Apologies in advance for the rather verbose description, only I don't yet have the rep to post images.
I work on an application where you can browse images and add them to a personal 'folder'. When you go to 'your folder' page the images are listed across the page as thumbnails in little panels, each of which has a checkbox. The checkboxes allow you to select images, then you can perform actions on your selected images using buttons at the top of the page (e.g. download, edit, remove). The buttons are:
[Download] [More actions] | [Download all]
Where 'more actions' is a drop down button with less commonly used actions (edit, remove, link items etc). The first two buttons are greyed out until you have selected any images, at which point they become active. I've had feedback (though not from proper testing) that it is a bit annoying to have to select items before you can do (or see) any of the less commonly used options.This despite a convenient 'select all' link near the buttons.
Would a better solution be to select all items by default? And do away with the 'download all' button? Just looking for peoples opinions really and whether anyone has seen any similar UI's?
EDIT: I now have the rep to post images so here is a mockup of the current ui. When you select an image the panel it is in turns green.