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A-Z of Free Photoshop Plugins and Filters

The Photoshop community is chock-full of many free resources, tutorials, tips and techniques, .psd files and even Actions. There is one area that it sadly lacks in, and that is free plugins, filters and panels. Of course, Photoshop has been the pioneer in graphic editor development for a long time now, and with each new version has added an endless supply of features and addons, and as a result, perhaps the need for free plugins or filters is no longer required. Or has it been ignored? [Updated Jan/03/2017]

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

Traditionally plugins are an amateur photographer’s best friend, take your shots, fire up Photoshop, apply some well preset filters, and hey presto you have a reasonably professional image. Professional photographers have been known to use plugins as a base and then tweak and add effects to achieve there own personal professional touch. Plugins are basically an indispensable tool that do not receive the attention they deserve. And that brings us back to our original mystery, why are there so few free plugins and filters? Do you know the answer? I don’t.

In this A-Z of free Photoshop plugins and filters you will find a few plugins that are (almost) as old as time itself, do not fear, they will work perfectly on all versions of Photoshop and the effect they produce are just as useful now as they were then. If you are looking for a simple and easy method to add effects to an image, this is the post for you.

A-Z of Free Photoshop Plugins & Filters Link

3D Shadow Link

This handy plugin easily creates various types of 3D shadows from objects such as letters, numbers, shapes and so on. All settings are present in a single window – transparency level, perspective, shadow color and position, X/Y/Z angles, and many more.
More Details and Downloads5


Camouflage Link

Use the Camouflage plug-in to make army, fashion and animal camo. The Camouflage plug-in creates seamless images, this means you can use them as textures and patterns for 3D models or as a background for web sites, they can even be used as a pattern for clothing.
More Details and Downloads6


Chalkaholic Link

Chalkaholic renders chalk and charcoal type effects with artistic style and flair. It creates a uniquely effective artistic rendering options, it is an essential addition to any digital artist’s effects collection.
More Details and Downloads7


Circle to Square Link

With this plugin you can convert any circle into a square.
More Details and Downloads8


Composer Link

Update multiple layer comps in Photoshop with just one click.
More Details and Downloads9


Craquelure 3D Link

This filter creates a wide range of well known craquelure (krăkloor´) effects, that is useful in designing various abstract patterns, decorative surfaces and construction materials.
More Details and Downloads10


CSS3Ps Link

Free cloud based photoshop plugin that converts your layers to CSS3.
More Details and Downloads11


Cut&Slice me Link

Use Cut&Slice me to export your assets to different devices in seconds.
More Details and Downloads12


Dreamy Photo Link

Dreamy Photo gives images a soft romantic feel. This is a superb effect for enhancing stock photography, digital camera photos and any image you want to add a warm feel to.
More Details and Downloads13


Duplllicator Link

Clone layer or group and shift it horizontally or vertically with this extension.
More Details and Downloads14


EasyMockups Link

Create Mobile App mockups in seconds. Select form the predesigned mockups, select your background and artwork layers and you’re off.
More Details and Downloads15


Fine Threshold Link

Unlike the traditional threshold command of Photoshop, Fine Threshold allows you to get quickly, anti-aliased and sharp shapes.
More Details and Downloads16


Focal Zoom Effect Link

Focal Zoom generates the proper perspective and depth creating a focal point or emphasizing a particular portion of your image.
More Details and Downloads37291817


Font Awesome Link

Font Awesome icons right inside Adobe Photoshop.

More Details and Downloads37291817


Fontea Link

800 Google fonts in your Photoshop. Don’t guess which font will fit in your design. Try it.
More Details and Downloads19


Harry’s Filters Link

The famous “Harry’s Filters” is a series of filters that contains up to 69 different image effects. The main effect categories are called Color, Artistic, Gradients, Patterns, Warp, Noise, En/Decrypt, Other and Nature. It also includes filters for changing the image color or mood, for creating artistic effects, producing colorful gradients or impressive patterns, warping images and adding special noise effects to image. Additionally they let you encrypt and decrypt images with 64 bit keys, produce zoom, mirror or paint effects as well as natural effects like lightning, tornado and polar lights.
More Details and Downloads20


ICO Windows Icon Link

This plugin gives you an easy method for creating your web site’s favourites/shortcut/bookmark icon in Photoshop.
More Details and Downloads21

IsometrIcon Link

IsometrIcon is a free Photoshop plugin that helps to transform shapes into isometric orientation.
More Details and Downloads22


Ink Link

More Details and Downloads23
Ink is a plugin that helps you providing few extra important informations about your mockups by documenting your layers, from typography to effects and shape sizes.

Kaleidoscope 2.1 Link

Kaleidoscope 2.1 is a plugin which uses multiple symmetries to create beautiful patterns, it uses these three spinning effects: Mirror, Copy, Transition and Blend.
More Details and Downloads24


Layrs Control Link

Remove unused Effects, flatten all Layer Effects, delete empty Layers or rasterize Smart Objects with just one click.
More Details and Downloads25


Long Shadow Generator Link

Long shadow design is still popular. The Long Shadow Generator is an easy-to-use tool that lets you create that effect with just a single click.
More Details and Downloads26


Luce Link

Luce blends radial or directional light beams into your image. There is a text box for adjusting the intensity of the effect.
More Details and Downloads27


Mosaic Link

Mosaic makes your photos look as if they were created out of a mosaic tile. Photo-realistic depth and variable tile size and color options give this effect an infinite number of looks.
More Details and Downloads28


Mood Lighting Effect Link

Mood Lighting lets you apply a darkening effect enhancing the dark mood of any digital image.
More Details and Downloads37291817


Nik Effects Collection Link

Create stunning images faster. Add the power of the Nik Collection by Google to your workflow today.
More Details and Downloads30


