Advanced Stacker PLUS 14e Installation

As we adapt to the kinds of issues our customer face, these instructions may change a bit – so please allow some variance in the process from what you see described below.  If you’re stuck and can not successfully install, please contact us – we do ask that you give it your best shot first, though.

Installation Instructions

The most frequent problem we received help requests for was handling installation issues. So… we changed the installation method for the Advanced Stacker PLUS. Now when you order the Advanced Stacker PLUS you specify which operating system you are using and you receive a self-installing package for that system as well as the package for the other system (just in case you have both a Mac and a PC). On a windows machine you will use the windows .EXE (executable), on the Mac you will use the ZIP (compressed archive) file.

Our Windows .EXE file is “signed” to verify its provenance but despite our best efforts so far, we have been stumped by Mac procedures.  The good news is that it’s still pretty simple with one “slightly tricky” step on a Mac. For both installation is almost fully automated.

Installing… Mac or Windows?

The installation processes are very similar, but the visuals are a bit different. The process goes like this:

  • Download the installer
  • Run the Installer:
    Mac: unpack the file set and run (open) the Mac Installer.
    Windows: click to open acknowledge installation (several clicks) and the installer automatically runs. The installer then:

      1. Finds where Photoshop is installed on your machine
      2. Pauses up to 20 seconds waiting for your input.
      3. Launches Photoshop (STOPS ANY PHOTOSHOP THAT IS RUNNING!)
      4. Runs the self test after loading the Actions and Scripts needed
      5. Waits for you to acknowledge test completion.
      6. Exits Photoshop and repeats from step 1 for the next Photoshop version (if any).
  • Eventually all Photoshop versions are done installing. And a concluding web page is launched.

NOTE: On the PC, installation is in C:\StarCircleAcademy; on the Mac installation is into /Applications/StarCircleAcademy. The installers do this automatically, but we thought we’d let you know that installation anywhere else will not work fully.

We believe the above steps are sufficient for you to successfully install Advanced Stacker PLUS, but copious details follow.

Installation on a Mac

AppleExpand Mac Instructions

The download behavior depends on the browser you use. Sadly, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox all behave differently. For example when you download a zip file with Safari, by default the information appears in the upper right of the window, and it automatically unzips the downloaded file.

After you download the .zip file you need to find where it went.  Normally content goes into your Downloads folder, and sometimes your browser will automatically open Finder for you. When using the Chrome browser – which we recommend – the “” will appear at the bottom of your browser window (or open downloads Shift-Command-j).Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 7.29.26 AM

NOTE: We recommend you download the zip file only ONCE, otherwise you may end up with multiple versions of the file and potentially multiple versions of the StarCircleAcademy folder.

Extra Stuff Cleanup

Clean up the extra files. If necessary, download again to be sure you have the latest.

Double click the zip file to open it as a “StarCircleAcademy” folder where the zip file is found. Finder will look something like below assuming you already cleaned up the duplicates shown above.



The next step is to run the installer. Use Control-Click to get the “Open With” Dialog and select

A warning dialog may pop up. Click the Open button to continue.

Next the Mac Installer window will open. It is pretty plain looking.ASPMac_InstallProgressTerminal

If you do nothing, after 20 seconds “I” is automatically selected and installation will proceed. If you do not want to wait, press I.  If you have more than ONE Photoshop version, you can press “S” to skip the step of installing the ASP into the listed version of Photoshop (CC in the example above).  If you realize that you’ve got important work underway that you haven’t saved… now is a good time to press Q to quit the installation.  If you continue – and we know you want to, you’ll see Photoshop start and a window pop up. See below for “CONTINUING INSTALLATION“, then come back here.

After Mac Install Completes on One Photoshop Version

After the installer completes stuffing goodness into your Photoshop, it will close your Photoshop and look to install into the next Photoshop it finds.  When it is all done, the plain window will look like this:
ASPMacInstall_DoneYou can safely close the Mac_Install window. A browser window will open with more information about Advanced Stacker PLUS including a link that will allow you to sign up for a Free Stacker clinic. And you are truly done.

Installation on Windows

A video illustrating installation can be found below.
WindowsExpand Windows Instructions

Windows installation is easy… unless you use the Internet Explorer browser in which case there may be some extra clicks (again, we recommend Chrome).

Internet Explorer
Open downloaded file - Chrome. See lower left of window.

After downloading, run the installer: ASP14e.exe. When you start ASP14.exe the following sequence occurs

License Terms

License Terms



Install location… MUST be C:\ – do not change anything here!

After you click “Install”, there is one more dialog before installation proceeds.


Next a CMD window will pop up and guide you through the rest of the installation. Here it has found 3 copies of Photoshop on the computer.


You can SKIP (S) install on a particular Photoshop version. We recommend pressing “C” to continue and not waiting for the 20 second timeout.

While installing the ASP components, the window will turn green and Photoshop will open.


See Completing the Installation to see what happens next.

Completing the Installation

Both the Mac and the Windows installation processes install the actions and scripts in a well known location and then update each version of Photoshop to make sure the new stacker is available.  For this reason, you may notice that the installation appears to be repeating when in fact it is installing using a different version of Photoshop that it finds on your system.

The very first window you should see after the installer launches Photoshop will look like this


After clicking Yes, the installer will remove any prior versions of Advanced Stacker Plus and update them with the current version. In the example below, ASP 14e has been reinstalled.

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 8.14.32 AM

After the scripts and actions have been installed, Post-Install tests start automatically. This is the same test that you can run yourself as “Advanced Stacker PLUS Version 14e -> Installation Check” from the Action Palette.  The windows may be styled differently depending on the version of Photoshop and the operating system.

As you continue, Photoshop will load files and test many of the action operations. If you get any errors, a manual installation may be necessary.

If Installing On Photoshop CS2 (No longer supported)

While not officially suported, the installer may not be able to find where CS2 is installed. If CS2 is not listed in the Photoshop versions found, you can manually install the action by starting Photoshop CS2 then using File -> Scripts -> Browse.  Navigate to to C:/StarCircleAcademy/ASP/14e (Windows) or /Applications/StarCircleAcademy/ASP/14e (Mac) and select “installASP.jsx”

Photoshop CS2 Installation Warning

Next on CS2 you will need to continue through a “Scripts” warning


Photoshop CS2 Error… Continue here.



On Photoshop CS2 this dialog doesn’t appear.

After all the tests run successfully the above dialog appears. If you DID see an error, please consult the TROUBLESHOOTING section.

The dialog below is the last step of installing the Action Sets on one copy of Photoshop. Click OK, then Photoshop closes, and the installer looks for the next version of Photoshop on your system. Finally you’ll get a “Done” dialog. When you press OK, Photoshop will exit. The appearance of the Dialog depends on the Photoshop version and operating system.


Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 8.16.05 AM

One last issue in Photoshop CS2 is this one:


No… no need to save changes in Photoshop CS2

Next Photoshop will exit and installation will continue with the Next version of Photoshop found on your machine. If for some reason Photoshop does NOT exit, please exit manually using Control-Q (Windows) or Command-Q (Mac)

The Results

After installation completes, you can take a look at the Action Palette (Alt-F9 on Windows, Option-F9 on Mac) where you will see the following items.


Three Actions Sets combine to deliver the Advanced Stacker PLUS goodness.


See the Information Page.


We know you want to keep and cherish Advanced Stacker PLUS forever, but if for some reason you need to uninstall it (like when you sell your computer or want to start over from the beginning), here are the steps.  They work on Macs and PCs

  1. Navigate to StarCircleAcademy/ASP/14e
    (On a Mac this should be under /Applications
    on a Windows machine under C:/)
  2. Copy “installSCA.jsx” onto your desktop.
  3. Delete the entire StarCircleAcademy folder.
  4. Load Photoshop and use File -> Scripts.
  5. Browse to the location where you saved the installSCA.jsx file (your desktop) and click it.
  6. The installer will run… but the first thing it does is remove the current version.
  7. After it removes the old, it will fail to run the Install check – evidence that it removed the old.
  8. If you have more than one version of Photoshop you can run the installSCA.jsx in each version.
  9. When you’re completely done, just delete the last remaining file from your Desktop
  10. Shed a tear or two for your now departed friend. (Optional)

Troubleshooting Installation Problems

We would like to say that we have exhaustively tested the installation, but in truth there are MANY, MANY different versions of operating systems out there (We tested on Windows 7 Pro, Windows 8.1, Mac OSX 10.9 Mavericks and Mac OSX 10.10.5 Yosemite).  If you run into a problem, don’t panic. Several things that may create issues include: non-standard installation.

