Monday, May 10, 2010

Odd Photoshop problem (updated)

Photoshop CS5 seems nice, but I have a very odd problem: I can't load my old custom actions.
That is, I can, but when I load the file (photoshop CS4/presets/actions/stobblehouse actions.atn), then I get actions I created over a year ago! Not the new ones I use all the time... Dangit.

When I open Photoshop CS4, there are the correct actions!
I've even tried to make a little change to them in CS4, and then Search in Finder to find the newest files which have been changed... that really should work, but no Actions file show up.
Where the heck does PS CS4 store the data for the actions I've been using??

Relief: I think my bacon was saved by this page (and by Miserere) You have to use "save actions" in the Actions sub-menu in the old version of Photoshop first, then load the file you just created, in the new version of Photoshop.

And you have to do the same for Tool Presets you have made.

Sometimes these apps are so weird.

Why the heck does it not store the data in the .atn file???

Why does it not automatically import custom actions from the old version?? Or at least tell us how to import them? There must be tens of thousands of Photoshop users struggling with this by every update.

And while I'm at it, why does Actions have a special popup menu in the palette, instead of the usual right-click popup menu?


Miserere said...

I had this very same issue going from CS3 to CS4...but can't remember off the top of my head what the exact solution was.

A fuzzy memory involves exporting my actions in CS3 to a .atn file (because Photoshop doesn't natively store them as .atn) then importing that file in CS4.

I think that's what's happening. You're tweaking your CS4 actions thinking you're editing the .atn file, but you're not.

I'm not at home so cannot check on my computer, but I think this is the issue.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

It turned out you're right, dude.

Sometimes these apps are so weird.

Why the heck does it not store it in the .atn file???

Why does it not automatically import custom actions from the old version??

Why does Actions have a special sub-menu in the palette, instead of the usual right-click menu?

Miserere said...

No problem, Eo. I went frickin crazy because of this when I transitioned to CS4, until I finally figured it out. And you'd think info like this would be easy to find online, because it happens to everyone, right? but it isn't easy. I mean, doesn't every person using Photoshop half seriously own a few dozen custom actions at least?

Thanks Adobe, for dropping the ball like it was made out of molten lead.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

"I mean, doesn't every person using Photoshop half seriously own a few dozen custom actions at least?"

You'd think so, but apparently not!

It also drove me friggin nuts this time. Really.
And I can't *believe* in this day and age, the app doesn't do it automatically. I mean, a Macintosh installer app can duplicate files, apps and all setting to a *whole new computer* flawlessly!

Ganesha Games said...

mhh I think actions are used by heavy users who do a lot of repetitive editing. i think I have used them once in 11+ years. But I might be not a trypical user, I use it to tweak illustrations done in other software.

Bronislaus Janulis / Framewright said...

Counterpoint: I used to take great pleasure in making actions, macros, etc. so that over the course of a year, I'd save myself 15-20 minutes. I would happily spend hours tuning these actions and or macros, all to save a few minutes.

Well, in a fit of reason, I bought a copy of Elements, no actions, and it does what I need to do, at half the cost, and my addiction to saving time by wasting it has gone away as well. I have Photoshop CS2, but only use it when I use my old scanner.

Just saying; carry on.

Bronislaus Janulis / Framewright said...


I agree about the software; it should import whatever was in the older version. The only software I've seen that comes close is the tax software here in the states.

couthe said...

Bronislaus, I once heard myself saying in a very loud voice, "I am going to master this productivity software no matter how long it takes!" Then I pretended it was a clever joke; then I made a poster to hang on my office wall. I'm relieved that I finally 'fessed up to someone. Please don't print my name.

On a more positive note: don't you just love it when you think to yourself, "If this was insanely great software I would be able to click there and it would..." and it does?

Late last week I had to convert a Quark Xpress file to an InDesign document and then use CS5 ID for the first time ever on a production job. Checked the manual twice, and I am collecting the proofed job from the digital print shop tomorrow. Your mileage may vary.

Being a software publisher is like being a football manager: you are only as good as the last game your team played.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Good points all.

I need actions and batch processing every day to scale images for my site, put in the URL, and compress to proper web size.

Sometimes I also use them for if a bunch of images need the same treatment, they are all too dark or too blue for example.

Miserere said...

Well Bron, I didn't spend hours fine tuning my actions to save me minutes :-)

Back in 2007 I created some actions that downsize images to various sizes, then apply some light, all-purpose,sharpening to "recover" detail, and finally add a copyright notice with the year and my name in the bottom-right corner. This is a pain in the arse to do one by one, but I can go to "Automate" and then tell Photoshop to apply that action to all open images (might be 20-30) and then I go off for a while, do something else, and when I come back it's done.

The only extra work has been creating a new action at the beginning of each year for that year (because of the copyright). I do this by copying the previous year's action and changing the year that's written.

Other actions I have is one that creates a number of layers for editing an image: levels, curves, dodge/burn, colour management, sharpening... I don't use it much now because I do most editing in ACR, but I know people who have an action for each "look" they give their photographs.

I'm rambling now. Point is: If it works for you, do it; if not, don't.