BlendMe.in: Accessing Vector Icons Without Leaving Photoshop

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Update (10.10.2013): Please note that the ZIP file has been updated after this article has been published. In case Photoshop should crash on your end, please rename your Photoshop settings folder to fix this. You can find the configuration folder here: /Users/[Username]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop CC Settings. Please note that this will reset all Photoshop settings to default. If you should still happen to run into any issues, please kindly send an email to contact@blendme.in1. Thank you for your understanding and support. – Ed.

Here at Smashing Magazine, we’re very fond of the creativity and mutual support of the Web design community. Today, we’re proud to feature a free Photoshop extension that will help everyone access those font icons they need without even leaving Photoshop. Enjoy!

There is no doubt that the Web is full of websites that are packed with free icon packs, and that doesn’t necessarily make it easier for designers to find their way around when they’re looking for a particular icon for a particular project. When you’re in your creative zone and have an idea about something that would perfectly fit in your design, you don’t have time to waste and struggle with finding the right asset.

BlendMe.in2 is a Photoshop extension that allows you to quickly find a high-quality icon that you can simply drag and drop and then easily continue your ideation. All of the icons are vectorial and have been inserted as smart Photoshop objects, meaning that you get all the icon components as layers (vector objects, adjustment layers, etc.) so that you can easily tweak them to match your creation.

screenshot_search_dog_500_mini3
A preview of a “dog” icon in Photoshop with the help of the BlendMe.in extension.

screenshot_search_smash_500_mini4
BlendMe.in automatically suggests a number of icons that are related to the keyword you’ve typed in.

5
Search results when you type in “twitt” in the extension.

A preview of the BlendMe.in Photoshop extension.6
The Photoshop extension provides you with suggestions of icons that contain the same keywords.

Download BlendMe.in For Free!

BlendMe.in is freely available for private and commercial projects. All the assets are provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License107.

Instructions:

  • Close Photoshop before installing the extension.
  • If you don’t have it, download and install Adobe Extension Manager.
  • Unpack the ZIP file, and double click the .zxp file. This will launch Adobe Extension Manager.
  • Please make sure the Extension Manager version matches your Photoshop version.
  • Go through the installation steps.
  • Open Photoshop and choose WindowExtensionsBlendmein.
  • Browse or search icons, then drag and drop into your PSD.

Behind The Design

As always, here are some insights from the designers:

“This extension started out as a solution to a problem that we as UX designers often have: we tend to use small parts of older UIs (especially in the mock-up phase) and the process can be quite frustrating. We kept asking ourselves, ‘How difficult can it be to build an extension in which one can search layers from existing PSDs?’ After several tries, we came up with something that we kept using repeatedly, not only because it was our own tool, but because it made our lives easier.

This extension only contains icons at the moment. We do, however, plan to grow the collection and include more asset types, including filters, effects and adjustment layers.

The content inside BlendMe.in is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License107 — with attribution. We’re thinking of ways to make the attribution even more prominent by default, e.g. by automatically generating a text layer with thanks to all the asset authors that have/are being used. Designers pour hours of work into these high-quality collections which they release for free, and attribution is really the least we could do to give them the credit they deserve.

Speaking about thanks, we’d like to thank Daniel Bruce11 (Entypo) and Visual Idiot12 for their early support, and to all the creatives who’re making part of their work available to others for re-use. Thank you!”

A big Thank You to the team at BlendMe.in for the fantastic Photoshop extension — we all sincerely appreciate your hard work!

(il, ea)

Footnotes

  1. 1 mailto:contact@blendme.in
  2. 2 http://blendme.in/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/screenshot_search_dog_mini.png
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/screenshot_search_smash_mini.png
  5. 5 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/search_twitter_mini.png
  6. 6 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/search_settings_mini.png
  7. 7 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  8. 8 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/frontimg.png
  9. 9 http://provide.smashingmagazine.com/BlendMeIn-Photoshop-Extension.zip
  10. 10 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  11. 11 http://www.danielbruce.se/
  12. 12 http://visualidiot.com/

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The Smashing team loves high-quality content and cares about the little details. Through our online articles, books and eBooks and Smashing Conferences, we are committed to stimulating creativity and strengthening the web design community’s creative forces.

