeks.

Elements users, if you’ve followed me for long you know that each year I report on the annual Elements upgrades.  You can look at some of the past reviews here:

You’ll notice two common threads among all those reviews.  #1, I have never recommended that everyone upgrade.  #2, I’ve always wished that Adobe would give us a better way to install actions.

Guess what, my friends?  It is now super easy to install actions into Photoshop Elements.  Super easy, as in just like full Photoshop.  Super easy, as in no more mediadatabase.  Super easy, as in no more crazy navigation paths.  And, finally, super easy, as in no more Action Player vs. Effects Panel.

Elements 11 has a new, lighter look and better organization that results in easier accessibility of key features.  I’ll cover that in more detail in another post.  But today, I want to talk about actions.

Just like full Photoshop, Elements now has an Actions Panel.

Each action set that is created appropriately by its maker will have its own folder that you can open to display all the actions within it.  Super easy, as in no more XML files to create categories!

You can see an example of an open folder in the screen shot below:


And how to you install actions?  Do you see the button with 3 horizontal lines on the top right of the Actions Panel below?  It’s just to the right of the orange arrow.  Click on it and then select “Load Actions.”  


A window will open prompting you to navigate to your ATN file.  Click on it and hit the open button.  Restart Elements and use your action. That is it!

Do you notice anything else about the previous screen shot?  There is only one action file.  MCP’s Fusion, for instance, requires 180 files to work in Elements 10.  But you need only 1 in Elements 11.  Super easy, right?

How do you run actions inElements 11?

Click on the action you want to play to highlight it.  Then, click on the Play triangle at the top right of the actions panel.

Action Compatibility

In theory, most actions that work in previous versions of Elements will work in Elements 11 also.  

In order to get the structure of having an action set folder with actions inside, you can install actions designed for the action player.  If the action maker has not created actions in this format, you can still use her actions, but you’ll have lots of folders with only one action each inside.

In practice, I have only tested MCP Actions in Elements 11.  There were a few glitches that need to be repaired to make the actions compatible with Elements 11, but they are all working now.  

If you have purchased Elements actions from MCP in the past, you can return to the MCP website, login to your account, and go to “My Downloadable Products.”  Redownload your product.  Even if PSE 11 isn’t mentioned in the name of the product, you will find inside a new folder for PSE 11 with the action file to install.

And needless to say, any actions purchased from MCP from today on will have Elements 11 actions inside.

So, in 2012, I am recommending that everyone upgrade to Elements 11, if you are able.  If you are using PSE 8 or prior, this is a no brainer.  In addition to the Action Panel, you’ll get the Layer Mask button and the Content Aware Spot Healing tool.  Even for Elements 9 and 10 users, the time that you save installing actions will more than make up the cost of the upgrade.

While the actual Elements boxes with CDs are not shipping yet, you can purchase for immediate download at Amazon for $99.99.  I suspect that Amazon will offer upgrade pricing very shortly.  Adobe is currently offering upgrade pricing of $79.99 to prior owners of Elements.  This upgrade is available for immediate download also.

Thank you, Adobe Photoshop Elements, for listening to us and creating this fabulous upgrade!

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