ActionsXXL Released for Improving Photoshop Elements Actions
If you're a Photoshop user, you're probably no stranger to actions. The idea here is that you can simply open the Actions palette, begin the recording process, perform a series of steps within Photoshop and then terminate the recording process. You can then run the series of steps you recorded at a later date, a handy way to save time when performing recurring tasks. The most popular actions these days are ones created to apply effects to photographs. A search online will reveal literally thousands of free and commercial actions for photographers, such as those from FilterGrade. While that's all fine for Photoshop users, what about shooters that employ Photoshop Elements?
Elements is at heart a feature-reduced version of Photoshop that has the appeal of not being a part of Adobe's subscription-based Creative Cloud. Harald Heim is one of a number of developers who have ingeniously figured out how to tap into the latent Photoshop functionality within Elements and make it available to users via a series of addons: LayersXXL, which adds up to 180 Photoshop photo and design features; ElementsXXL, which adds hundreds of additional features, including support for actions, depending on the version of Elements; and FilterHub, which replaces the Filter menu with a more powerful one.
Now the developer has released ActionsXXL which, as you can probably guess, brings the power of Photoshop actions to Elements, including older versions. For example, versions 6 through 11 provided no user interface options for opening and running actions. At least versions 11 through 14 included an Actions panel but this was limited to opening and playing them. ActionsXXL considerably extends this by allowing users to create, record, organize and save actions, as well as apply them during batch operations. It's claimed that most Elements features can be recorded, including message dialogs, paths, scripts and adjustment layers, as well as steps performed using the LayersXXL, ElementsXXL and FilterHub plugins.
Is there more? Yes, those also running ElementsXXL can play back actions that were recorded in Photoshop, which would otherwise not run in Elements. A nice touch is a button mode for running actions with the click of a button, as well as the ability to assign actions to key shortcuts. Batch processing functionality is said to rival that of Photoshop's batch and image processor functionality combined, plus an additional 20 options.
ElementsXXL for Windows, which requires requires Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 through 14, can be purchased from The Plugin Site for $39.95, with a trial version available for download. A bundle is also available that includes ElementsXXL, LayersXXL, FilterHub and MetaRaw.