Elements 11 Makes Installing and Using Photoshop Actions Easier


Adobe released its newest version of Photoshop Elements this week: Elements 11.


Based on the newest feature, MCP Actions recommends that all Photoshop Elements actions users consider upgrading to this version.

Installing actions in Photoshop Elements is finally equally as easy as installing them in full Photoshop.   Elements 11 users install just ONE file for an entire set of actions and they install it from within Elements itself.  No more navigating through your hard drive and resetting databases.

This easy installation is possible thanks to the addition of an Actions Panel.

Full Photoshop users have had this for years. Now PSE 11 users get an actions panel too.  The only downside is that Elements users still can’t record their own actions, as full Photoshop users can.

Here’s a screen shot of the new Actions Panel.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You can see that Elements 11 displays a list of action sets in folders.
  2. Clicking on a folder opens it – it displays the actions in the set.
  3. To run an action, click on it – this will highlight it. Then click the play triangle at the top of the panel.

But here’s the best part:

Actions are now super easy to install.  In Elements 11, you no longer have to navigate your way through folders to find the effects.  You no longer have to delete the dreaded “mediadatabase.db3.”

Here’s how to install actions in PSE 11?

  1. Buy any of our PSE 11 compatible Photoshop actions. Download and unzip them  – and save them to a location you can easily find.
  2. Open Elements 11 and go to the actions panel. You must be in the Expert edit module.  Then go to the Window menu and select Actions.
  3. Once at the actions panel, click on the button with 3 horizontal lines next to the red arrow in the screen shot below.
  4. In the menu that pops out, click on Load Actions.
  5. The following dialog will open.  You simply locate the .ATN file that you downloaded and click the Open button. Restart Elements and you’re ready to use your actions!


Instead of having dozens upon dozens of files to install and manage, you only have one. Here’s how it looks when you navigate your way after clicking Load Actions.


Now for the important question…  Are MCP Actions compatible with Elements 11?  You bet they are!  Elements 11 required a few tweaks to make the actions work properly, plus we reformatted them so that they would show up in the well-organized folders like you see in the screen shots above.  And they are ready for you to download immediately now.

If you’re planning on upgrading to PSE 11 and you’ve purchased Elements compatible actions from MCP in the past, we are making the Elements 11 versions free for you.  To download them, login to your account HERE at MCP ACTIONS, go to “My Downloadable Products,” and redownload the action set you’d like to upgrade.  The download file doesn’t specify that it’s for Elements 11, as our cart will not let us change this on past uploads. But the files have been replaced and you will find the appropriate files when you download and unzip them.  You’ll also find detailed installation instructions inside the download.  (Not that you’ll even need them.)

If you have trouble re-downloading, see these screen shots. If you still need assistance, please visit the MCP Helpdesk and fill out a ticket.  Include a copy of your receipt or a screen shot of your download area on our site and we can email you the Elements 11 version of any paid action set. For the free actions, just re-add them to the cart and checkout if you do not see how to redownload.


Need other reasons to upgrade to Elements 11?  This version of the software has been completely restructured.  It’s now much easier to organize the workspace and access the tools and options  you need most frequently.

Also, if you have Elements 8 or prior, you’re missing out on the “Add a Layer Mask” button (something else that full Photoshop has always had), and the Content Aware Spot Healing tool.  Both are big timesavers.

Keep in mind that MCP has never endorsed an Elements upgrade so whole-heartedly.  For our actions users, Elements 11 will save time and make life less complex.

 —-> BUY Adobe’s Elements 11

—-> BUY Photoshop Actions for Elements 11 

Erin Peloquin

Erin Peloquin is Lightroom & Photoshop Elements instructor. She also works for Jodi here at MCP to create great editing tools for Lightroom & Elements. Her portfolio is at Time in a Camera.

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  1. 2

    Olive says

    I am not totally convinced it is really an upgrade from 9 or 10 other than the interface? I would like to see more information about this on a PC also. Seems all that I have found on youtube is for Mac users and scrapbookers.
    So… if you have more information for us PC’ers would love to hear more !!!
    Thanks Jodi !!!

    • 3


      Olive, it should be the same on a PC and Mac, more or less. I don’t believe Adobe holds back from PC users. Of course you need to decide if it is the right upgrade for you. If you buy and install actions and it drives you crazy having to do it a “backdoor way” than I would say it is worth it.

  2. 5

    Jo says

    When is the release date on this? I just got a new Mac (had PC, so I needed to buy PSE for mac) and literally half an hour ago bought PSE 10. I don’t know how long I can wait though. Is it worth wait for 11 to come out?

  3. 13

    Jennifer says

    I have a question. when I try and upload mine doesn’t come up with the open screen with all the favorites/ folders on the left hand side. It just pops up to a load screen which won’t let me highlight more than one action to load.. Anyone else have this problem? or why is mine being difficult? Therefore I have to load each action seperately. (which will take me forever)

      • 15


        If you are trying to load MCP’s actions, you should only have one file to load per action. Make sure to download your updated Action Panel compatible options from your account on this website.

  4. 16


    I have Elements 9 currently, but am looking to upgrade to 11. I have bought TONS of actions for my current version of Elements, but I’m wondering if they will be compatible/runnable in the 11 version. Any idea? I don’t want to lose all the money I spent on them by upgrading to software that won’t run them!

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