I have a basic question please. When I load an image either a jpeg or psd file then make a layer copy I am unable to apply a preset action to this. Either a default action or one of my own on a Mac OSX running Lion. This did not present a problem in CS5 and I am wondering if I've missed something basic?
No, the Actions Panel is in Button Mode, therefore it is impossible to judge which steps might cause a problem with the file/s in question.
What are the images’ Color Modes?
What happens exactly, do you get an error message?
Are Photoshop and OS fully updated and have you performed the usual trouble-shooting routines (trashing prefs by keeping command-alt-shift/ctrl-alt-shift pressed while starting Photoshop after making sure all customized presets like Actions, Patterns, Brushes etc. have been saved and making a note of the Preferences you’ve changed, 3rd party plug-ins deactivation, system maintenance, cleaning caches, font validation, etc.)?
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