Monthly Archives: May 2010

Editing and Creating New Document Defaults in Photoshop Elements

Iwas asked recently to make an action that will create a new document for Scrapbook size (12” x 12”).  In the North American version of Elements 8, that size is already there as a preset (click File>New>Blank , and choose it from the drop menu) so there’s no need for an action (although I can make one if you really want it….)

If you live in a place that isn’t the US, you can add this size by copying and pasting the code below into the file mentioned.

Open the file Default New Doc Sizes.txt located here in PSE 7 & 8:
Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop Elements #\Locales\[your locale]\Support Files\
Scroll to the bottom of it (or within another section of the file – it will appear in the menu wherever you put it in this file):

; Standard scrapbook sizes
"12 in x 12 in" 12.0 12.0 inches 300 dpi unchanged 0 1.0
"8 in x 8 in" 8.0 8.0 inches 300 dpi unchanged 0 1.0
"6 in x 6 in" 6.0 6.0 inches 300 dpi unchanged 0 1.0

If you want to add additional sizes, copy the format above and add the size you want. For a 5 in x 5 in 300 dpi document, for example, you would just add the line

"5 in x 5 in" 5.0 5.0 inches 300 dpi unchanged 0 1.0

If you will never, ever use a 6 x 6 or 8 x 8 document, simply place a ‘;’ at the beginning of those lines to force PSE to ignore them.

I like to make custom thumbnails, and even though PSE doesn’t care what size the .png is (see this article for reference), I like to keep them a common size – 64 x 64 px is the old standard.

So to my file, I added

"64 x 64"                     64     64    pixels    screen dpi RGB 8 1.0

and my preset is there.

One final note – be sure to save the file in Unicode format, or Elements won’t be able to read it.  Also, be sure to save a backup of the original just restore if anything goes wrong!

Manually Updating the Photoshop Elements database

So the questions I get asked most often are finally answered in full in a public place!

There’s one more thing, though, that generally is a big stumbling block. The mails generally go something like this:

Dear Graffi – I added all my things with your installers, but when I go back into Elements there’s nothing new in the drop menu! What happened?


I added my actions using the Add-O-Matic and started Elements, but they’re not there – What’s going on?!

What’s happened is that the database hasn’t recognized the new items yet, for a number of reasons. Here’s a few fast tricks you can use to kick-start the database:

Manually Adding goodies to Photoshop Elements

Probablythe single most-sent email message I receive runs along these lines:

"Hey, Graffi:  I have Photoshop Elements x.x and I like the actions in your blog.   Where do I put them in Elements to make them work?"  (The second-most received message I get usually goes something like "Hey Graffi: I downloaded the actions from your blog and put them in Elements but they’re not showing up – what can I do?").

AOMOf course, my answer is to use the Add-O-Matic, which will automatically sort and place – along with a generic thumbnail & the required .xml file – the actions so they appear in the Effects palette and the new Actions Player in Elements. At around $11, it really is the simplest solution for adding Actions, Shapes, Styles, Brushes, .8bf-format plug-ins, and many more esoteric items like Color Swatches and Curve shapes.

To use the AOM, download the add-ons you want to install, make sure you’ve unzipped them, and drag and drop the files into the gray box of the AOM interface. It will build the list for you, and when you click "GO!" it will sort & place all the items in just a matter of seconds: