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The 40 best Photoshop plugins

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In this article we've lined up some of the best Photoshop plugins available for Adobe Creative Cloud's photo editing giant. Photoshop is an amazing tool – capable of producing sublime images, high-quality video and very passable renders for 3D art.

All this power offers a world of possibilities – but occasionally it's worth adding a few optional extras to get the most out of your investment.

There's a plethora of plugins available for PS users, but we've selected the best of those that you can download and use straight away.

Promoted: Filter Forge 6.0

Photoshop plugins: Filter Forge

Filter Forge offers a load of filter options
  • Publisher: Filter Forge
  • Price: $149-$399 (now with 80% discount $29 - $79)
  • Good for: Photographers, photo editors, graphic designers, 3D artists

Currently in version 6.0, Filter Forge offers 11 thousands of filter effects and textures, covering almost every application you can imagine. It's almost infinitely versatile and creative, and capable of a vast range of different styles and looks - and when you get bored with the presets, you can start making your own custom effects (and textures!).

01. Fontself Maker for Photoshop CC


The Fontself Maker Photoshop plugin brings you font creation superpowers
  • Publisher: Fontself
  • Price: £43
  • Good for: Designers

Ready to start creating your own fonts? It’s easier than you think with this handy Photoshop plugin. Fontself Maker lets you turn any image or vector layer into colourful OpenType fonts using Photoshop CC 2015.5 or CC 2017. 

You can drag and drop layers to create new characters, and capture any colour, shade or texture you want. The makers are working on updates all the time – think kerning, ligatures, alternates and so on – which they distribute to Fontself Maker owners for free.

02. EyeCandy


A multitude of effects are available with EyeCandy
  • Publisher: Alien Skin
  • Price: $129 (free trial available)
  • Best for: Designers

EyeCandy has been around for over a decade, offering a broad range of effects ranging from fire to chrome, glass to extrusions. Useful for many different scenarios, a lot of the effects need dialing down from the default settings to achieve something other than a cheesy result, but there’s a lot of hidden gems in the suite.

03. Fluid Mask 3


Fluid Mask is designed to make masking simpler
  • Publisher: Vertus
  • Price: $149 (free trial available)
  • Best for: Photographers & Designers

Masking is a fine art all in itself, and while Photoshop has improved its built-in masking tools with CS5 and CS6, there's still plenty of room for a dedicated tool to help you get the cleanest and most accurate masks possible - especially around problem areas such as hair and fur. Fluid Mask makes this normally laborious process quick and (relatively) easy!

04. Getty Images

  • Publisher: Getty Images
  • Price: Free
  • Good for: Graphic designers, web designers

Everyone needs a bit of stock imagery now and then, so why make things difficult for yourself. Getty Images' own plugin makes it easy for you to search for and filter images and hi-res comps, not only for Photoshop but also Illustrator and InDesign. If you already have a Getty account you'll have access to all your previous downloads, and you can set your preferences to tailor the plugin experience towards your own needs.

05. ParticleShop

Photoshop Plugins: ParticleShop

ParticleShop brings Corel Painter tools to Adobe Photoshop users
  • Publisher: Corel
  • Price: £44.99
  • Good for: Illustrators and Photographers

Painter is a long established digital art favourite amongst illustrators, but, thankfully, Corel has finally brought its brush technology to Photoshop with ParticleShop.

Brushes can make a huge difference to your creativity and productivity, and this powerful plugin offers non-destructive brushstroke layer support and includes 11 great brushes, including Debris, Fabric, Fine Art, Fur, Hair, Light, Space, Smoke and Storm.

06. Ink

Photoshop Plugins: Ink

Ink is a must have for designers working with developer teams

Ink is built for team players. Sometimes developer teams might not be as Photoshop savvy as you, the designer. Ink helps you communicate your designs.

This Photoshop specs generator that allows you to include subtle information in your Photoshop document. You can add essential specifications such as text formatting, layer styles, typography, effects and sizes. All this information is then compiled into one handy folder to keep it neat and tidy.

This all ensures that your final product looks how it is expected to look when handed over to developers.

07. Fixel Contrastica 2

Photoshop Plugins - Fixel Contrasica 2

Contrastica is a smart contrast intensifier that targets both local and global contrast at the same time

Available for both Photoshop and After Effects, Contrastica is a smart contrast intensifier. From Fixel Algorithms, a company specialising developing and implementing "Advanced and Innovative Image and Video Processing Algorithms" in order to expand image and video manipulation abilities.

Contrastica is a simple to use, focused and highly tuned filter. It targets both local and global contrast at the same time – making it easy to create the image you need in less time.

08. Perfect Resize 9.5

Photoshop Plugins - Perfect Rezie 9.0

Perfect Resize can enlarge your photos up to 1000% without losing image quality
  • Publisher: On1
  • Price: $79.99
  • Good for: Photographers

Perfect Resize 9.5 will enlarge images taken on your DSLR and even mobile devices. The plugin uses genuine fractals powered algorithms for optimizing clarity and detail for different image types.

With built-in presets and manual controls you can easily create high quality enlargements. You can print directly from Perfect Resize 9.5 and it includes cropping and levelling.

09. B&W Effects

Photoshop Plugins - B&W Effects by Topaz

Tweak the specific color and intensity of filters to transform colour images into beautiful monocrome photographs
  • Publisher: Topaz Labs
  • Price: $59.99
  • Good for: Photographers

We could have picked any of Topaz Labs products - they are a must-have for any photographer. Providing texture effects, making remasking easy and turning your photos into impressionist paintings - there is nothing Topaz hasn't come out with to maximise your Photoshop creativity.

However, their black and white tool makes others pale in comparison. It uses a unique B&W conversion engine that emphasises tone and texture in order to help you get B&W images that pop.

10. Kubota Texture Tools Industrial

Photoshop plugins: Kubota Industrial

Texture Tools Industrial includes a set of 50 metallic filters
  • Publisher: Kubota
  • Price: $69
  • Good for: Photographers

Kubota describe themselves as the 'Mecca' of photo enhancing tools, and this latest industrial pak accompanies their extensive range of textures, borders and templates.

As usual with Kubota, you can try these metallic filters before you buy. With this pak you can give your images a man-made finish thanks to a selection of 50 metal themed textures. You'll be able to manipulate the filters to fit your images, giving them an edgy final touch that will make them stand out from the crowd.

11. Page Curl

Photoshop plugins: PageCurl

Bend your images with this powerful plugin
  • Publisher: AV Bros
  • Price: £34.95
  • Good for: Graphic designers

Page Curl 2.0 allows you to create a page turn and page fold effect on both regular and arbitrary-shaped objects (such as non-rectangular objects, or areas with full or partial transparency.)

Ideal for ecovers and designers, this powerful plugin is straightforward to use and designed to fit in with other Photoshop tools. The latest update allows you to switch the direction of the folds and curls (choose between Upwards or Downwards), as well as supporting CMYK coloured images and much more.

12. PSD Cleaner

Photoshop plugins: PSD Cleaner

Easily look after your layers with PSD cleaner
  • Publisher: Source
  • Price: $19.99
  • Good for: Graphic designers, web designers

Sorting through layers and layers of design work is a laborious, tedious task that is the bane of graphic designers and web designers everywhere. But thanks to PSD Cleaner, the process has got a whole lot easier.

From one simple panel, users can identify unnamed layers, recreate Photoshop effects in CSS, delete empty layers, find out if layers are beyond the canvas and much more.

13. Velositey

Photoshop plugins: Velositey

Design a website prototype in seconds with Velositey
  • Publisher: D&K agency
  • Price: Free
  • Good for: Web designers, developers

The simple and efficient Velositey plugin makes short work of creating a website template. With over 60 templates to choose from and no charge (they only ask for social media mentions), Velositey is a polished, sophisticated tool that will benefit both designers and developers.

Everything has been designed to fit in with the existing Photoshop setup, so it only takes a couple of minutes at most to create a suitable website template for your project.

14. Google Nik Collection


The Nik Collection's now completely free; go get it!
  • Publisher: Google
  • Price: Free
  • Good for: Photographers

We've enthused about many of the photographic plugins featured in the Nik Collection before, but now there's no need to agonise over which ones to buy; Google bought it and then, back in March, decided to release the entire collection for free. So now you can equip yourself with top quality plugins such as Silver EFEX Pro and Viveza that would previously have cost you $95 a go, as well as five other powerful and versatile plugins, without spending anything. 

Next page: more top Photoshop plugins

15. virtualPhotographer

Photoshop plugins: virtualPhotographer

Give your photos a makeover with virtualPhotographer

If you're a designer in a hurry, or you're not yet confident using Photoshop to create stylised images, virtualPhotographer is a quick and effective way to get some sophisticated looks in a hurry.

16. WebZap

Photoshop plugins: WebZap

WebZap is aimed specifically at designers

Although many web designers advocate designing in the browser, many designers remain wedded to Photoshop when creating interfaces. The problem is, Photoshop was initially designed as a retouching tool, and although it’s taken on features for working with layout, it’s still a frequently clunky tool for dealing with web design.

Aimed specifically at web designers, Photoshop plugin WebZap enables you to create layouts based on a 960 grid system, with a web page broken up into three areas: navigation, feature and fold. In addition, the plug-in provides the means to quickly add form buttons, create text, and style text across an entire layout.

17. Subtle Patterns

Photoshop plugins: Subtle patterns

A great plugin to make using the free texture library simple from Photoshop
  • Publisher: Atle Mo
  • Price: $17.99
  • Good for: Graphic designers, web designers

Subtle Patterns is a high quality library of free, tilable textured patterns by Atle Mo. The Subtle Patterns plugin feeds all this textured goodness directly into your Photoshop panel. You just click the pattern thumbnail and the texture is applied as a layer style to your current layer - a great time-saver and well worth $11.99.

18. Renamy

Photoshop plugins: Renamy

Renamy lets you rename multiple Photoshop layers at once
  • Publisher: Klaia
  • Price: $14.99
  • Good for: Photographers, graphic designers, web designers

Naming your layers right is the first rule of Photoshop etiquette. But sometimes you need to rename layers retrospectively, which can be a pain. With Renamy you can rename multiple layers at once, and there's even a cool autocomplete function to save your typing fingers. There's a free demo version so you can give it a try before you buy.

19. Pixel Dropr

Photoshop plugins: Pixel Dropr

Create icon collections and import them into Photoshop with Pixel Dropr
  • Publisher: UI Parade
  • Price: $19
  • Good for: Graphic designers, web designers

Pixel Dropr lets you create your own 100-piece collections of icons, buttons, UI kits or photos and instantly drop them into a Photoshop document while you work. A great way to boost your productivity when you're using assets across multiple projects.

20. Perspective Mockups

Photoshop plugins: Perspective Mockups

Create perspective mockups for your designs using CSS3 3D transforms

There's a lot of swearing and obscenity on the Perspective Mockups site, which you may find either hilarious or offensive. But the plugin is definitely worth checking out. Essentially it's a great way to make perspective mockups for your designs using CSS3 3D transforms. The plugin sits within your Photoshop tools palette and includes eight different layouts to choose from.

21. CSS Hat

Photoshop plugins: CSS Hat

We take our hat off to CSS Hat
  • Publisher: CSS Hat
  • Price: $39.99
  • Good for: Web designers

CSS Hat is a a Photoshop plugin that turns your Photoshop styles into usable CSS3 for your website. You just click on a layer designed with some layer styles, and the markup pops up instantly, for you to copy to your clipboard.

22. Flaticon.com

Photoshop plugins: Flaticon

Flaticon is a free project, created for and by designers and developers
  • Publisher: Flaticon
  • Price: Free (Premium $9.99)
  • Good for: Web designers

If you want to download free icons, Freepik has launched a tool entirely dedicated to this end: Flaticon.com. The largest database of free vector icons, it enables you to download all of its thousands of icons in .svg, .psd or .png format. And this free plugin for Photoshop lets you quickly find all the icons without leaving your working environment.