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  1. 1

    Hi there,
    This extension would be amazing if it worked correctly in CS6. When I drag an icon onto a canvas, it is rasterized with a dark grey background :(

    0
  2. 6

    Keeps crashing my photoshop CC whenever I open their extension inside of PS.

    0
    • 7

      Same here. Took longer than other extensions to install in the extension manager, as well.

      0
      • 8

        Hey Ryan, Tim,

        I’m Marius from BlendMe.in team.

        We have a few users who reported this during the past week, but so far we haven’t been able to identify the cause. We’ve seen it happening when the extension was installed with Photoshop open (instead of closed).

        Would you please send to contact@blendme.in the following info:
        * PS version / Extension Manager version
        * operating system

        Thanks for helping out.

        0
      • 9

        Same here..

        0
      • 10

        The fix we’ve found so far, also used by other CreativeMarket plugin, is to delete all PS settings (note this will reset all your workspaces)
        To do this, go to your Library folder, then Preferences, then rename “Adobe Photoshop CC Settings” to something else.

        0
  3. 11

    Not compatible with Photoshop CS6

    0
  4. 13

    Does it not work in CS5?

    0
    • 14

      Hi Alan,

      This requires CS6 or CC versions. It won’t work for CS5, nor CS5.5.

      Sorry for this

      0
      • 15

        You guys should definitely make this compatible with CS 5.5. This is definitely something I would pay to have and Im sure many others would as well. Would save me tons of time. I’m not about to buy CC yet, I just bought cs5.5 a little over a year ago.

        0
  5. 17

    Works fine in my Ps CS6.

    0
  6. 18

    Get a big ol fail when trying to install it via Extension Manager for Photoshop CC. Looks like an extremely useful extension, tho.

    0
  7. 22

    Sounded great… doesn’t install (CS5)

    “Please make sure the manifest.xml of this extension is valid and the Extension Manager recognizes at least one product which the extension supports”

    0
  8. 24

    Nice idea but in Photoshop CS6 I get a black box when drag the icon on the canvas, not transparent background.

    0
  9. 28

    It works for me in Photoshop CC.
    It is a bit slow but the fact that you get vectors and you don’t have to leave PS when looking for icons is priceless.

    0
  10. 29

    Fail with my CS6, too.

    0
  11. 32

    Anyone else getting an error, asking to “Please make sure the manifest.xml of this extension is valid and the Extension Manager recognizes at least one product which the extension supports.” Using Adobe CC. I eagerly forwarded this to our company’s designers to assist them with quick mockups before testing it out. I’m sure the problem relates to an update Adobe just pushed out for Photoshop today.

    0
    • 33

      I’m an idiot. Adobe CC launched an Extension Manager window even though I never had Extension Manager properly installed through the CC App manager. After “officially” installing the manager, the extension installed.

      0
  12. 35

    its a pity its just for CS6

    0
  13. 36

    Got it to work but when I drag the icons, the background is black and it’s not a smart object.

    Anyone with this same issue?

    0
  14. 37

    This was a horrible waste of time. It crashed Photoshop several times, for me and apparently for everyone using CS6. This is a perfect example of the low quality of Smashing Magazine articles as of late. Someone should delete this article.

    0
    • 38

      And then someone rattles off 3 consecutive fake responses saying “awesome” within the next 5 minutes.

      This always happens. Sick of it. You can have all the Smashing books back. Won’t recommend them to anyone anymore. I hate fake crap like that.

      0
      • 39

        Vitaly Friedman (editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine)

        September 27, 2013 6:43 am

        @Jackson, AboutaDirk: I sincerely apologize for these issues, guys! It’s a bit difficult to test the plugin among the different platforms. We’re working with the guys behind BlendMe.in to resolve all issues as soon as possible. Please stay tuned!

        Please feel free to ping me personally (or just tweet @smashingmag) and provide more feedback about what exactly you disliked lately (with some examples if possible); I am listening to you, guys!