We’d love it if we could ship just ONE version of all scripts and actions, unfortunately in Photoshop paths are important and Mac folder structures are obviously different from Windows folder structures.

Windows Install Issues

On windows, only install on C:\

Mac Install Issues

On Mac only install in /Applications/StarCircleAcademy

Get message: “Sorry. Can not find the content to install!” on my Mac, what do I do?

If you download the file multiple times you will end up with files named ASP14e_Mac(1).zip etc. And if you expand the zip file more than once (Safari does it automatically) you may end up with folders named “StarCircleAcademy 2″, “StarCircleAcademy 3″

1. Delete all but (redownload it if you need to).
2. Delete all the StarCircleAcademy folders.
3. Double click the and continue installing as described above.

We have reports that multiple people are having trouble completing install on Yosemite 10.10+ with Photoshop CC 2015. Investigating.


Where did Bump up and Pump Up Go?

The Bump up and Pump up functions for increasing star brightness were moved into the ASP Customizations Action Set. All of the items in the ASP Customizations are runnable from the Action Palette instead of File->Automate->Batch whereas everything in the Advanced Stacker PLUS Version14e should be run  from File->Automate->Batch or Adobe Bridge EXCEPT:

  • Installation Check
  • Fat Head Setup
  • Reset Stack

Known Issues

Please see HERE for known issues.

Installation Videos


Windows Installation Video

Advanced Stacker PLUS 14E Windows Installation and Usage – Click here for larger format.

Mac Installation Video

How to Install Advanced Stacker PLUS on your Mac (High Sierra) from Steven Christenson on Vimeo.

Also see Manual Installation, below.

Manual Installation

As a last resort, you can try manual installation. We recommend you use the file – yes, even on a PC!  If you find the automated install doesn’t work, please post a question below and we will add detailed manual instruction information.
Here is a summary of what you must do, however:

  1. Unpack the Mac zip file (it will become a Folder called “StarCircleAcademy”
  2. Drag the folder to C:\ on a Windows machine or /Applications on a Mac
  3. Open Photoshop. Use File -> Scripts -> Browse to find and run the script: StarCircleAcademy\ASP\14e\installSCA.jsx
  4. Follow the prompts.
  5. Close Photoshop and repeat steps 3 and 4 for each additional Photoshop version installed on your machine.

20 thoughts on “Advanced Stacker PLUS 14e Installation

  1. Robert Eckhardt

    Hi Steven–

    Installation appeared to go OK on my Mac with PS CC 2014. But the Installation Check action stops at the Load StarCircleAcademy Watermark:Place command. Beneath Place on the Actions command list it says “File or Folder not Found” — which seems odd to me, although I am not an expert at PS actions. The Place command generates the Error message “The command Place is not currently available.”

    1. Steven Christenson Post author

      Thanks for the feedback, that’s probably our fault, but it might indicate an installation issue. Can you check in the finder to be sure there is a file here: /Applications/StarCircleAcademy/ASP/MyWatermark.psd
      and here: /Applications/StarCircleAcademy/ASP/14e/SCA14e.png

      Those are the two files that “Place” may try to load on a Mac, depending on your Watermark configuration. 14e is just rolling out, but we haven’t had anyone else report that problem… so we’re wondering…

      “The command ‘Place’ is currently not available” is also what you’d get if you run one of the Watermark actions with no file loaded.

  2. Robert Eckhardt

    Yes, both files are present and located as you describe. Except the top folder on a Mac is the plural — Applications — not the singular. I presume that was just a spelling error on your part.

    Hmmm. Out of curiosity, I looked in my copy of PS CC 2014 for the Place command that PS says was not available. There’s a Place Embedded, and a Place Linked, but no Place command. Does this have anything to do with the problem?

    1. Steven Christenson Post author

      It was indeed a typo on my part. “/Applications” is correct. I’m glad you caught that since such little things make computers unhappy.