Noise Reduction Link

The freeware version of Boundary Noise Reduction lets you remove noise.
More Details and Downloads31


ON1 Effects Link

Effects 10 Standard Edition includes a select number of stackable filters, presets, borders, and textures from ON1 Effects 10.
More Details and Downloads32


Pixel2Vector Link

This little Photoshop tool may save you a plenty of time. It converts your pixel shape in a vector shape or in a Custom Shape Tool.
More Details and Downloads33


Polar Projection Link

Photoshop Plugin for 3D 360-degree stereographic projections.
More Details and Downloads34


Retinize It Link

The best Photoshop tool for preparing designs for iOS or optimized for Retina-display websites.
More Details and Downloads35


Retrodots Link

Retrodots is a simple plugin that generates dot grids which can be based on selections.
More Details and Downloads36


Sharpen Details Effect Link

Sharpen Details brings out the highlights in your digital images and brings clarity to the details in seconds. Give photos a crisp clean look.
More Details and Downloads37291817


Seamless Textures Link

The free Seamless Textures Generator is a simple but time-saving photoshop extension. It generates with just one click a seamless pattern from your picture.
More Details and Downloads38


Sinedots Link

Old demo effect which uses soem simple sinus calculations to generate nice patterns like this one.
More Details and Downloads39

plugins-a-z40 Link

Become a flat design pro in seconds with this simple photoshop plugin.
More Details and Downloads40


Swatchy Link

Folders for your swatches in Photoshop.
More Details and Downloads41


Vibrations 1.1 Link

This plugin has two different methods (“Levels” and “Lines” ) for creating a streak effect of your images . The filter has an inbuilt blur, in order to ensure smoothness.
More Details and Downloads42


virtualPhotographer Link

virtualPhotographer lets you instantly apply high quality, professional photographic styles to your digital images…with just one click.
More Details and Downloads43


Water Ripples Link

The highly realistic water ripples effect designer has numerous options as well as an impressive 3D quality. The random settings generator produces unlimited variations of rippled surfaces.
More Details and Downloads44


Weaver Link

This plugin creates a weave effect of your images.
More Details and Downloads45


Plugin Development Resources Link

  • Filter Meister46
    This is another free plugin that allows users to create there own plugins. This plugin offers extensive documentation, step-by-step tutorials and free downloadable samples. This type of plugin is perfect for anyone with limited knowledge of any script language.
  • Photoshop SDK 47
    If you are feeling really adventurous, you could develop a plugin using the Photoshop SDK. Previously you would have to pay just shy of $200 for the SDK, it is now free, the only thing you have to do is register with Adobe.
  • Photoshop Scripting48
    A script is a series of commands that tells Photoshop to perform one or more tasks, Photoshop CS4 supports scripts written in AppleScript, JavaScript or VBScript. Download the latest documentation on scripting here: Photoshop Scripting Documentation49.

Footnotes Link

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Paul Andrew is a freelance Web designer. He is chief admin for Speckyboy - Design Magazine, a Web design, Web development and graphic design resource blog.

  1. 1

    some of these are horrific, why even leave those in?

  2. 2

    yeah these were kinda aweful

  3. 3

    Christopher Anderton

    August 3, 2009 5:47 pm

    Got everything i want with comercial plugs.

    This post should be renamed A-Z Free Photoshop Plugins and filters for Windows” anyway.


  4. 4

    The color replacer doesn’t seem to work with CS3. Crashes every time. Has anybody else given it a try yet?

  5. 5

    Awesome selection :)

  6. 6

    These were bad, I’m embarrassed for this post.

  7. 7

    Bo Pentecost

    August 3, 2009 7:08 pm

    I am sorry that I have to agree with the negative feedback on this one…

  8. 8

    it would be better if smashing suspend this post..this is the worst post ever.. plugins are for lazy people.

  9. 9

    …waiting to delete

  10. 10

    Debashish Paul

    August 3, 2009 7:32 pm

    I didn’t like this post either. Very ugly set of plugins. I didn’t feel I was watching something on smashing. There is no mention about the best plugins in the business and awful plugins are published. Please delete this SM…

  11. 11

    I rarely comment on SM. It mostly provides great articles, but sometimes something comes below average and users start commenting on it. This post should be deleted immediately to maintain the standard of SM. @ Grimdeath I totally agree with you. Most of the plugins are useless and those effects can be achieved with PS. This never ending plugins list gives a feeling that PS is useless application which even cant handle basic actions. I am not against plugins, I love them but only when something is not achievable within the application. No offense, SM gurus posted something beloooooooow average.

  12. 12

    Why BILL GATES? Great LIST though!

  13. 13

    One word……Lame!

  14. 14

    Wow… looks like next post should be titled “UI Design for Photoshop Plugin developers”!

  15. 15

    Stop whining about this post. I think most of us here are NOT appreciative of free stuff SM gives away. Once in a while, a post comes a little ‘off’. But, that is because there are newbies among you visitors. If you wanna stand out making a smart ass comment. STFU and keep it to yourself or start writing your own blog…if you are an expert.
    Keep up the good work SM. We love you regardless and we appreciate all the information that flows thru your website. Keep ’em coming.

  16. 16

    …Looks like I won’t be using free filters after all. Allthough the last one, if it could be batched, it would be nice for a quick gallery, or to prepare your images for your blog in a quick and easy way.

  17. 17

    Fantastic! Thank you.

  18. 18

    i like it…

  19. 19

    Really worst set of plugins…. smash magazine really disappointed us, how can you name it as A-Z plugins..??? really sorry to say like this….

  20. 20

    Kaleidoscope 2.1 doesn’t work for me. I got PS CS3 and put it into the plugins/filters directory.

