Photoshop Elements 6 Hack

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As a fairly new photographer and business owner, I have to watch carefully how I spend my money.

One of the things I have yet to invest in is the top of the line Photoshop CS3. I have many photographer friends who own PS CS3. I envy that… but! I am also very content with what I have.

Photoshop Elements is a fraction of the cost and can still do amazing things.

One of the things people miss are the “Actions,” aka “Filters.”

Actions are wonderful at giving a photograph a different look with the click of a button!

Most people don’t know how to download and apply new Actions to their Photoshop program. Through the help of a wonderful Flickr group geared towards us PSE peoples, πŸ™‚ I have found a hack.

Totally legal, I must add!

  • 1. Find some FREE actions. A great resource is the Coffeeshop blog. She offers a wonderful selection of free actions with walk through instructions. I downloaded every single one she offered and just LOVE THEM.One of them is called The Powder Room. It is a must if you enjoy brightening eyes or smoothing out blemishes.Here’s an example of what it can do…

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What do you think?



  1. 31

    You’re welcome! If your new actions and old are all showing up correctly, you can go ahead and delete the old database. But you don’t have to.

  2. 32
    Avatar Clifford Gwinn says

    Thanks!…I still have the original database file and the newly created one (OLD)…should I delete one?

  3. 33

    And actually, if you are looking at the effects palette, you want to click on the button that says “Photo Effects” and then pull down the drop down menu to “Show All.”

    The button with the horizontal lines will give you the option to show the names of the actions.

  4. 34

    Is there a little box at the top right corner of the effects palette that has lines going across it horizontally? If so, click on it.

  5. 35
    Avatar Clifford Gwinn says

    I am using PSE6 on mac…I am good until I try to find “View all Actions”….where is it? I don`t see it under filters….am I doing something wrong??

  6. 36
    Avatar corrie Owens says

    i just found this tutorial and was so excited only i cannot get the icon to show up in my effects when i click show all. i followed all of the steps but cannot get the action to show up. any suggestions??? i am new to the world of actions so any help would be greatly appreciated! thanks!

  7. 37

    Ah, nevermind. I found the Vista tip in your other comments. Thank you again for the wonderful site and tips. πŸ™‚

  8. 38

    Thank you so much for creating and offering PSE actions… Just today I had my mind moving toward the need to advance beyond PSE 6, but man, I really like it and don’t want to switch. I was so grateful to find your site and information.

    I do have a question… I’m on a PC and am having a hard time tracking where the downloaded actions go… If I go under C:/Program Files/Adobe/Photoshop Elements 6.0, I can’t find any folders with .atn files. Do I just drop the actions in the Effects folder (C:/Program Files/Adobe/Photoshop Elements 6.0/Plug-Ins/Effects)? Thanks in advance for your help!

  9. 39
    Avatar Jamie Carlson says

    Thank you sooo much! I am so looking forward to trying these actions!

  10. 40

    Hey, email Rita at Coffeeshop.. she can help you with this. I download the powder room so long ago that I cant remember how exactly I did download it πŸ™‚ I just know how to get it to work once you have it. You should just be able to create an acct. with the download site Rita links you to… and then download it. Thats all I did.

    Rita is very helpful tho! So dont hesitate to ask her for help.

    Heres her email..


  11. 41
    Avatar Jamie Carlson says

    I am trying to download that powder room effect from coffeshop website… I cannot figure out how to download it! I push on the link and it takes me to that mediafile page – but i can’t figure it out from there. Do you have any insight?

  12. 42

    Thanks Drea & Lori! You guys just gave me an idea for my next Photo Bliss post! I have found several websites offering free actions for PSE. I’ll dig them up and review them, and post them here soon!


  13. 43

    Hi, I wish I did… but I dont. I think I found one a while ago with some Photoshop CS3 actions.. but only a handful worked w/ PSE.
    So I didnt download many… maybe got one or two to work. I didnt save the site though :-\
    Rite is coming out with a lot more actions. She rocks! If you have spare change give her a few bucks via paypal. I did the other day. The money goes towards her childrens college fund. I think if she gets a few payments here and there from fans then she’ll make more πŸ™‚

  14. 44

    Hi Drea- I discovered coffeeshop and Rita yesterday. I am in love with actions, but like you are on a tight budget. Do you know of any other sites to get some good free actions??

  15. 45

    Coffeeshop Actions work in PSE4 on XP. There are instructions on my website for how to install them! I can help you if you need it.

  16. 46

    OH crapola…just noticed I’m running 4.0..will it still work with that?

  17. 47

    OMG! How much do I LOVE you right now for this post??? Seriously – I had CS2 on my PC, but I went and bought a MacBook, and will never go back to PC, but couldn’t afford CS3 yet either – so I’m also on Elements – and while I enjoy it i”m painfully aware that there is SO much more I could be doing…so THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  18. 48


    Thanks for all the info you provided. I came across this site while trying to figure out why I am not able to apply certain effects to my pictures. when I click on different effects such as accented edges, it will pop up “The command accented edges is not currently available”. I am now using elements 6 on a mac, but before this I had elements 3 on my pc and never had this happen. You said feel free to ask any questions, so I thought I would take you up on that and see if there is something simple that I have been not understanding with this program. The pictures on your site are adorable and I look forward to trying out the actions you suggested. Thanks, Lyn

  19. 49

    WOW! I’ve been using and am still bumbling my way through…I will definitely check this out – thanks for sharing!! πŸ™‚

  20. 50


  21. 51

    I figured it out! I’m on Vista, and the correct folder I needed to download to was ‘hidden’, so I followed the instructions here:

  22. 52

    I seem to be caught on step 4. I have searched everything and there is no “Mediadatabase.db3” file ANYWHERE on my computer. I bought my version of PSE 6…any idea what to do in this scenario? πŸ™‚

  23. 53

    I am SO happy to see this post, because I just started using PSE6 recently. This is going to be a great way to get even more out of it.

    Thanks, Drea!

  24. 54

    I’ve tested all the Coffeeshop actions in Photoshop Elements 4, 5 & 6, on XP and PSE 5 & 6 on Vista. They all work fantastically in each version and operating system. Those actions are awesome!

    If you need help installing them, I have detailed instructions for each version/OS combination on my blog at

  25. 55

    Hey Wendy,
    I brightened it up some w/ all the normal features on PSE.. I didnt use any other action on them besides the coffeeshop ones.

    Heres a link to the RAW form of the image. Unedited, untouched. It was a late evening in my back yard.. like 7pm.. so it was fairly dark. you can see in this image alone the power of PSE!

  26. 56

    Did you do this to the image that came straight out of the camera or did you do any editing first?

  27. 57

    She is really cute!! Thanks for this post. My husband works in desktop publishing so, I am going to have him help me with this:-)

  28. 58

    Hi Buffy! im emailing you the originals! so neat to hear you loved elements πŸ™‚

  29. 59

    I am a professional photographer, and I have never purchased CS3 or any of its predecessors. There has never been a need. I started out with the first version of Elements over 5 years ago, and I have never needed anything else! Trust me, be confident in using Elements…it can do amazing things, too! I have also used some of the Coffeeshop actions, and they are great! Would love to see your originals of the ones you showcased above. πŸ™‚

  30. 60

    Oh absolutely… Id always find the free ones meant for elements… or if you want to try some of the CS actions to ask the people 1st if they’d work.
    Some do. πŸ™‚

  31. 61

    This is awesome – but make sure you find out ahead time whether the actions work for Elements or not… some only work for CS2 or better and you don’t want to spend $$$ on actions if they’re not compatible.