What Is an ATN File?

Adobe Photoshop uses ATN files to automate repetitive actions

What to Know

  • An ATN file is an Actions file that opens with Photoshop.
  • After opening the file, use the play button from the Windows > Actions palette to perform its saved actions.

This article explains what an ATN file is and how to use it on your computer.

What Is an ATN File?

A file with the ATN file extension is an Adobe Photoshop Actions file. It's built to record steps/actions in Photoshop and is meant to be "played" again at a later time to automate those same steps.

ATN files are basically shortcuts through Photoshop that are useful if you find yourself going through many of the same steps time and time again. These steps are recorded so Photoshop knows exactly what to do when you run the Actions file.

The file can be used on any computer that opens it, assuming the same actionable items are present in that installation of Photoshop.

ATN files

How to Open an ATN File

ATN files are used with Adobe Photoshop, so that's what you need to open them.

If double-clicking or double-tapping doesn't open the file, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the Actions palette is open from the Windows menu. You can do this quickly with the Alt+F9 hotkey.

  2. Click the small menu item near the top right of the Actions panel.

  3. Select Load Actions.

    Photoshop actions menu
  4. Select the ATN file that you want to add to Photoshop, and choose Load.

    Many actions downloaded from the internet come in the form of an archive, like a ZIP or 7Z file. You need a program like 7-Zip to extract the ATN file from the archive.

  5. When you're ready to use the action, return to the Actions palette, choose the action, and then select the play button at the bottom of that window.

How to Convert an ATN File

ATN files need to be in a specific format for Adobe Photoshop to recognize them. Plus, since there isn't other software that uses these types of ATN files, there's no need to convert the file to any other format.

However, you can convert an ATN file to an XML file so that you can edit the steps, and then convert the XML file back to an ATN file for use in Photoshop.

Here's how to do that:

  1. Go to ps-scripts.sourceforge.net and right-click ActionFileToXML.jsx to save the JSX file to your computer (you may have to scroll down a little to find the file).

  2. In Photoshop, go to File > Scripts > Browse and choose the JSX file you just downloaded. A new window will open.

  3. Browse for the ATN file in the Action File area of this new window, and then choose where the XML file should be saved from the XML File area.

  4. Select Process to convert the ATN file to an XML file.

  5. Go back to ps-scripts.sourceforge.net and right-click ActionFileFromXML.jsx to save this file to your computer.

    This JSX file is not the same as the one from Step 1. This one is for making an ATN file from an XML file.

  6. Repeat Step 2 through Step 4 but in reverse: choose the XML file that you created and then define where the ATN file should be saved.

  7. Now you can use the converted ATN file in Photoshop like you would any other.

ATN files are nothing more than instructions for how to maneuver around Photoshop, so you can't convert one to PSD, which is the actual project file that contains images, layers, text, etc.

More Help With ATN Files

You can download ATN files made by other users and import them into your own Photoshop program using the steps in the first section above.

If your file isn't working with Photoshop, it's possible it isn't really an Actions file. If the file extension doesn't read ".ATN" then you're most likely dealing with something totally different.

For example, the ATT file extension is very similar to ATN but belongs to either Alphacam Lathe Tool files or a Web Form Post Data files, neither of which can be used with Photoshop.

Pro Tools Elastic Audio Analysis files are similar. They use the AAN file extension, which can easily be mistaken for an ATN file and attempted to be used in Photoshop. Instead, these open with Pro Tools from Avid.

Finally, there's the ATM file extension that's used as either a 3D scene file by the 3D modeling app Vue, or an audio file used by PSP games.

  • How do I create an ATN file?

    Record action in Photoshop by opening a file from the Photoshop menu bar and selecting Create New Action in the Actions panel. Type the action name > select the action set > Begin Recording . Press Stop Playing/Recording to finish recording and store your action.

  • How do I use an action in Photoshop?

    First, ensure that the Actions panel appears by selecting Window > Actions in the Photoshop menu bar. Open a file > choose the action from the Actions panel > and select. Play. To apply a specific portion of the sequence, select the starting point and press Play or load a single command by pressing Ctrl in Windows or Command in macOS and double-clicking the selection.

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