      As for what “Place” means as an action step, the Linked choice is new for CC 2014 and shows up as “Place with linked” when recording an action. I’m at a loss why your Photoshop behaves differently from our Mac copy. The simple workaround is to turn off Watermarks. Open ASP Customizations. Expand “My Watermark” then uncheck all the “Play” actions except “Play action “No Watermark”.

      However, it might be interesting to try to do a “Place (embedded)” yourself to see if you get an error when you do it manually.

      1. Robert Eckhardt

        Since I’m not sure when or how I am supposed to test “Place (embedded)”, I opted to turn off watermarks as you describe. I did a brief test run, and it worked fine. I also ran the Installation Check and it ran OK as well. Thanks! FYI, in the rare instance when I use watermarks, I use Lightroom for the task, so setting watermarks to off is no problem for me — in fact it’s the way I would have set it without the Place command issue.

        1. Steven Christenson Post author

          “Place” is a Photoshop Command. Open a file (any one will do) then do File -> Place (embedded) of one or more of the files from the /Applications directory.

          Many people tell me they use Lightroom for Watermarking, and with single images I often do that myself, however, as you might guess, Photoshop is much more versatile with different blending modes and effects and the action automatically places and sizes the watermark according to image size. I use watermarking mostly for timelapse sequences where dozens or hundreds of images will be watermarked automagically and it saves me having to start, import, select and re-export from Lightroom.

  3. Steven Christenson Post author

    Q: I got a message “Sorry. Can not find the content to install!” on my Mac, what do I do?
    A: This may happen if you end up downloading the file multiple times, or expanding it multiple times. You will end up with files named ASP14e_Mac(1).zip etc. And if you expand the zip file you may end up with folders named “StarCircleAcademy 2”, “StarCircleAcademy 3”

    1. Delete all but (redownload it if you need to).
    2. Delete all the StarCircleAcademy folders.
    3. Double click the and continue installing as described above.

  4. Steven Christenson Post author

    Q: [GmQ] “i have a window pop up saying not everything was unpacked or there was no photoshop on my computer which there is, any help would be great.”
    (Actual text is “Apparently not everything was unpacked correctly,
    or we found no Photoshop versions on your machine.
    Sorry, cannot do installation

    A: On a windows machine, changing the installation location will cause this failure as described above.

    One way to check is to look to see if you have a C:\StarCircleAcademy directory after the failure. If it is there, then please email us the PS.txt file that you find in C:\StarCircleAcademy\ASP (feel free to look in it first). You can also send us REGS.txt which is in the same directory.

    You may also get this message if you have only Photoshop CS2 installed on your machine. If it’s the latter, please see the manual installation instructions (when we post them!).

    1. Steven Christenson Post author

      Governor Westrock” Everything you posted (name, email address) are bogus so can’t confirm you are a customer. Please contact us via the support email address. See “About -> Contact” in the banner at the top of the page.

  5. Mariel

    Hi there,
    I have a Mac with OS 10, and Photoshop CC. I tried automatically installing the script, and manually installing it, as per your instructions on this page. Both times, I received the following error messages:
    “Could not place the document because of a program error”
    “Not able to complete the installation check. Please close Photoshop manually”

    Do you have any advice for how I should proceed with the installation?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

  6. Christopher Collins

    I just purchased and am having the same problem with Yosemite and CC2015 as Mariel. I hope you can find a solution soon, and pass it along. I am not overly impressed that you continue to sell the software in a combination that you seemingly know doesn’t work. However, that aside, I look forward to a fix and trying out the software.

    1. Steven Christenson Post author

      We are sorry. We have not solved the issue as yet. We have refunded everyone who indicated that CC2015 and Mac Yosemite are their configuration, and we’ve written warnings on the purchase pages.

      1. So what's bloomin'?

        I appreciate that you are looking into the CC2015/ Yosemite issue, and would love to be able to use the software if you can ever find a solution. Your last post mentioned that you have issued refunds, but I don’t believe I have been issued one. How do I look into this further?

        1. Steven Christenson Post author

          We think we have issued refunds and have had several setbacks with our Mac including a crash… Unfortunately your post doesn’t identify you in any way we can use. The email address, for example, is not in our records. Please contact as our support email address ( and send us your PayPal purchase statement, or the email we sent you with the download links.

          Sorry we haven’t made further progress here.


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