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One of the things that I get asked the most is once you have created your own action here inside of Photoshop, how do we then save that action and put it in a place where we can share it with other people? So in other words they want to distribute this action for use on other computers or for others to download from the web or something like that. Well, it's actually very simple to do this, you just have to remember one specific thing.
Now if I have a single action targeted here like, for instance, if I have this Sepia Toning Layer action selected here in the Actions panel, if I go up to the flydown menu and I come down to where it says, Save Actions, you are going to notice that that is grayed out. That's going to discourage some of you the first time you go through here and you try to save out an action. That is simply because you cannot save single actions, that is one of the drawbacks of Photoshop. There is no workaround as far as I know to save just a single action.
So what you have to do is then go back into the Actions panel. You have to select whatever action set that a specific action belongs to. So in this case the Sepia Toning (Layer) action belongs to the default action set. So then you can come to the flyout menu and you will notice there that it is live again. So you have the Save Actions option live here inside of the flydown menu. So you go ahead and click that and you get this dialog box where you can save this action set as a .atn file. So essentially what you are doing is saving this action set rather than the action. Although the specific action that you wanted to save will be stored within that set. So in essence you are getting the saving of your action that you wanted, you are just also getting all the rest of the actions to go along with it. So it's not really the most functional way of doing things, but it is the way that we must do things simply because that's how Adobe has regulated it.
So what I find myself doing actually and what a lot of people find themselves doing which actually decreases in productivity in my opinion is creating a new action set for each individual action that I create simply so that I could go in and export that out as a single action each and every time. So, for instance, if I created the new action for sharpening this particular photograph here and I wanted to export that out for others to use or download from my website, what I would do is just create a new action set called sharpening and then create my sharpening action and then save out my sharpening action set with only that one action inside of it.
But you really don't want to create a new action set for each individual action simply because you are going to take up a lot more room here in the Actions panel, because if you have more action sets as you can see if I close this up, you are really going to get into some clutter here in the Actions panel rather than if you had just saved multiple actions in a set because as you can see here you can store many things within that default actions set and then if you didn't want to see those anymore, you can just collapse it back down. So creating actions sets and adding multiple actions to the sets is a space saver, the only downside of that is you cannot export those out as single actions.
So again if you are wanting to save your actions for exporting out or downloading from the web or what have you, go ahead select the set that corresponds to that particular action, go to the flydown menu, click Save Actions. Then you will type in the name that you want to name this set. You will decide where you want to save those. Click Save and then you will have a .atn file that signifies an action set. Then anybody that wanted to load those could then load those up just like I showed you earlier, load those into their actions and then they will be ready to play them at any time they need to here inside of CS3.