23. CSS3PS

Photoshop plugins: CSS3PS

CSS3PS makes it easy to convert your Photoshop layers into CSS3 layers
  • Publisher: CSS3PS
  • Price: Free
  • Good for: Web designers

This free plugin uses the cloud to perform the calculations required to convert your Photoshop layers into CSS3 layers, complete with live-rendered effects where these are achievable with CSS. So, drop-shadows, strokes, outer glows, text and rounded corners are all converted to CSS3 automatically. Well worth a try to see if it could save you valuable coding time.

24. Fractalius

Photoshop plugins: Fractalius

Fractalius uses fractals to generate sketch-like effects
  • Publisher: RedField
  • Price: $39.90
  • Good for: Designers, artists

This unusual plugin uses fractal patterns, apparently hidden within the source image, to generate procedural effects that are reminiscent of pencil sketches, or stylised light glow streaks.

25. Dream Suite Ultimate

Photoshop plugins: Dream Suite Ultimate

Dream Suite Ultimate is a pricey but powerful suite

This all-encompassing suite of effects covers everything from textures to pseudo-3D effects, tonal correction and borders. It's not cheap, but covers such a wide range of effects that if you want to buy just one plugin, this should be in your shortlist of options.

26. Machine Wash Deluxe

Photoshop plugins: Machine Wash Deluxe

Add weathering effects with Machine Wash Deluxe
  • Publisher: Mister Retro
  • Price: $99
  • Best for: Designers and Photographers

This filter brings insanely beautiful scratchy textures to your designs and images with accurate, believable weathering and aging effects. Effects include the ability to place artwork on a leather base, render onto wood with the grain visible through the artwork and rust effects. It produces especially nice effects on simple typography.

Next page: more top Photoshop plugins

27. 3D Invigorator

Photoshop plugins: 3D Invigorator

This plugin simplifies the complex 3D process
  • Publisher: Digital Anarchy
  • Price: $175 (free trial available)
  • Best for: Designers

While Photoshop has come on leaps and bounds with its own 3D engine and rendering, there's still room for additional tools that can simplify the process of creating complex 3D scenes and models. This plugin features a simple object editor that uses a pen-like tool for drawing and editing shapes.

28. Blow Up 3

Photoshop plugins: Blow Up 3

Create pin-sharp enlargements without compromising on quality
  • Publisher: Alien Skin
  • Price: $99 (free trial available)
  • Best for: Designers and Photographers

Blow Up allows you to create pin-sharp enlargements from photos without compromising on quality. The algorithm is more advanced than Photoshop's own bicubic filters, which allows the plugin to produce accurate images without artifacts. This makes it a great tool for designers where clients send over images that aren't of a high-enough resolution.

29. Photomatix Pro

Photoshop plugins: Photomatix Pro

Photomatix Pro simplifies the creation of extreme HDR images
  • Publisher: HDR soft
  • Price: from £39 (free trial available)
  • Best for: Photographers

Photomatix Pro is an High Dynamic Range (HDR) processing and toning tool that integrates with Photoshop either standalone or as a plugin (depending upon which version you go for). This tool goes beyond Photoshop's built-in HDR processing capabilities, especially with the toning aspects and allows for the creation of extreme HDR images with relative ease.

30. Perfect Effects 3

Photoshop plugins: Perfect Effects 3 FREE

If you want to get a quick effect on your image, try this plugin
  • Publisher: onOne Software
  • Price: Free
  • Best for: Photographers & Designers

Perfect Effects 3 FREE is a handy tool for getting a quick effect on an image, whether that's a colour treatment, addition of texture and noise, or creative borders. The plugin features an effects library (a bit like the filter gallery in Photoshop) and allows you to stack multiple effects to achieve interesting new results.

31. Noiseware

Photoshop plugins: Noiseware

Noise is tricky to deal with, but not if you have Noiseware
  • Publisher: Imagenomic
  • Price: $79.95
  • Best for: Photographers

Noise is a problem for everyone, but no more so than Photographers who need to present clients with clean images regardless of the conditions when the shot was captured. Noiseware is a specialist noise-suppression tool that will both remove noise and sharpen at the same time making it a really useful addition to Photoshop.

