Photoshop has come a long way since we first saw them in 1991. Computers have changed, monitors have changed, mice have changed, and even Photoshop has changed. One of the neatest improvements in Photoshop is the ability to use add-on programs called plug-ins. These little plug-ins, allows third parties to augment Adobe Photoshop. These plug-ins can perform many functions that the stand-alone program could never do.
One of the most common type of plug-ins we see for Photoshop is the filter plug-in. Their purpose is to supply Photoshop with a wide range of image effects. We could blur, sharpen, draw, paint, and have just a great time.
- Import/export plug-ins move data to and from other peripheral devices.
- Exotic image formats are managed by AP file format plug-ins.
- Photoshop also has a wide selection of automation plug-ins that could automate simple tasks, and greatly improve user’s workflow.
As said before, filter plug-ins are the most used in Photoshop. Users can quickly render lots of different graphics and effects without the use of filter plug-ins. Some of the most popular standalone features include: shadow, emboss, glow, blur, polarize, color, and sharpen. However, for some of the most advanced effects plug-ins are and necessity.
Photoshop plug-ins for innovation and automation are some of the most popular and lucrative for third-party developers. A quick Google search can lead you into plug-ins costing well over $1000 each. Sometimes a third-party developer will offer a shareware version of their plug-in to try out. These plug-ins usually have some sort of limitation on their use. However, purchasing a $1000 plug-ins without having tried it first, is one heck of a risk
Free Photoshop plug-ins are not difficult to find. Hundreds of plug-ins are available for free off of many websites. A quick Google search will run you into thousands of pages just begging to give away free Photoshop plug-ins. Premium plug-ins can also be found, but of course, for a premium price.
Take a look at the Adobe Photoshop website if you are in need of a certain plug-in. Although many of these plug-ins come from third-party vendors, Adobe does a very good job in monitoring these plug-ins, and making sure they are not infected with any type of system harming the viruses. You could easily find a plug-in sorted by category or by their developer.