        0
      • 40

        The only fix we’ve found so far, also used by other CreativeMarket plugin, is to delete all PS settings (note this will reset all your workspaces)
        To do this, go to your Library folder, then Preferences, then rename “Adobe Photoshop CC Settings” to something else.

        0
  15. 41

    installs seamlessly, nice UI. I like it!

    0
  16. 42

    Works great for me on CS6. Thanks for this useful extension!

    0
  17. 43

    Worked like a charm for me (CS6)!
    It’s great!

    0
  18. 44

    Sweet! Just installed for CS6 – works perfectly.

    Was trying some random searches like “arrow” and it came up with two results. I know the extension is limited to a certain amount of icon sets but would be nice to be able to add your own icon sets somehow. I know you’d have to keyword them but would still be nice.

    Anyhow, nice job. Thanks to the devs/designers who created this.

    0
  19. 45

    Awesome plugin! I’ve never had photoshop CC crash so quickly!

    0
    • 46

      The fix we’ve found so far, also used by other CreativeMarket plugin, is to delete all PS settings (note this will reset all your workspaces)
      To do this, go to your Library folder, then Preferences, then rename “Adobe Photoshop CC Settings” to something else.

      0
  20. 47

    looks good. Y U NO make one for Fireworks? :S

    0
  21. 48

    We should all make Gimp better instead. But nice idea.

    0
  22. 49

    I installed it on Windows and Mac but when I drag icons, the background is black as well as others users in this topic… :(

    0
  23. 50

    Sounds great but does not work on PS6 64bit on mac or windows. Just drags small bitmap layers into the document (with a black background on windows). Any solution?

    0
  24. 52

    Love the idea, thank you for making it free! … But what’s wrong? I can drop pixels only, no vector icon as I thought.

    0
    • 53

      Same here! :/

      0
    • 54

      Edit: instead they appear in my Downloads-folder as PSD … anything I missed here? :-)

      0
      • 55

        Hi Oliver, Thomas,

        This is a bug we’re still trying to reproduce & discover the cause. Several folks have told us about it.
        Yes, the vector icon is being downloaded to your Downloads folder as PSD, but then it should be inserted into your design where you dragged it, which doesn’t work for you.

        Would you be willing to help by installing some special extension builds, which might offer more information, and send the results to us? We don’t have these builds yet, but we’ll be working on it.
        Please get in touch via email: contact@blendme.in

        Thanks for your patience,
        Marius

        0
  25. 56

    My colleague loaded it onto his CS6 no issue, but keeps crashing photoshop for me when I try and open it under window>extensions>BlendMe

    I have emailed Marius, hoping this is a simple glitch that can be corrected. Looks like a really useful extension!

    0
  26. 57

    Installed and using with Photoshop CS6 x64, works a treat! Thanks!

    0
  27. 58

    Incredible! I waste so much time searching the web for icon sets. Then I forget where I saved them to so I search all over again and end up with a mess of zip folders and icon sets all over my hard drive.

    One thing people should be careful to pay attention to though is when installing the Extension make sure you’re using the correct Extension Manager. My Mac opened Extension Manager CC by default… maybe from when I downloaded the trial. Use the correct manager and it works like a charm!

    THANKS!!!!!

    0
  28. 59

    Nice idea, but there’s just no way I can possibly use assets which come with an attribution license. I wholeheartedly support giving the content creators the attention (and, yes, even money) they deserve, but I can picture the question marks over my clients’ heads if every layout I deliver carried the name of all the people who supplied even just one icon. Using minor assets such as icons licensed under CC-BY is completely imposible for production layouts, and even if I were to use them in mockups (which is already hard to justify), the advantage is gone because I have to replace them later anyway.

    1
  29. 61

    This extension would be amazing if it worked in CS5, but it’s impossible I know.

    0
  30. 62

    When I drag icons onto the workspace the icon

    a) is not vectorial
    b) is not inserted as a smart object
    b) has a white background

    I’m on Photoshop CC

    0
  31. 64

    I would be cool to upload users icon set of library elements for wireframes or other kind of work

    0
  32. 65

    Working fine with CS6.