    Anyway: Nice list!

    @Eric: I’m looking forward to your high quality free PS plugins list. Where can i find it?

  21. 21

    That was like a time travel back to 1995

  22. 22

    Eraser Classic

    That’s all what I like here.

    Thanks and waiting better articles. you are the best SM.

  23. 23

    Never understood the tacky textured dialogues of free plugins.. but there’s something nostalgic about them :)

    Not the best list ever, but you don’t have to stop in the final effect of some of these plugins. Combining them (in more subtle ways) with other layers in your file can give you a nice effect. As with everything, you need to know how to use them, the plugin alone won’t turn your webcam photo into a work of art!

    Maybe next time, whoever writes the article can try the plugin first and create a nicer preview. That means, no bill gates plates ;)

  24. 24

    I really don’t like plugins. they never give me ant quality.

    I just make it myself, tricks and plugin won’t do!

  25. 25

    Well these are filters for Windows, so clearly not aimed at professional Photoshop users ;-P

    No really for smashing magazine this article was pretty godawful.

  26. 26

    Thanks for the list, a timesaver, now I know which 50 plug-ins to avoid. I must agree with most other comments, this article is a bit disappointing coming from Smashing Magazine. I rather would have less but better quality articles.

  27. 27

    Indeed, this post is kinda sad… if this blog has been build for professionals, then you guys would know that a professional would not use these kind of plugins, because he is able to produce these kind of effects with the build in tools in photoshop..

  28. 28

    this is a good Dutch topic about good plugins for photoshop:

  29. 29

    I have to agree: this post is not very useful. Especially as most of the people are professionals and really like to WIDEN their horizons. If this article made it online because you need continuity … please forget about it. It’s better to wait one more day and get a good article than to read an article that would not even fit the needs of dilettantes.

    But: the approach of grimdeath was quite good! (see post #7)

  30. 30

    did’t expect these poor stuff in smashing magazine

  31. 31

    not impressed, looks like a collection from 1992…. I used to love coming to this website and reading the articles and seeing the great resources, but this is taking the mickey, I understand these are free, but really, where did you find these?

  32. 32

    Worst Smashing Magazine ever!

    Open questions for all Plugins ….
    – Costs?
    – System? (Mac Windows)
    – Clear benefits?
    – Problems?

    .. btw. most of the Plugins are really shitty!
    There are a lot of pro Plugins out there and
    I can’t see at least one of theme in there …

    Really, this is a fucking bad article for this topic.

    Greez Jens

  33. 33

    hmmmm, well at least the ico plugin is useful…

  34. 34

    That is Nothing, who are better storys

  35. 35

    horrible! nightmare!

  36. 36

    hehe, this article is a good joke

  37. 37

    Soooooo ’95!

  38. 38

    Niall McKenna

    August 4, 2009 12:41 am

    if i ever have to use the camouflage tool I may have to kill myself!

  39. 39

    Gustavo Lemos

    August 4, 2009 12:43 am

    I can’t understand how someone allow to post this in SM…

  40. 40

    normally smashing mag is cool & witty.

    that one sucks!!!

  41. 41

    I think some of the commenters to this article are overreacting. Not all of the plugins are something I would need, but some are usefull. Cheers folks.

  42. 42

    Morten Zetlitz

    August 4, 2009 1:51 am

    I am very sorry to say that I agree with the others on the negative comments.

    However, Smashing is so good at giving us great posts which saves the day over and over again. So not everything can be 100%.

    I guess it is the ugly interfaces that puts people off. That and that most plugins is actually doing what vanilla PS can do, if you have the skills.

  43. 43

    Marc-André Ménard

    August 4, 2009 2:08 am

    Are we back in the ’80 ?, where Goo was cool and photoshop was 1.0
    My god, how can you make a list of such bad plugin like these !
    At least, most of them (the worst) is PC only, wich is a good thing, it won’t contaminate the Mac (mostly like viruse). If you wanna ruin your picture, here is the solution.

  44. 44

    Some of these are SERIOUSLY naff.

  45. 45

    Smashing, this post has got to go. If I were a first time visitor, I’d think this was just another amateur tutorial site.

  46. 46

    Kill me now! best plugins ever… believe me :P

  47. 47

    This is the most rubbish post i have ever seen. Why bother….. Can you send this post to the internet grave yard.

  48. 48

    Hm… some are nice, some are worthless or I don’t get the point why I should use them….

  49. 49

    Did someone actually get paid to write this?

  50. 50

    This post made me laugh out loud.

    Is it supposed to be a parody of a Smashing Magazine post?!

  51. 51

    I agree with everyone, this post was rubbish. And its more of an A-X…. There isn’t a Y or Z. Rubbish! It doesn’t even review the plugins in anyway. I really hope you didn’t pay someone for this, and if you did I really hope it didn’t pay anywhere as near as much as the good articles you post.

    I’d rather read nothing then read rubbish.

  52. 52

    Do I really need to click through them all to find out if any of them are for mac?

  53. 54

    I love this site and most all the articles but this is a TERRIBLE post! I worked for 5 years in a professional photography studio and I can tell you nearly every one of these effects can be created in vanilla Photoshop and probably do it MUCH better! Here I will break down a few (and these dont even require CS4)

    Black and White (avoid desaturate for photos!):
    -Method 1: Image > Adjustments > Channel Mixer. Use the drop down presets or enter your own values and click “monochrome”. I typically use 15,95,-4.
    -Method 2: Image > Adjustments > Black and White tool. No need for explination, it has presets or customizable sliders and works great. This only came in in recent CS versions though.
    (you can also create layer effects using these tools with the “adjustment layers” button at the bottom of the layers window)

    Curves Plugin:
    -Why not use the default Curves tools thats been built in since…well like forever! You access it the same place as the black and white tools above.

    Dreamy Photo (or any Soft Focus effect really):
    -Open a photo and duplicate its layer. Go to filter > Gausian Blur and blur it, you should still see basic shapes but it should be really blurry. Change the blurry layers opacity down to around 50% until you like the softness. For added effect duplicate the blurry layer and set it to soft light blending mode (top of the layers window) lower the opacity of it a bit more.

    Gradient Blur
    -Please, for all that is holy, learn how to use Masks (both quick and layer masks)! They are one of the single most important part of photoshop, period. This will you on nearly every photo effect, not just blurs.

    -Try the adjustment effect called Threshhold, great for that Sin City comic type effect. You can further customize it with the use of contract and other adjustment layers and techniques.

    Perspective Transform
    -Since CS2 or 3 there has been a filter called Vanishing Point that can do these types of effects. Its a bit more complicated but simple enough to understand looking at adobes video tutorials…perhaps there is some on youtube as well!

    Red Eye
    There is a built in tool in photoshop cs3 and later (maybe cs2 even?) Look under the healing tool/patch set. In pre-cs3 versions before the tool was introduced you can fix most red eye using a regular brush sized down to the size of pupil, change the blending mode (just under the menu bar while the brush is selected) to color mode and changing your brush color to black. Brush directly on the red and it should convert to black (really black and white). You can use the burn tool at a lower opacity to darken if it looks too grey.

    That should be enough to give you a good idea! My point here is that in the time it would take you to download and learn to install most of these you could have a better understanding of the core photoshop abilities and tools and be better for it in the long run!

    • 55

      hello..just wondered if anyone can offer any sites…to get started in photo editing ……I already know and use the basics, but needing to upgrade for example: remove hair in face….enhance portraits of people….etc.? I do have PS on my pc but not familiar with yet..seems rather confusing and need something faitly quick? Any suggestions or other sites you can introduce me too…Appreciate any advice and help!

  54. 56

    First of all, this article sould be titled “A-Z of Free Photoshop Plugins and Filters FOR WINDOWS”. It will be lees misleading.
    Second, those plug ins are terrible. How can you use that, when you can do the same with photoshop itself? OK, you could if only you had read the manual…
    Third, try to read the Kai Krause power tips and tricks on Photoshop (they’re available here and there on the net). They’re old ones, but at least they can present some interest.
    i’m sorry to write that, but this article is irrelevant. And for the first time, an article of Smashing Magazine disappoints me.

  55. 57

    I have only been using Photoshop for a while myself and I have already learnt some of the things you can achieve with it, without using any of these plugins.

    For those that would rather use a plugin and don’t know how to achieve the effects – I’d say this is a good list of free plugins.

    However, I’m with everyone else here when they say this is no benefit to the most of us.

    I looked through the whole list and would never use any of them…I feel i wasted my time reading this article.


    Still – keep up the good work Smashing

  56. 58

    hmm… hope this is a joke :)
    Or it’s a repost of 1990..

  57. 59

    need I add anything…?

  58. 60

    To be honest I often feal the quality of smashing magazine articles isn’t that great, so im surprised to see such confusion over this article.

    I mean this one IS really bad, but they’re rarely that insightful (sometimes useful though). If you’re after a serious web design/development blog there are plenty out there; but smashing is great for one thing … quantity. I’ve always kind of seen smashing as an amateurs resource that I like to dip into occasionally to find a couple of new free fonts or the odd CSS tip. It’s just not set up in a way that cultivates high quality, like alistapart or simialr.

  59. 61

    Unfortunatley I´m gonna have to agree with the majority, that was well below the standard I´ve come to expect from smashing, especially considering that it was a specyboy production. While I´d admit that 3 people might find it usefull, I´d suggest an A-Z or top 100 of photoshop ACTIONS, which are way cooler and infinitely more usefull.

    Well you certainly can´t win em all. Chins up lads, the next one had better smash, cos this one just tinkled.

  60. 62

    ryster amigo

    August 3, 2009 8:37 pm

    i see some of the blogs listed above and i enjoy reviewing on it… we will come back often…see yahhh..thanks for the information share…

    Thanks and regards,

  61. 63

    This could have been a very valuable post, but yikes, I got to the H’s and stopped, too terrible to continue. If you use these effects, you’ll automatically look like an amateur. Maybe that’s who this is targeting?

  62. 64

    @Meh (#60) : I totally agree with you.

  63. 65
  64. 66

    Edgar Valdés

    August 4, 2009 6:24 am

    It would be a better idea to post “The Best Comercial Plugins for Photoshop”…. this ones are really bad. Where is the “smash”?

  65. 67

    Terrible post, Sorry

  66. 68

    Courtny Cotten

    August 4, 2009 7:23 am

    This post is rockin’

  67. 69

    Yikes. I read SM daily, but sorry, these plugins are just awful. The post would work if you just renamed it “A-Z Worst Photoshop Plugins on the Net”

  68. 70

    Holy shizbut these are crap!
    Is this a serious post?

  69. 71

    Wow..are these filters from 1995? They look like they are made for the people who steal Photoshop and think they know how to use the program because they can apply a filter to an image.

    Good idea on the post, but try limiting it down to a few quality free filters and not a bunch of lame ones.

  70. 72

    Well these are filters for Windows, so clearly not aimed at professional Photoshop users ;-P

    Putting flamebait tags around your statement doesn’t change the fact tat you have obviously never worked in a professional environment and are thus an amateur. Many pro designers are forced to use PC’s by blue chip IT departments who can’t be bothered to support Macs.

