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Organizing your Photoshop Filters and Plugins

by Sara Froehlich

Most of us use Photoshop-compatible plug-ins in more than one program. Here’s how to organize them and save yourself some hard disk space.

Many of us have several versions of Photoshop installed, along with other programs that also use Photoshop-compatible plug-in filters like Corel Photo-Paint or Xara Xtreme. Rather than installing these plug-ins multiple times into each program’s own plug-in folder, you can install the plug-ins into a central location and tell all of your programs to look in this folder for plug-ins.

This is very simple to set up. Close Photoshop and any applications you want to access the plug-ins from the new folder. Make a folder called plug-ins wherever it’s handy for you on your hard drive. On my Mac, I have the plug-ins folder at Macintosh HD > plug-ins. On my windows machine, it’s at C:\plug-ins.

Install or copy your plug-ins to this new folder. Now you need to tell Photoshop where the plug-ins are.

In Photoshop, open the preferences (cmd/ctrl + K) and choose Plug-ins and Scratch Disks (cmd/ctrl 7). Check the Additional Plug-ins Folder box, and then click the Choose button.


Choose a location for the plug-ins
Navigate to the plug-ins folder you created earlier and click Choose (Mac) or OK (Windows).

Reopen Photoshop and your plug-ins will be listed on the bottom of the Filter menu.


Make sure you tell any other versions of Photoshop or other programs that use photoshop compatible filters and plug-ins where to find the new plug-ins folder.

Reprinted from


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