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Preserve the fruits of your labor: Save custom settings

Added on Monday 27th of August 2007 02:40 am EST


Adobe Photoshop 7/CS/CS2/CS3

Operating Systems:

Macintosh, Microsoft Windows



You’ve spent precious time creating custom presets and actions in older versions of Photoshop, so don’t redo all that work after you upgrade. We’ll show you how to easily save all of your custom presets for seamless CS3 integration.


To save your older custom presets and actions for CS3 use, we’ll:

     Detail how to set up specific folders on your hard drive in preparation for backing up your old presets and actions.

     Show you how to save your action sets and presets into the specified folders for easy access from CS3.

     Explain how to load your presets and actions from older versions of Photoshop into CS3.



Before you install a new upgrade, such as Adobe Photoshop CS3, you should take a few minutes and plan ahead. After all, a new installation can cause hiccups in your workflow as you spend time getting acclimated with the new interface and features. But don’t go completely back to the drawing board; preserve the fruits of your previous labors. We’ll show you how to back up all of your custom presets and actions and incorporate them into Photoshop CS3.


Get organized

When it comes to preserving all of your hard work, it’s crucial to keep things organized. We’ll show you how to quickly set up a series of folders to store your presets and actions in.


To create storage folders for presets and actions:

1.       Create a master folder in your Applications folder (Program Files folder in Windows) in which you’ll store all your preset and action files.

2.      Name your new folder Adobe Photoshop Extras or something similar.

3.      Create a series of subfolders within the master folder to hold your actions, brushes, custom shapes, gradients, and so forth, naming them appropriately, as shown in Figure A.



Note: Don’t place your new folder directly inside the Photoshop 7/CS/CS2 application folder. If you do, and then have to do a reinstall for whatever reason, you’ll lose all of your files. Also, be sure to back up this master folder for safekeeping.



Action maintenance

Now, it’s time to save any actions that you created when working in Photoshop 7, CS, or CS2. This way you’ll have them ready to load after you install CS3.


To save your old actions:

1.       Launch your older version of Photoshop.

2.      Choose Window > Actions to display the Actions palette.

3.      Select a set of custom actions you want to keep.


Tip: If necessary, create a new set by choosing New Set from the Actions palette’s pop-up menu. Enter a name for your new set and click OK. Then, move any of your custom actions into that set.



4.      Choose Save Actions from the Actions palette’s pop-up menu to display the Save dialog box.

5.      Navigate to the Actions subfolder you just created within the Photoshop Extras folder and select it, as shown in Figure B.

6.      Click Save. Repeat steps 3-6 until you’ve saved all of your custom action sets in their appropriate subfolders.

7.      Repeat steps 1-6 for each version of Photoshop you have installed on your computer.




Note: Most of your custom presets and actions should work in CS3. Generally presets and actions are forward compatible, but not always backward compatible. For example, an action you create in CS3 won’t work in CS if you record it using new CS3 features that aren’t available in CS.





Improved preset functionality in CS3


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