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Photoshop Elements 9 and Actions

Photoshop Elements 9 was released about two weeks ago and I’ve been gradually testing the actions I have in it.

I haven’t tested them all yet, but so far, I haven’t encountered any actions that work in PSE 8 that don’t work in PSE 9.  And the installation path and method for installing actions in Elements 9 is exactly the same as elements 8. Click here for the updated PSE action installation instructions.

What else is new in Elements 9?

  • Well, there is a layer mask button. So convenient, but nothing that we couldn’t do for ourselves before, right?
  • Upload directly to Flick, Facebook or personal websites using the Organizer. Do you use the Organizer?  This has the potential to be useful, but I use Lightroom instead of the Organizer myself.
  • The color scheme is much easier for me to read. I judge by my ability to see the properties icon at the top right corner of the various palettes.  This is my single favorite change about the new version!  The top of the two images below comes from PSE 8, set to the “Light” color scheme.  The 2nd image is the default PSE 9 appearance.

Elements also has a few new effects included in the Guided Edit – Perfect Portrait, Pop Art, and the Lomo Camera Effect, among others.  These effects work with varying degrees of success, but you can’t modify them after they’ve run.  You can easily find actions that do a better job and give you more control.

Will you upgrade to PSE 9?

If you’re currently using Elements 7 or 8, there is no need to rush out to purchase PSE 9.  PSE 6?  It’s growing towards obsolescence.  From Surface Blur to Recompose and layer masks, it would be a nice change to move from 6 to 9.  But not necessary by any means.  And surely you’re not still on Elements 5 are you?  You won’t believe the difference!

It’s currently selling for $80 after a $20 mail-in rebate, so the price isn’t bad right now.  The sale ends on October 31.

Vote in the poll over on the right to let us know which version you’re currently using and whether you will upgrade.  And, of those of you who are using PSE 9 already, what is your experience with actions?  Are they all working?

Photoshop Elements 9 and Actions was last modified: May 24th, 2015 by Erin Peloquin


  1. Geoff in Kingston Says :
    Posted on October 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    As a happ (enough) user of PSE6 I downloaded the PSE9 trial. First impressions were very good except that I had some big problems with my (tablet) mouse on a lot of menus and dialog boxes in Organizer – it seemed I suddenly needed a double-click at best or to use the pen at worst. All very odd. I started to think that my XP machine just didn’t have enough resources to run it properly.
    I installed a couple of Actions and all seemed fine, so I installed copies of all the Actions from PSE6…. again, no problem initially.
    After a few days, though, I suddenly had two thumbnails for each Action – investigation of the ‘photo effects’ folder showed that the PNG files had all been duplicated as JPG files….. no idea how or why but there they were. I deleted all the JPGs from the ‘photo effects’ folder and deleted my MediaDatabase.db3 file – still got two thumbnails per Action!
    Then I also started getting warnings at start up about, generally, memory problems and incompatibility with PSE9.

    They were…..
    1. “The Procedure Entry Point ?Decode Tile@JP2KImage@@QAZJJJJJJ@Z could not be located in the dynamic link library JP@KLib.dll“.
    2. “Could not load the MMX Core Routines module because it does not work with this version of Photoshop.”
    3. “Could not load the Multiprocessor Support Module because it does not work with this version of Photoshop.”

    I posted all these comments on the Adobe website at the time I decided to uninstall PSE9 – almost needless to say, it has had no reaction in the week it’s been online.

    In Organizer…..
    Most buttons/menus/dialog boxes are non-responsive to mouse clicks…. but sometimes work with double-clicks and nearly always work when I swap to the tablet pen.
    While keeping an eye on the Task Manager, Organizer is “Running” one second, then going to “Not Responding”, then back again. This is starting to look like a memory problem – not a shortage of it but memory usage seems wrong (and may be connected with the ‘MMX Module’ stuff). I am getting low on HD space but still had a spare 10Gb to work with after installing PSE9, but perhaps there is just too much ScratchDisk usage, using the HD for extra memory.

