Anna Forrest Designs Album Builder Script


Would you believe that my computer scrapped ALL of the above layouts (at least what you see done so far on them – photos placed in the templates) FOR ME while I was sleeping!?

Watch it work…

In Anna’s feature, I reference the fact that this script (for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements) has changed my ever-loving-digi-scrapping life and it really has! I ran the script to create seven layouts the first time. Each layout had 10-42 photos on them. I was super impressed with how accurately the script placed the photos into spots, resized the photos, and clipped them. It placed the photos onto the layout as smart objects, so I was able to size them back up if I wanted to move them to a different spot. I scrapped those layouts in about 10 days.

I ran the script again and now have 27 two page layouts ready and waiting for me to add papers, elements, titles, and journaling! Even though the script is designed to be used with quick pages, I have only used it with templates. I love the flexibility of templates and there aren’t too many quick pages that are two page spreads with lots of photos (which is how I scrap these days).

Anna’s scripts all come with PDF instructions and this one also includes a video tutorial, but I wanted to share some tips I learned when I was using and testing the script.


For PSE…


You can see my file path above, but this is the AnnaForrestDesigns folder inside the SCRIPTS folder that you need to copy and paste into the correct location:


In PSE, you have to run the script with an action. So you have to install the action as well. Navigate to the ACTIONS folder, then to the folder of your operating system:


Then navigate to your version of PSE:


Copy the ATN file:


Navigate to the correct folder and paste it there. See the PDF instructions based on your version of PSE to determine where to install.

In PSE 6-10, you will find the actions to run the scripts in the Edit>Guided panel on the right:



You can run the script with the actions or from the File> Scripts> AFD Album Builder in PSCS. I usually just run it from the Scripts menu. For that, you will want to copy the script AND the folder as pictured below:


Paste these into the correct place based on your OS:


Getting Ready

The first thing I did was sort my photos into folders. If you use Lightroom, you can do this by selecting your photos and then choosing File>Export and going through the dialog to export the photos to a folder. I’ve also done the drag and drop method in my folders system.

  • Each folder of photos should be one layout (it can be a one page or two page layout).
  • The folder name will become the title in the layout and the saved layout name.
  • You can add journaling to go on the layout by putting what you want to say in a .txt file, naming that file: journal.

I like to have my layout file names in alpha and/or numeric order so when I upload them to a photobook site, I know what goes where and the layouts all stay in order in my folders. I knew these titles would also become the titles inside on the layouts, but figured I could edit them later:


Here’s my path:


I set up another folder for the templates that I wanted the script to choose from:


I went through each layout folder that contained photos and figured out how many photo spots I would need and then went through my templates in Lightroom that was tagged with that many photos to select my template:


I then right clicked on the template and selected Show in Explorer, it would open the window with the template selected. I copied the template and then pasted it into my template folder I set up earlier.

Then, I created a folder for all of the layouts to be saved to after the script processed them:


Things to note:

  • The script will process everything in the folder that contains your grouped photos. I had originally saved my templates in the “Layouts to process” folder and it tried to put each template on other templates…haha. I made a bit of a mess.
  • Don’t put anything in the layouts folder but the layouts you have grouped into folders.
  • Have the layouts save into their own folder once they have processed.


You will want to open all of the templates you are going to have the script use and check the layer names.


If you have other layer names that include the above words, it will confuse the script. For example, one of my templates had a rasterized layer named ‘title’ and the script kept trying to change the title, but it wasn’t a text layer, so the script would stop. So, take the time and go through the layers and rename them or delete them as necessary. If you don’t have a txt file named journal and there is a journaling layer, the script will just skip it, it didn’t cause problems for me.

Running the Script

Now, you are ready to run the script!


After selecting the script, you will see the following window and you can see how I selected the folders and files based on their locations:


I also selected “Includes Keyword” so the layer didn’t have to have the exact name. I also selected “Preference Exact Number of Photo Positions” because that’s how I had selected my templates (I had tried to select ones that had the photo orientation as well).

Click OK and watch it work its magic! I am now comfortable leaving to do things while the action runs. One night, I set it to run and then went to bed! Smile

Here’s a look at the folder with the completed layouts waiting for my creativity: