Productivity Tools

10 Best Photoshop Plugins That Anyone Can Use

adobe photoshop

Photoshop is known as one of the best professional-level photo editors available. It is used by professional photographers, graphic designers, and marketing teams to create eye-popping images, logos, and posters. Though Photoshop includes hundreds of editing tools, innovators are always creating new plugins that can be integrated into Photoshop to add even more features. If the base Photoshop experience isn’t providing everything you need, consider adding these 10 best photoshop plugins that anyone can use on a variety of projects.

1. Portraiture 3

portraiture

Portraiture is the perfect Photoshop add-on for retouching portraits. The plugin lets you retouch blemishes, smooth skin, add makeup, and adjust lighting and texture. You can retouch all skin at once or choose sections to edit. You can also use presets to automatically adjust multiple elements at once. The newest version, Portraiture 3, lets you make your own custom presets as well. You can compare the “before” and “after” of an image to determine if the adjustments made reflect what you were going for. 

Portraiture costs $199.55. It can also be purchased in a bundle with other Imagenomic products, Noiseware and Realgrain, for $299.95 total. 

2. Chameleon Adaptive Palette

chameleon adaptive palette

Ever found yourself frustrated with Photoshop’s built-in color palette tool? Chameleon Adaptive Palette may be the solution. Chameleon Adaptive Palette is a smart palette/swatch system that adapts according to the color that you’re selected. After you select a color, the palette presents a range of related colors and shades so you can adjust by tint, brightness, saturation, and more! Palette presents all of these swatches on one pop-up panel, making it easy to quickly switch between different shades and hues.

The Chameleon Photoshop plugin can be purchased for $22 on Adobe Exchange. 

3. ON1 Resize

on1 resize

ON1 Resize provides one of the best apps for resizing images. With it, you can enlarge images without loss of sharpness or detail. You can enlarge photos up to 1000%, process multiple photos at once, and create canvas wraps that stretch or reflect the edges of your photo. Finally, you can print photos right from within the plugin and make adjustments right before printing.

ON1 Resize 2020 costs $49.99 (though sales can bring the price down) and can be installed on up to 5 computers.

4. Droplr

Need a way to quickly share your Photoshop creations? Droplr has you covered. Droplr is a screenshot and file sharing app that saves your file uploads to the cloud. With Droplr’s Photoshop plugin, you can upload your images directly to the cloud from within Photoshop. From there, you can share them via short link, as Droplr generates a unique short link for each file uploaded to it. Droplr images are previewed in a number of work apps, such as Slack and Intercom, so your co-workers and clients will be able to view your Photoshop image without leaving their messaging platform. As such, Droplr makes it easy to quickly share your Photoshop creations with anyone!

Droplr pricing begins at $4/month for individuals and $5/user/month for teams. All Droplr plans include file uploads, cloud storage, a screenshot and screen recording app, and all integrations. Learn more about Droplr here.

5. Filter Forge 9.0

filter forge

Filter Forge is a collection of over 13,000 photo effects and textures, and over 30,000 variations of them. You can also create your own effects or modify existing ones. It also includes a before/after wipe that you can use to compare your original image with the edited version.

Filter Forge offers three different pricing plans starting at $149 for the basic edition. If you want to edit and create your own filters, then you will need to purchase the standard edition at $249. The $399 professional edition includes the ability to stack filters, high-precision file formats, unlimited sizing for bitmaps, and an unlimited number of CPU cores. You can also purchase a lifetime upgrade to all future versions with a professional edition for a total of $828. Filter Forge occasionally offers sales of up to 75% off. All plans include a 30-day free trial.

6. Fontself Maker

fontself maker

Fontself Maker is an extension for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator that lets you create your own fonts! With it, you can convert any shape into a character, or glyph. From there, you can edit your glyphs, provide alternates and ligatures, and define your font’s spacing and kerning. You can even create color fonts! Once you create your font in Photoshop, you can export it as an OpenType font (.OTF).

