Immediate Gratification Victim

One of my secret not-so-secret addictions is free stuff for Photoshop. So when I started working on my little Thanksgiving image from a couple of posts ago, I was looking for some interesting fall-y layer styles to use for my background. I found a promising one at Adobe Exchange and immediately downloaded it. I have become quite proficient at adding new brush sets to Photoshop, so it never occurred to me that adding a layer style would be any more difficult. I unzipped that puppy into the Styles folder of the Presets menu and thought I was ready to go.


Well, okay. I would just make a call to the Computer Guru (aka: Daddy) and fix that right up. Nope. Turns out that Photoshop is like the only place in cyberspace where I know more than he does. Rats!

No problem! There is always the University of Google, right? And there was. Lots and lots of info on loading layer styles into Photoshop Elements 6 and 7. I use PSE 5. Arg! After wading through countless tutorials on the convoluted process of adding layer styles in XP vs. Vista/creating XML files for ASL files so that they would show up in drop down menus and special effect palettes/deleting db3 files to force the rebuilding of databases and following them meticulously, I still didn't manage to make them appear in Photoshop.

Finally, I stumbled upon a review of PSE 8 that said it was more forgiving of adding new stuff. Fine. Happy birthday to me. I downloaded PSE 8. It was on sale for a steal, so I was totally patting myself on the back. Until I tried to load the layer styles. Still no love.

After briefly beating my head on my keyboard, I waded back into the tutorials and found a little hiccup in my previous interpretation of the instructions. They all warn that you have to be careful what you mess with or you could completely screw up your Photoshop, so I gave the new instructions a whirl in PSE 5. Success! Huzzah!

So I trotted my new technique over to PSE 8. Just. kill. me. now. It still didn't work. I could get bits and pieces to show up, but not in the right drop down menu and you had to jump through an inordinate number of hoops to get there. I finally broke down and purchased/downloaded a cool little gadget called Add-O-Matic that promised to load everything into the right directories in PSE 6, 7, and 8 with very little effort on my part. And once I worked out the kinks it did.

I also found that in the three days since I had purchased the new version of PSE, they had re-released the Add-O-Matic for PSE 5. If I had just waited a few more days, I could have just coughed up the $11 bucks for that instead of the significantly more for PSE 8. Sigh. I know I would have upgraded eventually, but I just hate that I did it before I had to.

Darn instant gratification got me again.


  1. Oh man, Rae Ann... you are so way ahead of me with photoshop... I mean I USE it, but I had not a clue what you were talkin' bout! I am sure there are hundreds of Photoshop tricks I have no idea of. I am a technical dunce. I manage to manipulate my html enough to satisfy my carvings for change on my blog, but that's my limit. Thats why you are the button box queen and I am NOT! :)

  2. Girl, you need CS3. (I have no desire to upgrade to CS4.) It's AWESOME!!!!! I'm amazed you do what you do with elements... you're good.


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