The 40 best Photoshop plugins

21. 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.

22. 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.

23. 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.

24. 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.

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. 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.

28. 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.

29. 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.

30. 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.

31. 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.

32. ON1 Effects 10.5

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.

33. 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.

34. 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.

35. 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.

36. 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!

37. 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.

38. GuideGuide

Photoshop plugins GuideGuide

GuideGuide makes it easy to create a grid system

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.

39. Cut&Slice me

Photoshop plugins Cut amp 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.

40. ScreenSnap

Shave seconds off your workflow with the ScreenSnap Photoshop plugin
  • Publisher: PluginMate
  • Price: $9.99
  • Best for: Designers

Easily create screenshots from your PSDs with ScreenSnap. The Photoshop plugin aims to make it easier to share screenshots of your WIP or designs. There’s no need to manually crop or use Save for Web: just select a folder, choose your settings and hit the button. And if you’re designing at standard resolution, you can export your screenshot to Retina.    

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