Ling Things

Photoshop Elements 2 Add-ons

These packages are freeware. I provide them for fun and with no warranty whatsoever. You're welcome to download and modify for your non-commercial use. If you have Actions you wish to adapt to this interface, email me.

snapActions Interface | snapActions Updates | Actions Collections | Writing Actions | FAQ

snapActions (Updated Apr 30, 2003)

Adobe's Photoshop ElementsTM programs do not allow users to record, edit, or organize Adobe PhotoshopTM Actions. Yet the basic capability to play Actions is present in Elements. I used techniques pioneered by Richard Lynch, author of The Hidden Power of Photoshop Elements 2 (, and built an actions interface that fit my needs. SnapActions is the result and I decided to share it. Richard is not associated with snapActions and does not endorse it.

SnapActions provides an interface to access and play Elements-compatible Photoshop Actions via the How-To/Recipes palette. It allows you to create menus to organize and play the Actions.


For users, snapActions lets you:

  • Add any number of Actions, individually or collectively, in any order. SnapActions eliminates the need to install Actions sets in a certain order and mitigates the risk that one Actions set might overwrite files from another.
  • Remove any number of Actions, individually or collectively, in any order. If after trying out an Action you decide you don't like it, remove it from the interface without any impact to current Actions you have or future Actions you decide to install.
  • Customize the menus. Mix Actions and sub-menus on the same page. Create your own sub-menus and group Actions to your liking. For advance customization, you can change the description of the Actions and add or remove the associated preview images.
  • For Actions authors, snapActions lets you distribute your Photoshop Elements compatible Actions individually or as a set, without editing HTML codes.

    The basic package comes with all the previews and actions for Bud Guinn's frames, mattes, his collection of paint sketches, photo enhancements, and Al Ward's ( text effects, for a total of over 80 Actions.

    If you have installed the predecessor to snapActions called Ling's UI, you can download the PC upgrade for Photoshop Elements 1 or Photoshop Elements 2. If you have a Mac download the Mac upgrade.

    If you've never installed snapActions or Ling's UI, download the basic package for your platform and version:

    PC self-extracting for Photoshop Elements 1
    PC self-extracting for Photoshop Elements 2
    Mac archive.

    FOR WINDOWS USERS: If your PC has Sun Microsystem's Java Runtime installed, download the JAR version of snapActions. Use it in place of snapActions.exe.

    IMPORTANT: I had unknowingly left out the Hayes Island paint sketch from the downloads above. Please get it here. After unzipping, move the XML file to LUI/add and run snapActions to install it into whatever menu you choose.



    snapActions Updates

    (April 30, 2003) The 2.1 update fixes the apostophes in file name error. This error caused the Mac not to display some generated menus properly. Mac users should get the update. For the Windows platform, you do not need to get the update unless you intend to share the Actions Specs you create. The basic packages above already have the 2.1 update as of April 30, 2003.

    Download the 2.1 update for Mac or PC. Unzip to its own folder and follow the update21.rtf instructions. If you have Sun's Java Runtime and the PC version doesn't work for you, download the Mac version and use snapActions.jar in place of snapActions.exe.

    Also download the corrected specs for the Jaseck's Collection and More Bud's Frames/Actions. Unzip into its own folder and follow the instructions in update.txt to install. The downloads in the Actions Collections have been updated with the corrected specs as of April 30.

    Actions Collections

    The following packages contain Actions adapted for Photoshop Elements. Install them into snapActions according to package instructions.

    All the actions here also work under Richard Lynch's Hidden Power Actions. If you know how to install actions into HPA, then you can get all the data you need from the snapActions XML files.

    Al Wards Text Effects - Ten effects. Already included in snapActions Basic download. Bud Guinn's Wooden Frames and Mattes - Sixty-Three wooden frames and specialty mattes. Already included in snapActions Basic download. Paint Sketches - Hayes Island Cafe, Jaseck's Watercolor, DJR's Soft Pastel....26 effects in all. Converted by Bud Guinn for Elements. Already included in snapActions Basic download. Photo Enhancement - Edge Sharpening, Haze Removal, Polarizer, Sepia Toning....10 actions in all. Converted by Bud Guinn for Elements. Already included in snapActions Basic download.
    More Bud's Frames/Actions - Oval mattes, multiple picture frames, brass plate with rivet, etc. Edge Collection #3 - Frame your image with edge effects by Liknes. Converted by Bud Guinn for Elements. Slap Dash Collection - Impressionist renderings by Mike Finn Jaseck's Collection - Photo Enhancements and Art Sketches
    KBD Perfect Skies - Replace the sky in an image Lisa Neal's Offset Frame - Highlight a portion of an image by offsetting it from the rest Mitered Frames - (DPR7) Bud Guinn's collection Effie 1 - (PE2 ONLY) Art rendition by Mike Finn.
    Bill's Oval Frames - Wood grain, wood & porcelain, and textured oval frames by Bill Richardson. Nikon Better Colors - Improve colors from Nikon D100/D1X (and other) digital cameras. Pekka's 10D Workflow Tools - For Canon 10D digital camera images. Adjust sharpening, saturation, noise reduction, etc. Canon Daily Actions - +/- exposures, adjust colors, sharpening, BW conversions, vignettes, etc.
    Mike Finn's Angelo - create a canvas for creative painting Mathias' DeNoise Deluxe - remove digital noise, mid-ISO and hi-ISO grain, fix and de-noise underexposed images, plus hi-pass sharpening. Johny's BW and Tint Tones - convert to B/W and add tint tones. JC Imaging's Soft Focus Look - give image a "soft focus" or "dreamy" look.
    Johny's BW V2.0 - convert to B/W and add tint tones. Danny Raphael's Collection - (DPR7) Ten actions: 7 Photo Art, Frame Stroke (PE2 Only), Saturation Boost, Texture on Separate Layer. Jaime Romo's Actions - Pencil Sketches and Texturizer. Law Blank's LAWTOON - Turns an image cartoonish.
    Mike Finn's Insta-Sketch - Pencil Sketch with Watercolor base. Dave Jaseck's IR 2.1 - Turns an image into Infra-Red. Andy P's Comix - Turns an image into a cartoon-ish canvas. David Marsit's Noise Reduction Set - Mild, Normal, Aggressive, Super Aggressive ISO noise reduction.
    Sheri's Sketch - BW and Color sketches. Shudder's Digital Darkroom 1.2 - Fuji color compensation, two sharpening actions, color punch up, and Dodge/Burn. Tom Bennett's Sketches - Paint, Pecil, Pen & Ink. Dave Jaseck's Midnight Actions - Black, Blue, Gold, and Sepia.

    Writing Elements Compatible Actions

    Along the way of converting Photoshop actions for Elements, I've started writing down some how-to's, more as a reference to myself. Inspired by a suggestion from Danny Raphael, I ended up creating a reference and an actions-based tutorial. Action steps that will fail in Elements usually have workarounds, another (albeit sometimes tortuous) way to achieve the same result. The actions-based tutorial compares these differences for a handful of common action steps. The reference is a companion to the tutorial but not absolutely necessary. It does have additional administrative recommendations that would be useful to any action author.

    The reference and the tutorial are both work-in-progess. They don't pretend to have the definitive information, just what I've found to be effective. As I learn and understand more, I'll update them.

    Hosted by