How to Make an ATN File

Updated April 17, 2017

By creating ATN files, or Photoshop Action files, you can record actions that you regularly perform in Photoshop. You can then perform all of the actions you recorded by pressing a single key on your keyboard, allowing you to save time when creating or editing pictures. Photoshop is a program from Adobe, Inc., which lets you create and edit pictures on your computer. You can create an ATN file by using the "Actions" palette in Photoshop.

Open Photoshop by clicking on the "Adobe" folder in your Windows Start menu and selecting "Adobe Photoshop."

Press the ALT and F9 keys simultaneously on your keyboard to open the "Actions" palette.

Click on the "New action" button at the bottom of the palette. Give a name to the action you want to record, select the function key that will allow you to play the action from the drop-down menu and click on the "Record" button.

Perform the routine actions that you want Photoshop to record. For example, if you regularly create a new picture by using the same custom settings, perform the steps that you normally have to follow to do so. When you are done, click on the "Stop playing/recording" button at the bottom of the palette. Photoshop will automatically save your new action as an ATN file. You can now perform the steps you recorded simply by pressing the function key you assigned to that action.


You can find all of the ATN files saved by Photoshop in the "/presets/actions" folder inside your main Photoshop folder.

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Paul Higgins has been working as a writer since 2005, covering topics such as travel, technology, health and finance. He has also served as a Web developer and information technology trainer for more than 10 years. Higgins graduated from the University of Denver in 2006.