Understanding Actions

Most tasks that you perform using a button or menu command can be recorded as an action. Each action can contain one or more steps and can also contain a stop, which lets you complete a command that can't be recorded (for example, the use of a painting tool). Actions can be stored in sets, which are saved as .atn files and are typically named by the category of actions they contain. For example, you can create multiple type-related actions, then store them in a set named Type Actions. You access actions from the Actions palette, which is normally grouped with the History palette. You can view actions in list mode or in button mode on the Actions palette. The list mode, the default, makes it possible to view the details within each action. The button mode displays each action without details.


The act of creating an action is not recorded on the History palette; however, the steps you record to define a new action are recorded on the History palette.

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