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Another new feature in Photoshop Elements 7 is the Action Player, which is located here in the Guided Edit workspace. An action is just a recording of a series of steps and you can play that recording back on lots of different images, saving yourself the time and effort of repeating all the steps every time from scratch. I'm going to play an action on this image theater4.jpg, from the 13_06_action subfolder of the chapter13 exercise files.
To get started I'm going to go down to the Automated Actions category, here in Guided Edit, and I'll click Action Player. Guided Edit offers us instructions about how to use the Action Player and a couple of simple buttons to invoke the command. The first one is actually a menu of action sets or categories. There are several different captions that you can automatically add to photos, some fun features in the Lose Weight set, a number of different Resize and Crop options and some special effects. I'm going to choose the Special Effects action set.
The next menu lists the actions in the Special Effects action set. I'll click the arrow to see what they are. There are quite a few here and in order to know what they do, you basically have to run them. I'm going to try Faded Ink with Vignette. I'll just click the action to select it and then I'll click the Play Action button. In just a second, Elements has applied this complex effect to the photo. I think it looks pretty interesting. If I don't like the action I can just come down to the Reset button and set things back to their defaults and then try another action.
As this tip tells us, you can add more actions to the Action Player, but unfortunately you can't record or create actions right here in Photoshop Elements. But if you were someone you know has a copy of the full-fledged Adobe Photoshop, they can create actions for you, and then you can bring them in here to play them from the Guided Edit Action Player. To finish up I'll just click the Done button and then I can save the results of the action. Why are actions important? Because they save you time. Rather than repeat all the steps of creating this complex action on different photos, all I have to do is come to the Action Player and use those few simple commands to get a result like this one.
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