    I’ve uninstalled PSE9. It may be a great program (though it’s not a huge improvement on PSE6, considering it’s three version later) but it doesn’t work properly on my machine – perhaps because it isn’t really ‘tuned’ to XP. I’ll stick with PSE6. I’ve a feeling that PSE9 is too big (and probably badly coded) for an XP machine with less than 4GB RAM, and really requires a Dual-Core 64-bit machine.

    • admin
      Posted on October 7, 2010 at 12:32 pm

      Hi Geoff! So good to hear from you!

      Thanks for sharing your issues regarding PSE 9. So glad you downloaded the trial and didn’t pay for the full shebang!

      As far as your actions go, I can tell you that both 8 and 9 automatically create those thumbnail.jpg files for each action you install. I have never seen them duplicated in the Effects Palette however, unless the actions were installed incorrectly. Given that you were one of the people who taught me to install actions, I’m pretty sure that you did it properly. 😉

      I’m using a Vista machine. I have no idea how much RAM it has and it’s definitely not 64 bit, and all versions of PSE work ok on it. But you’re right, I suspect that Adobe might not be optimizing for XP since there are now 2 more recent OS’s from Microsoft.

      So, all you users of PSE who are running XP, be careful before you upgrade to PSE 9!


  2. ingrid Says :
    Posted on October 12, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    When you say you use Lightroom for your photo organizing can you explain that a bit more, please? I downloaded the “trial” version but am unsure how to get the exposure corrected photos into PSE. Right now I have the same photo in Lightroom, PSE, and in a pictures folder. Doesn’t that take up more memory? Thank you!

  3. Diana Says :
    Posted on October 12, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I’m a happy 6.0 user. I think I’ll stay with it until I have time & $$ to buy CS3 and take a class to learn how to use it.

  4. Diane Says :
    Posted on October 27, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    I just bought PSE 9 and am happy with it. I had been using PSE6 and still have that installed as all my actions/styles are on it. Can I install them on the 9? Do I install the same way? Thanks.

  5. Diane Says :
    Posted on October 27, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Forgot to say that I have MAC. Thanks, again, Diane

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on October 29, 2010 at 9:20 am

      Here you go, Diane. INstructions are here:


      • Diane Says :
        Posted on October 29, 2010 at 9:42 am

        Thanks, Erin, but that link (at least for macs) seems to be invalid. I tried it several times and it says to go back. I did try some suggestions I got from old posts on your site and they worked. I’ve got most of my actions and styles on pse9 now and am very happy!!! Thanks again,

        • Ashley Says :
          Posted on February 6, 2011 at 10:36 am

          I am having MAJOR trouble installing the actions into my PSE 9. How did you import them into PSE 9? Where do I look to find them? Help! Thanks!

          • admin
            Posted on February 6, 2011 at 11:31 am

            Hi Ashley. Click on the link above that says “updated instructions for installing actions.

          • Ashley Says :
            Posted on February 8, 2011 at 12:03 pm

            Woo hoo!!! I’m all good to go! Thank you SO much! I’m so thankful for your website, you are helping this not so photo editing savvy girl, become a VERY photo editing savvy girl!

          • admin
            Posted on February 8, 2011 at 8:39 pm

            So glad it helped!

  6. marty
    Posted on November 11, 2010 at 4:49 am

    Hi I also ad the same problem when I upgraded PSE 8 to PSE 9 all many of my layer styles of photo effects were duplicated.. although it still seems tod work anyway… just annoying to have double icons. I also deleted by database to get it to rebuild but still have double..
    any solutions

  7. marty
    Posted on November 11, 2010 at 4:51 am

    excuse my typos above note

  8. marty
    Posted on November 11, 2010 at 4:58 am

    I also have doubled up icons for my layer styles that I have installed. I had PSE 8 prev installed. I had installed them and deleted mediadatabse file as per PSE 8 and never had this problem. But have deleted this file several times and rebooted software which rebuilds but still shows icons twice. Not brave enough to just delete the icon that shows in the layers pallete in case it crashes..any hints welcome
    thanks marty

    • admin
      Posted on November 11, 2010 at 10:23 am


      Look in the folders where you installed your actions/styles. There must be files that don’t belong there.