  71. 73

    it’s a little too early for an april fool’s joke…

  72. 74


    August 4, 2009 8:47 am

    @Bogus, support your own mac, loser.

  73. 75

    yeah delete!!!

  74. 76

    This isn’t for professional designers. Smashing Magazine should stick to writing articles for people that actually care about design.

  75. 77

    Scott Beatty

    August 4, 2009 9:20 am

    Smashing, please warn Mac users in title of post or first paragraph when you are posting Windows only content.

  76. 78

    April Fools!

    seriously what are we, in 1980? all of these are horrid and no self-respecting designer would touch them.

  77. 79

    Derek Williams

    August 4, 2009 10:09 am

    This was a very worthless post. This is a rare miss for Smashing Magazine. The effects that these “filters” produce are annoying and exactly what Photoshop should not be used for.

  78. 80

    I’ve never worked anywhere unprofessional enough about their design standards to force the department to work on PCs aside from some production only places where you would not need this stuff anyway. Maybe I’m lucky, however that does not change the fact that these are largely crap and useless to the industry standard in the 1st place. SM usually does better. Thank-you & goodnight.

  79. 81

    I thought I accidentally clicked on the very first post.

  80. 82

    I guess they’re free for a reason. I really wanted to find a gem in this list, even in an early 90’s retro kinda way but they’re all hideous abominations…

  81. 83

    And to top it off, these are mostly PC plug-ins.

  82. 84

    From Bill Gates to lazy (and cheapper) filters… this is the worst post ever at SM.
    Delete it please, don’t insult us! Tks!

  83. 85

    I just vomited onto my keyboard. The funny thing is… it looks better then ALL of these plug-ins (ha! This article should be titled A-Z Free PhotoShop FUG-INS!)

  84. 86

    jonathan Atkinson

    August 4, 2009 1:56 pm

    I have to agree with most comments – felt like I stepped back 10 years in time….. not your usual high standard unfortunately – but no complaints to the normally excellent articles.

    Anyone looking at this stuff to use, just needs to experiment with the core photoshop – you will ALWAYS gain better results and a warm fuzzy feeling just experimenting and doing it yourself.

  85. 87

    Hey ! What’s that ! I have seen much better topic, I am disappointed !I have the impression that this subject dates from 1990..

    Neo from France

  86. 88

    I must agree with most of the negative comments. I really hope many of the Photoshop newbies out there read the comments first.

    Most of those websites were of very poor quality and don’t deserve the traffic from SM.

    However, because of all the great info and freebies you’ve posted, you can certainly be allowed an off-post or three. Thanks guys!

  87. 89

    Creamy don’t like this.

  88. 90

    Seriously, the title should have said “For Windows Only”. What a waste of my time trying to find any that are Mac compatible. There were a few of interest among the horrible ones, but, for Windows only, so I cannot try them.

  89. 91

    Randy Bennett

    August 4, 2009 4:10 pm

    I rarely ever post but I do find this post pretty bad as well… If you can afford a couple g’s for Photoshop, then a couple hundred for a really good commercial plug-in is worth the cost. However, the free ones shown on here are honestly pretty weak in the fact that this would be good for a Photoshop 6, but so many advancements have been done by CS3 and CS4 that make half of these filters obsolete and also the fact that they put so little time into their GUI does them no justice…did they use Microsoft Paint to do their interfaces….don’t they use photoshop as well…. Very disappointed, however the concept of free filters made me click here……but i do regret it now.

  90. 92

    None I tried work for Mac. Too bad I’m a designer not someone trying to update their MySpace page. Boo!

  91. 93

    Marc-André Ménard

    August 4, 2009 5:01 pm

    Stephen is right on !… I feel the same, (barf!)… 1990 call to have all those ugly plug in back… please send it a.s.a.p… maybe there is some killer article in preparation, and it will blow our mind with good shit, but during this time they just send that shitting stuff to keep us from falling asleep or go on vacantion !… i dont know really !

  92. 94

    Wow…… you’d think the world was ending judging by some of the responses. Perspective people. LOL!

  93. 95


    August 4, 2009 8:46 am

    I agree with what seems to be the consensus. 99% of these blow. Was interested in about 4 but then found out all but one are for PC only. LAME. Sorry for whomever spent their time researching all this crap and writing up this post. Sure generated a lot of fun comments to read, though

  94. 96

    Wow lot of Mac Snobs in here

    The plugins are still terrible, whether you use a PC or Mac

    Owning a mac does not make you a pro guys, it means you can buy an expensive computer no more, no less. Just because a painter buys expensive easels and brushes doesn’t make him or her a professional, you all really ought to get the mice from up your bums.

  95. 97

    a fine example of reckless blogging!

    There should be a giant golden rule posted in the SM HQ “If you don’t have anything worth posting, don’t post.”

  96. 98

    Wow, I’ve stepped into the Twilight Zone.

  97. 99

    Matt Williams

    August 4, 2009 11:08 am

    To those who complain, I’d like to say “If you don’t want it, you can’t have any”. You don’t *have* to read this, you know. Just because you feel a post is “beneath” you, doesn’t mean it might not have validity for others. I’m not a mac user, but I don’t complain when there are mac-centric items. It might be nice if there were more for linux, but still, there’s no reason to whine and complain. Finally, to quote “thumper”, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.

    To SM, thank you for all your wonderful posts and your efforts. Please disregard the complaints and nay-sayers.

  98. 100

    hmmm. sooooooooo.

  99. 101

    Thomas Strobl

    August 4, 2009 1:03 pm

    it must have cost 5000 hours to get this cr*p together. but its still cr*p.

  100. 102

    nice one!
    i like the mac for what it can do with graphics.
    but i hate what it does to it’s owners.