To get the Fontself Photoshop plugin, you have to buy the $79 bundle that also includes the Illustrator extension. Students and educators can receive a 50% discount.

7. Nik Collection 3

nik collection

Nik Collection 3 is a collection of 8 plugins for Photoshop and Lightroom. This collection includes Color Efex Pro (photo filters and image recipes), Viveza (precise color editing), Silver Efex Pro (monochrome filters and effects), Perspective Efex (photo correction), Dfine (de-noising tools), Sharpener Pro (photo sharpening), Analog Efex Pro (vintage effects), and HDR Effex Pro (tone mapping for HDR images). Nik Collection 3 includes a Selective Tool in Photoshop that lets you easily access each plugin. It also saves your favorite filter presets as well as your edits, so you can quickly edit photos in your own style.

Nik Collection 3 costs $149 and includes all 8 plugins. You can also sign up for a 30-day free trial to try out the collection before committing. The collection includes a lifetime subscription, so you can upgrade to any future versions at no cost.

8. RH Hover Color Picker

rh hover color picker

RH Hover Color Picker provides a hovering color swatch in Photoshop that makes it easy to pick new colors. The color picker remains minimized over your image until you click on it to select a new color. It also includes sliders along the bottom of the panel that you can use to toggle huge, saturation, brightness, and RGB. The color picker takes no CPU from Photoshop, so you don’t have to worry about your system slowing down.

You can buy RH Hover Color Picker for $16 on Adobe Exchange.

9. Exposure x5

exposure

Exposure x5 is an all-in-one photo editing solution that provides presets, a RAW photo editor, 3D color masking, black-and-white processing, non-destructive layers, and portrait retouching. It includes over 500 customizable presets that replicate film looks from throughout the history of film. It also includes unique tools such as realistic film grain, lens focus, and tilt-shift effects, and numerous overlays such as light effects, textures, and borders. You can apply effects selectively to certain areas of your image or change the entire image.

Exposure x5 costs $119. Exposure also offers a bundle for $149 that includes Snap Art natural media and Blow Up photo enlargement. Upgrading from a previous Exposure version costs $89 or $99 for the bundle. You can try Exposure x5 for free with a 30-day free trial.

10. GuideGuide

guideguide

GuideGuide is an extension for Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, and Adobe XD that lets you quickly create grids with a consistent UI. Using GuideGuide, you can create grid-based designs with guided edges, midpoints, and more! You can also create your own custom grids so your designs appear consistent. Finally, you can save your favorite grids and save them with others.

GuideGuide costs $36/year or $5/mo for installation on two machines. You can also try GuideGuide out with a free trial for 14 days. GuideGuide is completely free for students and teachers.

How to Add a Plugin to Photoshop

how to add a plugin to photoshop

Now that you’ve picked out your next Photoshop plugin, you’ll want to know how to install it on the platform! First, go to the plugin’s website or to its page on the Adobe Create Cloud app store and download the plugin onto your device. Then, go to your device’s Program Files folder, find and open the Photoshop folder, and then find and open the Plugins folder nestled inside of it. To add your new plugin, drag and drop it from its current location on your device into the Plugin folder. After you do this, you should be able to find your new plugin from within Photoshop under Filters in the drop-down menu.

If you can’t find it, you may need to set Photoshop to accept new plugins. While in Photoshop, select Edit > Preferences > Plugins from the dropdown menu. Then check the “Additional Plugins Folder” box; this will tell Photoshop to accept new files. If this doesn’t work, contact either Adobe or your plugin’s distributor for additional assistance.

Learn More About Photoshop

If you’re looking for more information on Photoshop, we have you covered! Are you interested in integrating some of the top Photoshop plugins into your platform, but can’t afford the plugins in this list? Then check out our article on the 10 Best Free Photoshop Plugins in 2020. If what you’re looking for is a more general overview of Photoshop, then check out our app review that goes over the basic features of Photoshop.

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