    0
  33. 66

    yes its works fine — Thanks :)

    0
  34. 67

    Keeps crashing on CS6 x64 MAC.

    0
  35. 69

    Is not able to load plugin. I’m using PS 6, CC on a iMac. I get an error saying: “The extension can not be installed, it requires Photoshop version in range of inclusively between 14.0 and 14.9.”

    I have no idea what version types that is indicating, but having the most current PS, I’d think it would work. Apparently not.

    Please fix so it works cuz I’d dig having this!

    0
    • 70

      Hi there,

      Your Extension Manager version needs to match your PS version, and both to match the extension version. For example, use BlendMeIn CC.zxp with Extension Manager CC and Photoshop CC.

      0
  36. 71

    Awesome!! works perfectly for me

    0
  37. 72

    Great Extension. Working fine for CS6. Thanks

    0
  38. 73

    Very useful plugin!

    0
  39. 74

    Hey there,

    nice Plugin! but every shape I drag onto the canvas is rasterized :/

    0
  40. 76

    Everywhere are plugins supported CS5.5. But not here :C . I hope you can do support for CS5.5 too. Cheers and best for you all.

    0
  41. 77

    Hello, when I try to drag and drop I get this message (translated from french) : type error undefined is not an object.

    PS CS6 (French) on WinXP

    0
    • 78

      I reinstalled from BlendMein website, drag and drop works now, but with black background and raster gfx.

      0
  42. 79

    This is a very cool extension. But I can only see it useful for some quick mockup designs or prototyping. If your app or website needs numerous icons, you should either use one icons pack or even better, make your own.

    0
  43. 80

    Adobe CS6 Win64 bit, Langauge: English UK
    Only get the error message when trying to drag and drop on canvas:
    “TypeError: undefined is not an object”

    Great idea for a plugin, horrible execution! If you make a public release it has to be tested before!! On all platforms….

    Basic software course lesson 1: DEBUG!!!

    0
  44. 82

    I also have the “TypeError: undefined is not an object” when trying to drag and drop on the canvas.

    PS CC Win64 bit on Win7, Langauge: English

    0
  45. 85

    Hi
    Just got back from my vacation and discovered this cool Extension. Installation went well, I can also look at and scroll through all the libraries but as soon as I try to drag an icon to the canvas the following message appears: “Typfehler: undefined ist kein Objekt”. (same as Webrunner two messages above)
    MacOS X 10.7 Swiss German, CS6

    0
  46. 87

    Hi, This is really useful. Would love to get it installed in PS CS6. This is what I have been looking for. This will be a time-saver :D

    Guys, When it’s clearly mentioned above that It only works in CS6 & CC, why do you try it on CS5? :|

    0
  47. 88

    Great work, thx!

    0
  48. 89

    At Last!!!!

    I have downloaded the new Blendme-in 1.3.0 version and all the previous problems have gone. No more black background, no more raster icon and no more small psd files in my download folder.

    Thank you for all your work.

    Windows 7 64, spanish, CS6 64.

    0
  49. 90

    Hi,

    d/l the Blendme.in plugin 1.3 version after deleting the ps settings folder. Worked. But after “rearranging” ps to it`s old workspace (eg. patterns, brushes, shapes), it starts crashing again. Could it be the “amount” of brushes etc. that keeps Bmi from working? If I remember correctly, after installing a few patterns, it still worked. Than (after a sudden) it still worked, but no vector icons anymore (bitmap on white bg) and after installing a few assets more, it starts crashing. It`s really odd, because another extension (long shadow generator) has the same problem. If you start ps without any additional assets, both extension work.

    best
    Michael

    PS CC, OSX 10.7.5

    0
  50. 91

    Works as a charm.
    Do you guys know of any alternative service (Paid and/or free) that lets you add your own icons a library so you can use them them later on?
    That is, without having to submit them on the website – as Blendme.in as right now

    0
  51. 92

    One of the best extension ever! Thank you Smashing Mag for bringing this mxp to my attention

    0

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