32. Texture Anarchy

Photoshop plugins: Texture Anarchy

Rich textures are possible with Texture Anarchy
  • Publisher: Digital Anarchy
  • Price: $129 (free trial available)
  • Best for: Designers

A combination of three different filters for Photoshop that each provide seamless and rich textures you can incorporate into your designs. Some of these are a little predictable, but the sheer range available, along with the ability to generate true fractals, makes this a great addition to Photoshop.

33. Portraiture

Photoshop plugins: Portraiture

This plugin automatically smooths without softening detail areas
  • Publisher: Imagenomic
  • Price: $199.95
  • Best for: Photographers

Portraiture is a combined plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture that automates the process of retouching portraits for a perfect-skin look. The plugin automatically smooths skin tones while removing blemishes and, crucially, avoids softening or destroying detail areas such as eyelashes and skin texture.

34. SuperPNG

Photoshop plugins: SuperPNG

SuperPNG allows greater control over PNG images
  • Publisher: fnord
  • Price: Free
  • Best for: Designers

If you're a regular user of the PNG format, you'll know that Photoshop can sometimes struggle a bit to render PNGs quickly. SuperPNG aims to fix this by offering more control over your PNG output, allowing for a balance between speed and file size, control over the alpha channel and meta data. SuperPNG's a handy tool for taking control of your image export, and is free!

35. Exposure X2

Photoshop plugins: EyeCandy

Simulate film effects for digital projects with this creative tool
  • Publisher: Alien Skin
  • Price: $149 (free trial available)
  • Best for: Photographers

Exposure is a creative tool that allows you to simulate film effects on your digital images. For its X2 release, publisher Alien Skin has improved its special effects offering to include textures, overlays, vignettes and creative focus, as well as portrait touch-up tools like spot heal, iris enhancement, and skin softening. Users can also now layer up different effects. 

Exposure X2 is available as a plugin for Photoshop or Lightroom, or as a complete standalone raw photo editor.

36. ToonIt

Photoshop plugins: ToonIt

ToonIt quickly turns an image into a cartoon
  • Publisher: Digital Anarchy
  • Price: $129 (free trial available)
  • Best for: Designers

ToonIt is a straightforward way to turn regular photos into a cartoon-style image, suitable for use in graphic novels or other scenarios where you don’t want photo-realistic images but need to base images on a photographic original. The plugin works automatically on an image, but there is a degree of control you can exercise to change the final output. Niche, but fun!

37. GuideGuide

Photoshop plugins: GuideGuide

GuideGuide makes it easy to create a grid system
  • Publisher: Cameron McEfee
  • Price: $10
  • Good for: Print & web designers

This simple Photoshop plugin makes it easy to create a grid system in your Photoshop document, hijacking the built-in guides system to create a pinpoint accurate grid according to your chosen settings. You can use negative margins for special hanging columns, separately define individual margins and gutters, and save your preferred options for quick access in the future. Perfect for anyone using a grid to help them create their layouts.

38. Cut&Slice me

Photoshop plugins: Cut&Slice me

Cut&Slice Me makes it easy to export your designs to the web

This super-handy CS6-only plugin makes it easy to export your designs from Photoshop to the web. Rather than rely on Photoshop's outdated export for web functionality, Cut&Slice me offers a new way of doing things; allowing overlapping slices, multiple button states and even exporting different resolutions of the same assets to cater for different screen sizes and devices.

39. Freeware Boundary Noise Reduction

Photoshop plugins: Freeware Boundary Noise Reduction

Freeware Boundary Noise Reduction is a big improvement on Photoshop’s own noise reduction filter
  • Publisher: Colormancer
  • Price: Free
  • Good for: Photographers

This Photoshop plugin is a freeware version of the full Boundary Noise Reduction plugin from Colormancer. Offering a simplified set of user controls when compared to the pro version, it's superior to Photoshop's own noise reduction filter.

40. NKS5 Natural Media Toolkit

Photoshop plugins: NKS5 Natural Media Toolkit

Nkurence's tool lets you quickly access real-media preset effects
  • Publisher: Nkurence
  • Price: Free
  • Good for: designers & artists

This amazing free Photoshop plugin provides a new panel in Photoshop CS5 and above, allowing you to quickly access real-media preset effects in order to generate documents with natural paper backgrounds, realistic water-colour brush strokes and many more.

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