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Photoshop actions can be extremely useful timesavers when you find yourself performing the same steps over and over on an image. They're also an excellent way for photographers to quickly and easily pass on their favorite techniques to others. Today we'll be looking at how you can make your own, and showcasing 100 fantastic free Photoshop actions to use straight away!
In recent years, DeviantArt has become a huge storehouse for photographers to upload and share Photoshop actions. We sorted through thousands and thousands of these to bring you 100 of our favorite sets, some containing as many as forty or fifty actions in a single download.
For beginners, we'll start off with a brief explanation of how to create and install Photoshop actions and then move onto our huge list of actions that are free for you to download and use.
Although, if you’re looking for commercial quality results, and you’re in a hurry to get a professional solution, then choose from one of the hundred’s of affordable Photoshop Actions available for purchase on GraphicRiver.
Creating Photoshop Actions
Recording an action in Photoshop is incredibly simple. Simply open up the "Actions" palette and hit the new action button seen in the image below.
This should pop open a new window containing various options for the action. Here you can name the action and place it in a set. You can also assign a keyboard shortcut that will activate the action immediately in Photoshop. This is quite handy for those actions you find yourself using on a daily basis.
Once you hit "Record" in the window above, all that's left is to carry out the steps you'd like to be recorded in the action. Keep in mind that selection sizes, saving and other very specific steps will be replicated exactly in the action. Try to keep your steps generic enough that they'll work on the full range of images you'll need the action to apply to.
When you've finished carrying out all the desired steps, hit the "Stop" button in the action menu. Then hit the "Play" button to perform the action on another file.
Installing Photoshop Actions
There are multiple ways to install Photoshop actions. For starters, you can drag the downloaded actions into the "Actions" folder contained within the "Presets" folder in your Photoshop application folder. Note that actions placed here may require a Photoshop restart to appear in the actions menu.
Alternatively, you can hit the little arrow on the right of the actions menu and click on the "Load Actions" option. This allows you to navigate to any actions on your computer and load them instantly into Photoshop.
Now that you can install Photoshop actions and even create your own, download a few of the free options below and start making your images look amazing with a single click!
Premium Photoshop Actions
Before jumping into these freebies collected form DeviantArt, first take a look at a handful of Premium options on GraphicRiver. If you’re looking for professional results, then we have you covered. Here are just a handful of the Photoshop Actions available for sale on our digital marketplace:
These presets have been crafted with precision and made to bring your images to life. This set contains 90 Photoshop actions, such as: soft contrast, vivid color effects, high contrast, strong vignette, film grain, and more. If that’s not enough, this author has two more large sets of Photoshop Actions to choose from in Volume 1 and Volume 3.
This action is a great tool for a photographer or designer. You can quickly create a quality double exposure effect in Photoshop. Open your background, paste your photo, and just play the action.
This action will break pieces of your photo off and shoot them in the direction you choose. Don’t spend hours designing a dispersion manually. With this Photoshop Action you’ll get highly creative, polished results and save tons of time. You simply brush in the areas that you want to disperse and play the action! With plenty of customization options built in.
This effect turns your photo into an epic masterpiece in just a few clicks in Photoshop. It adds smoke and light cinematic effects. You can control the results by adjusting the color of the smoke, background, particles, lighting, and more.
This Premium HDR photoshop action pack has 25 color styles to choose from. It’s quick to render, has an adjustable sharpness effect, customizable HDR effects, is non-destruction, and works on any photos size. This author has two more sets of HDR Photoshop Actions to choose from as well Volume 1 and Volume 3.
100 Free Photoshop Actions
Share Your Actions!
The actions above range in quality from fun and homegrown to serious and professional. Think you can do better? We'd love to see any Photoshop actions that you've created and made available for download. Just leave a link below along with a brief explanation of what the action does.
Also be sure to tell us which of the action sets above were your favorites. There are a ton to choose from and it would be great to hear your thoughts on which work the best for your needs!
100 Free Lightroom Presets
We have also published a fantastic article explaining how to make your own Lightroom Presets, with 100 amazing examples. And you can purchase affordable, high-quality Photoshop Actions or Lightroom Presets on our GraphicRiver digital marketplace.