  101. 103

    Must agree with most comments – 95% of this plug-ins are aweful and useless. Can do much better efects with photoshop itself or commerce plug-ins. So, there really are no good free plug-ins???

  102. 104

    Is this the beginning of the end for SM?

  103. 105

    Thanks for the worlds tackiest Photoshop plugins!! I wouldn’t touch any of these with a long stick. Bring back Paint Shop Pro I reckon!

  104. 106

    I’m shocked, that was really a crap post, so unlike SM !!!

  105. 107

    wow! amazing and smashing!
    Thanks a alot

  106. 108

    how to do my self bookmark

  107. 109

    Most of them are crap and useless.

  108. 110

    Someone please pass the eye bleach. I must unsee what’s been seen.

  109. 111

    Apple, PC, who gives a crap?

    At the end of the day if you have yo use an of them plugins your a amateur designer.

  110. 112

    @Marc-Andre Menard – I think you where right about them prepping a killer article for after this one. The article after this one is about implementing HTML 5 and CSS3. Hopefully thats good enough shit for you :) I thought a few of these plugins were alright, the ICO plugin is nice, yet most were awful.

  111. 113

    very disappointed. maybe separate articles for Mac and PC would be a good idea to redeem yourself SM.

  112. 114

    Nick Wichman

    August 5, 2009 5:29 am

    ok, here’s the thing. PLUGINS and FILTERS are the cliche and kitschy. Many of these on this page are simply embarrassing to people who design a lot in Photoshop. BUT… sometimes when creating some special designs, you MAY find one of these useful…


  113. 115

    I looked like crazy. I didn’t download anything. I could match most of those plug ins on the first try. Unless Paul did a mere copy and paste for this article, the info for if each plugin were mac or pc crossed his path, it would have been nice to see that info listed. Guess I’m too advanced to be looking at a plug in gallery anyway. Shame on me.

    Add a comment box to the “right” of the article and let us add our collective wisdom to Smashing Mags posts. For example- I could easily add which plugins work with which operating system. Get back to us on your immediate attention and progress on this new Commenter decided feature.


  114. 116

    Christopher Anderton

    August 5, 2009 6:22 am

    @Nick Wichman.
    No. Just a simple no.

    BTW. I still waiting for Smashing to do a piece on Adobe Flash Panels for Photoshop CS4. That’s the future.

  115. 117

    Sebastian Otto

    August 5, 2009 6:29 am

    WTF who need this plugins?

  116. 118

    Almost all of these can be done with Photoshop’s default built in tools. No need for plug ins. Plus i agree with the next post for a UI design for Photoshop developers. If you are going to develop plug-ins, at least make the UI similar to Photoshops UI not the blocky Microsoft XP design. Fugly. Plus, where are to ones for the Macs too.
    Plus, if a developer is going to make a plug-in, make one that is unique and useful. Most of these are already included with Photoshop, unless you are still using Photoshop 6.

  117. 119

    Those are horrible. They remind me of early 90s web design and gross PCs.

  118. 120

    Wow. Yeah these are pretty crappy. May have been useful like 10+ years ago. I like free stuff but, a post about the best (recent) commercial plugins would be much better.

  119. 121

    How awful, all the complaints about plug-ins that cost you nothing.
    I have had some years and years now and no complaints from me will you hear.
    Why do people always whine online.

    There free and everyone needs to get a grip no need for nastiness. And its not the most awful post I have ever seen on free plug-ins, try adobe actions over at Adobe, now there are some clankers, lol.

  120. 122

    Hmmm, these may be pretty poor plugins.. but they have created more responses than any other post I remember seeing! lol

  121. 123

    misleading i say, pls correct the title :(
    i thiink you should switch the topic to Photoshop Plugin UI design as you can see it sucks

  122. 125

    Johnny Griswold

    August 5, 2009 5:21 am

    You can’t be serious with this post. These would have been great 10 years ago.

    I’m really not one of those comment lurker jerks, but this is really an embarrassing selection of filters and plug-ins. It does not speak well of this great site.

  123. 126

    My two cents

    August 5, 2009 6:05 am

    I would like to take this opportunity to say much I love Smashing Magazine. It took a horrible post like this one for me to realize how much credit the other articles deserve. This is literally the first article I have ever read on here that I wasn’t 100% happy with. In any event, this comment is still meant to be a compliment. You guys are doing some stellar work on this site!

  124. 127

    2 quick notes!

    Myself I do not use many plugins at all and Ive used almost ever version of Photoshop, I do agree with all the angry posts here in one instance and that is the fact that 99% of these plugins suck! But what they forget to add to there comments as that well 99% of plugins created just do suck and are for the beginner user. Yes I have run into a couple good ones, but really people if you have a really good list of free plugins, please please spell out the link! Im sure SM would be respectful in letting the link stay posted.

  125. 128

    This is really a horrific post…

    PLEASE, someone needs to get put in place about this one.

    “Organize free plugins into a post” does not = compile a bunch of crap into to worst post ever. This is even bad for 1995!

  126. 129

    Several of them are totally useless with CS3 or CS4 version.

  127. 130

    I see you successfully managed to round up the shittiest collection of plug-ins ever to grace the Internet.

  128. 131

    HAHAHA sorry guys im no different, these plugins are poor a lot of them are worse then the default tools in the application….. how ever on the right track…would love some useful plug in for Photoshop CS4 :)

  129. 132

    Jeebus, it’s the same three websites and their plug-ins, strewn over a whole page. Mediocre plugins, I chalk this article up as FAIL.

  130. 133

    Pirulito de Cristal

    August 6, 2009 12:17 pm

    My previous post was deleted. :(

    Why? Just say to author “Please back to the future”. I don’t have used any inappropriated word.