  9. Diane
    Posted on November 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    I have doubles, too, of just the styles that originally came with pse 9. I looked in the folder and the style icon is there and jpegs for each style. Could that be the duplicate, the jpegs? I’ll go try a few to see if they all work. I don’t have this duplication with the actions. And, I got all my actions installed on 9!!!

  10. marty
    Posted on November 21, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    finally a further deletion of the mediadatabase and PSE seems to have rebooted successfully without doubling my layer styles..hoorah

  11. Andrea Says :
    Posted on February 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    How does one install actions in PSE 9? I’ve looked and looked for instructions on how to install actions and can’t find anything for PSE 9.

  12. Andrea Says :
    Posted on February 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Adobe.>Photoshop Elements>9.0>Photo Creations>Photo Effects
    So, the above folder location for Photo Effects doesn’t exist on my PC. Can’t find it anywhere. Mine looks like this:
    Adobe>Photoshop Elements 9>and then I have a whole bunch of folders, none of which are 9.0. I see: AMT, Assests, Legal, Locales, OBLRes, Optional Plug-ins, PDFL, Plug-ins, presets, required, sample files.
    Is this because I downloaded the trial version?

    • admin
      Posted on February 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      Andrea, you’re not reading the instructions exactly right. Go back through them. You’re in the wrong Adobe folder.

      • Andrea Says :
        Posted on February 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm

        OMG….I feel so silly. Thank you. I found them! LOL. I was being impatient and getting ahead of myself.
        Again, thank you so much!

        • admin
          Posted on February 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm

          No problem at all! Thank you for visiting!

  13. Diane
    Posted on February 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

    All of a sudden I am only able to type in capital letters in PSE9! The only fonts that work in lower case are those that are ONLY lower case. As you can see here, it’s not a problem with my computer. Any ideas how to fix this? Someone at another site suggested to click on “reset tools” but I can’t find that in 9. Help, please!!!!

  14. katie
    Posted on March 8, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Trying to install PW actions via the instructions she linked to on your page. I have PSE9 and am trying to install on a MAC. However in the process, I don’t seem to have a folder for 9.0, or Photo Creations. I’ve looked around in almost all the other folders and can’t seem to find one that makes sense. Would appreciate any help you could give!

  15. Gareth
    Posted on September 15, 2011 at 9:38 am


    You mention that Elements 9 can upload pictures to a personal website – can you let me know how to do this? I have a Gallery site, but haven’t been able to figure out how to access it via Elements. It would be great if I could!


  16. Abby Says :
    Posted on September 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Ok, so I have been using lightroom for editing. I just got bought PS elements 9. I know nothing about it right now. I’ve been trying to add actions or “presets” (in LR terms) but am really getting frustrated. I went through all the steps for a mac on your site, but to no avail. Am I going to have to return it and just buy regular PS? Also, where are some good sites to go to for tutorials on PSE9?

    • Diane Says :
      Posted on September 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm

      One wonderful site I am on for tutorials is http://www.hummiesworld.com She has everything you’d ever want to do on PSE. She’s using 9 right now but her new videos will be using 10, but that’s ok, they are almost the same. I’d check it out if I were you. It’s only $5.50 a month with a lot of freebie downloads and friendly people. Did you get your actions loaded? Some actions need to be loaded in the guided part of PSE9. Atomic Cupcake has directions on her site. Hope this helps you.

  17. Katie
    Posted on January 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I just upgraded to Elements 10 and have tried to transfer all my actions from PSE7 over. I successfully did it last night and when I pulled up PS this morning all the actions were gone. When I check my photo effects foler they are all there but not on the actual program. What did I do wrong??

  18. Diane Says :
    Posted on January 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Why would papers and elements appear tiny in PSE on a MAC?

  19. Dave
    Posted on March 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I get the same error when starting Elements 10 (not a trial version). The error is “The Procedure Entry Point ?Decode Tile@JP2KImage@@QAZJJJJJJ@Z could not be located in the dynamic link library JP@KLib.dll“. Adobe forums are useless, and Adobe is beginning to be useless too.

    • Erin Says :
      Posted on March 5, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      Wish I could help Dave. I would try reinstalling, if you haven’t already. Also, try resetting your preferences. Use the search box on my blog if you haven’t done that before.

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