Photoshop comes loaded with dozens of built-in actions, though only a smidgeon of them appear in the main part of the Actions panel. Seven more sets of built-in actions are tucked away in the panel's menu (shown in Figure 18-2, bottom right): Commands, Frames, Image Effects, LAB - Black & White Technique (see Choosing Your Background for more on Lab mode), Production, Star Trails, Text Effects, Textures, and Video Actions. To load one of these additional action sets, simply select it from the menu and Photoshop adds it to the panel's main list.
Each set includes several actions that you can use as is or edit to your own personal taste. For example, if you think the Spatter Frame action (part of the Frames set) is a little lame with its 15-pixel spray radius, you can bump it up to 25 pixels instead. (Editing actions is discussed later in this chapter.) You can also duplicate that particular step to make the Spatter filter run twice!
An easy way to duplicate an action you want to edit is to Option-drag (Alt-drag on a PC) it to a different set.
To use one of the program's built-in actions, follow these steps:
Open an image.
With most actions you simply need to open the image and you're ready to invoke the action magic. You don't even have to unlock the Background layer because Photoshop duplicates it for you.
If necessary, select the part of your image you want to work with.
Occasionally, you have to make a selection before you use some of the built-in actions (like the ones ...