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 hundreds of Photoshop Actions available for unlimited download with an affordable subscription to Envato Elements.
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 Envato Elements. If you’re looking for professional results, then we have you covered. Here are just a handful of the Photoshop Actions available on our digital marketplace:
This mind-blowing effect is so simple to create. You simply brush onto the areas of your photo that you want to turn into a sandstorm and play the Action!
This wonderful Photoshop Action creates the effect of bubbles around an object in your photo. It's very simple to use: just brush the area, choose the direction (up, down, left, or right), and click play.
The FilterGrade Film Series is a fantastic collection of film effects and realistic, movie-like photo actions. From wild western to horror film, loads of cool Photoshop Actions are included! Featuring the special Indie and Western Effects.
This awesome Photoshop Action transforms your photo into a professional technical sketch with 3D elements in one minute. It gives a highly detailed result, with a lot of possibilities for easy customisation and improvement. A video tutorial is included, to help you make the most of this amazing Action.
This huge collection of Black & White grading actions offers presets to create everything from a vintage look to a modern touch.
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 download unlimited, high-quality Photoshop Actions or Lightroom Presets with our great-value all-inclusive subscription at Envato Elements.