    Just a joke about the next article by him “Ultimate Clipper and Pascal hack tips” I think this is not aggressive or disrespect the author.


  131. 134

    Not bad, but we’re a CS3 shop. I understand that Adobe relies heavily on posts like this to promote their product but I don’t really want to deal with seeing what would work and not.

  132. 135

    I think its funny when people get mad at the “whiners”…I mean if there is no honesty in this whole blog deal standards really go to crap. Bad article. Work on it.

  133. 136

    I’d have to agree with the commenters, this article is really sub-standard for SM. Each effect of these “plug-ins” can be easily achieved in PS itself. SM would have been better off to do a series of daily tutorials explaining how to achieve the desired effect in native PS. This just seems like a lazy way to generate content.

  134. 137

    Aren’t the intern’s back at school? Because that’s who wrote this story. This list is shyte. I haven’t used plugins at all for years. They’re for amateurs…

  135. 138

    @Matt Williams: Do you realize how naive you sound? Smashing puts these comment sections here for a reason, to get feedback on the articles they post so they can provide what their community is interested in reading. If none of the “nay-sayers” ever spoke their mind Smashing wouldn’t be able to keep serving up great content most of the time.

    I say most because this article is pretty terrible in my opinion (sorry), and the fact that these are for Windows just shows how dated they are…

    Also, amazed at the number of Mac snobs. You guys make me ashamed to own a Mac. Just because you can buy a more expensive computer doesn’t make you a great designer, sorry to tell you…

    Anyway, fabulous job overall Smashing, sorry that this article missed the mark…

  136. 139

    eduardo j de la cruz

    August 7, 2009 3:19 pm

    gracias me seran de gran ayuda. soy nuevo en esto pero se que me seran de gran utilidad

  137. 140

    Wow, nice filters, and what is nicer is: it is FREE :D


  138. 141

    A lot of these you could put under one sub heading of “How to crappyfy you images” :P The panoramic ones look pretty cool though :)

  139. 142

    Most of those interfaces look like they were designed in 02. Ok, they probably were… but still…

  140. 143

    negative comments are everywhere….
    though lots of these plugins are useless ,the auther is very kindful, thanks a lot!

  141. 144

    several useful plugins among those.

    i would gladly welcome a lightroom-plugin overview. for the photographers among the designers.

  142. 145

    The worst thing about this post , no reply from SM. They are not even bother about it, just posting about pre order our book now.

  143. 146

    Pretty useless plugins :( only if your really really a beginner and u don’t know the default tools and filters :(

  144. 147

    those filters look crap

    what a waste of my time to have read through all of them

  145. 148

    look kinda crap…

  146. 149

    Worst post ever. Awful.

    Never use any of those filters for chrissakes!

  147. 150

    My mom started crying when she caught me looking at those nasty plugins.

  148. 151

    99% of these are in the ‘Filter’ option in PS, so your basically offering allready installed Filters as Plug – Ins! And the rest of these effects are under ‘Image’ tab in PS!

    Blog should be renamed…

    ‘A -Z List of Plug-ins that are pre-installed Filters and effects allready built into Photo Shop that any designer worth there salt knows how to achieve allready’

  149. 152

    I guess with some of those filters it may be possible to get interesting results, but it really depends on how it is being used and in what combination of what other actions.

    However, there is no excuse that this article ignores the fact that many of us use Macs. Such a thing should not happen within a great magazine like this.

  150. 153

    some of ur filters are really outstanding…. it will help me a lot… thanks dude…….

  151. 154

    “I’ve always kind of seen smashing as an amateurs resource that I like to dip into occasionally to find a couple of new free fonts or the odd CSS tip. It’s just not set up in a way that cultivates high quality, like alistapart or simialr.”

    Meh is right, from time to time they write too, about what a photographer must know or do, giving very low profile tips or showing bad taste HDR pictures. SM don’t have any real photographers among their writes so guess what, they don’t know about photography at all.

    But, here is the simple truth. I think they write jokes… I mean posts or “articles” to give more and more to the indexing game, so Google sends more traffic and more very very newbie (young) designers (?) came here to download tons of stuff that most of the time they don’t need… but hey, this is a business model, post a lot, get traffic and lots of clicks to pay the bills, great.

    Really, if you want to be a better designer/creative/etc there’s much better knowlegde at websites like Ted Talks.

    And yes, I came from time to time here, to look for fonts, or because a friend told me “hey look how clever is the team of SM”.

  152. 155

    You know, I find it fascinating how quick people are to put something down just for the sake of proving how sophisticated they are to the rest of us who really don’t care. These plugins are presented to you FREE so unless and untill you can make some plugins that are up to your high standards and offer them to the public on a free basis, I for one can do without all the sniveling and pompus atitudes.

    No one is forcing you to download them, even though you obviously did trying to save a buck like the rest of us, and yet you have to nerve to complain about something that someone put some time and effort into making just so you could enjoy and they asked for nothing in return. Yet you did not even give them the same gratitude you would give someone who gave you the time of day in passing. A polite and courteous, “Thank You”. No… you chose instead to insult, complain, and act like children who didn’t get thier favorite flavor of ice cream from the kindly old lady next door.

    For those of you that did at least say thank you I applaud you. You have a commodity growing evermore rare today, good manners and I wish you all the best.

    The rest of you need to grow up before you start running into eachother and experience just how cold you make the world first hand.

  153. 156

    i see your view, but this is supposed to be a tutorial for photoshop and the like, and photoshop already has all those extras as basic features. altho this would be well put in another image editing tutorial not based off photo shop. no hatemail intended.

