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Instructions: Install Photoshop Plugin - Installation tips for plugins, styles, presets, gradients and patterns

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  4. Instructions: Install Photoshop Plugin - Installation tips for plugins, styles, presets, gradients and patterns

How can I install a Photoshop plugin? These guides on installing plugins, styles, presets, gradients and patterns will help.

Many functions can be added to Photoshop and Photoshop Lightroom with plugins. Apart from that, free plug-ins and presets invite you to experiment. We explain here how to install plugins in Photoshop and what also needs to be considered when loading styles, presets, gradients and patterns.


Install Photoshop plugin

The Adobe Extension Manager can be used to conveniently install plugins for Creative Cloud programs. In the meantime, the useful and important tool from Adobe is no longer being developed for some inexplicable reason. As a result, only versions up to Photoshop CC 2014 are supported.

Tip: Users of the still frequently used Photoshop version CS6 should still use the Adobe Extension Manager. After all, it represents the easiest way to date to install Photoshop plugins.

But how can you install plugins with Photoshop CC 2019 and Co.?

In any case, Adobe offers the installation of plugins via its own Exchange website. Registered users can install and uninstall plugins directly via the browser.

It is therefore of course assumed that the desired plug-in is listed on the Adobe Exchange website and that synchronization is activated in the Creative Cloud app.

Install .zxp files with Photoshop Plugin Installer

If a Photoshop plug-in cannot be found on the Adobe Exchange website, the only alternative is to go through one Plugin installer or tackle a tedious installation by hand. Since the Extension Manager developed by Adobe can no longer be used for the latest Photoshop versions, you have to rely on third-party software to be able to install .zxp files.

That is why Adobe recommends Anastasiy’s Extension Manager to install files with the extension .zxp. The software can be downloaded for free for Mac and Windows. There is an alternative, for example, in the form of the ZXP installer.

Tip: If you want to uninstall a plugin that was loaded via Adobe Exchange, then the plugin should also be correctly removed via the Exchange website. A third-party app deletes the plug-in properly from the hard drive - however, due to the existing entry in Exchange, the plug-in is reinstalled every time Photoshop is started. However, this does not happen with every plugin.

Install plugins manually in the Photoshop CC 2019 plugin folder

If third-party plugin installers don't help, you can finally try to install the plugins manually as a last resort. Whether that is a promise of success is another matter. Many newer plugins also have complex structures and structures that are not that easy to decipher. In any case, there are some tips on the Adobe website that describe what can be done with the Command line in Windows or that Terminal on the Mac so everything can be done.

Some plugins are made available for download as ZIP archives. You can try unpacking these and copying the content manually into the appropriate file folder. The names of newer plugins often begin with "Com.". The complete folder is copied into the corresponding extensions folder:

  • / Library / Application Support / Adobe / CEP / extensions / (on Mac)
  • c: \ \ AppData \ Roaming \ Adobe \ CEP \ extensions \ (on Windows)

Install gradients in Photoshop

Gradients are easy to install in Photoshop. To do this, you first choose that Gradient tool (Key "g"). Then click on the pull-down menu next to the history in the contextual menu bar that is visible at the top of the screen.

Another window becomes visible. Now you select the small gear in the upper right corner. In the window that then appears, you can override the gradients "Load gradients ..." install in Photoshop.

Install styles in Photoshop

The easiest way to install Photoshop styles is to use the Styles window under "Window> Styles" is attainable. If you click on the menu symbol in the top right corner, the Photoshop styles can be accessed via "Load styles ..." selected and installed.

After the import, the styles are available for use directly in the styles window.

Install pattern in Photoshop

Patterns can be found in Photoshop via the menu "Edit> Fill Area" (Shift + F5) to be installed. In the "Options" area there is a selection option for your own patterns. If you click on this, a menu appears showing all installed patterns. At the top right of the new window there is a small gear. After clicking on the symbol, further commands become visible. With "Load sample ..." patterns can be loaded and installed in Photoshop.

Install presets in Photoshop Lightroom

Presets in Photoshop Lightroom can be accessed from the menu "Edit> Preferences" to be installed. If you click on the tab there "Requirements", two buttons appear under "Storage location".

There you click on "Show Lightroom Developer Presets" (see the screenshot). A file window opens with the location of the presets. This is called "Settings". Simply copy the desired presets into this folder. After a restart, the freshly installed presets are available in Lightroom.

If the installation still does not work, you can still use the Import via the template window try. The presets will then most likely be listed under "User preferences", but at least the preferences were then imported. And this is how it works:

  • First switch to the "Develop" mode
  • Click on the small cross in the template window
  • Select the entry "Defaults will be imported"
  • Select the presets to be imported in the file window (multiple selections are possible)
  • Then click "Import".

The presets should now appear in the Preferences window under “User Preferences”.