  154. 157

    wow its really awesome plugin…thanks smash

  155. 158

    To many of the posters:
    1. Just because you have the right to be ill-mannered asses does not make it absolutely necessary to exercise that right at every opportunity.
    2. If you do not like these filters, you are not required to use them – nor even visit this site.
    3. These filters work with a number of graphics programs, not simply Photoshop. The world does not revolve around your self described mastery of that program.
    4. While it is true that all of these effects can be created natively within Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, or what have you, (DUH), it is perhaps not always necessary to reinvent the wheel for each use.
    5. See #1 once again.

  156. 159

    there have GOT to be many better free plugins out there than these! To the author thanks for making the time to post this but really what were you thinking!? the whole list is very outdated and most of the effects are already installed in photoshop anyway. I think you need to research more.

  157. 160

    hi ther
    i need a filter to miror object in wather
    do you have it?

  158. 161

    Thanks for wasting my time Paul. This article really brings the quality of Smashing Magazine down a lot! Although feels like im using Photoshop 3 all over again. OH WOW! you can use layers now!!!!

  159. 162

    I’m new to Photoshop and would have thought these would be some cool plugins to have until i read all the posts, thanks guys for expressing opinions

  160. 163


  161. 164

    Wow, I would have thought that this would actually be a helpful compilation of high-quality photoshop plugins. I’m sorely disappointed.

  162. 165

    i am satisfied with ur plungins and filters but i want to high resolution smooth face filters or plugins this is the most important of photoshop in world wide.plz upload the smooth face filters and plugins.

  163. 166

    hi iam photogaper i orkiin photosap ivantain photosap flakins thakyou

  164. 167

    An amazing page of information here guys and gals! Many many thanks :D

  165. 168

    they’re all abominable! sorry

  166. 169

    thnx a lot ^^

  167. 170

    i am proffsinal photo editor i like tis

  168. 171

    Fabricio Garcia

    March 31, 2010 1:53 pm

    só plugin fraco.

  169. 172

    tamtam el helw

    April 9, 2010 8:42 am

    Are these filters since 1980 !! .. were they uploaded befor inventing the PS !! ..

  170. 173

    Luce, master blaster are decent… can be useful anyway…

  171. 174

    N.Kumar.Prithvi Photojournalist

    May 14, 2010 2:02 am

    Realy Realy Realy I Like

  172. 175

    Thanks for the effort to collect these.

    Strangely enough, not everybody looking for Photoshop-compatible plugins actually HAS Photoshop. There are other programs which work with plugins, which are not as capable – nor as expensive – as Photoshop. So even plugins whose functions can be duplicated in Photoshop can be useful.

    I don’t want to pirate Photoshop for every computer in the household, but there are some nice free or inexpensive alternatives which are “good enough” – especially with a few plugins – for many users. The pro’s and well heeled should still buy Photoshop of course.

  173. 176

    thakes very much so i am very good

  174. 177


  175. 178



  176. 179

    Mohamed Ragab

    June 28, 2010 4:28 am

    very nice……………………………….

  177. 180

    I found a lot of plugins here I can use with my work. Thank you! :)


  178. 181

    Tone 1.0 – link is dead

  179. 182

    I found this page really helpful, thank you :)
    To all those rude people who have posted derogatory comments: As Kim says, if you don’t like something, just go away and look somewhere else! Just because something doesn’t suit you, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t suit anyone else! How very narrow minded of you!
    To the author of this page: Thank you – you have helped me very much :) Please ignore the ‘barbarians’ lol xx

  180. 183

    I appreciate your wanting to help others. With the critics in view, even a lame effort is better than none. If I don’t like something, as long as that doesn’t offend anyone or cause any harm, its better to use the lip-zipper unless I have better solution. Frowning only aches the muscles whereas a smile strengthens them as well as everyone’s good spirits !! Good day !!!

  181. 184

    Sajith Siriwardana

    November 5, 2010 5:27 am

    I appreciate your service very much and collected lots for me. If someone need, they can use those. I read some comments too. All are not the same educational level and therefore I suggest this is very important for lot of people. Thaaaaaaanks again.

  182. 185

    I appreciate all the work that went into this. If the quality of all of these isn’t great, that’s not the author’s fault. He simply collected the free ones. Instead of criticizing, get out there and author your own; then the list would be nicer!

  183. 186

    Thanks for the list. I was looking for some free photoshop filters. I can use a few of these.

  184. 187

    What a big bunch of rude whingers Have some manners sheesh.

    He said in the beginning they were OLD filters, it’s not his fault you didn’t read.

    Thanks to Paul for going out of his way to collect these for everyone.

  185. 188


    Negative comments from the quivering little wannabe farts born of the politically correct era, here confirm the hypothesis:
    These are the insidious types of whining snivelling self-important amateurs who are infesting the legitimate realms of graphic design, art, and photography because mommy bought them a computer. When they’re not playing video games or jerking off to porn they insult those who provide useful information as was prevented with the archive of free plugins. I was about to spend some big cash upgrading my older version of photoshop since it didn’t have a perspective control plugin, but the one I downloaded here and installed in seconds saved a huge project overnight with no expenditures. It’s a very sophisticated piece of software, and I applaud the authors for providing it. But these little twerps posting here are not happy with something unless it is useless nonsensical and childish like their own “work.”-mostly hacking and spamming, their so-called “music” – a blasphemy in it’s own right – and the ever downward momentum of the cultural spiral into total blandness and lack of professionalism which is their hallmark.

  186. 190

    my name is amin im from iran your site is best
    you need to more software

    من امین هستم اهل ایران سایت خوبی دارین
    اما احتیاج به نرافزار بهتر و بیشتری دارین


  187. 191

    This site is Very good for photo shop plugins.
    I like it

  188. 192

    Marc Anthony

    April 13, 2011 2:08 am

    Nice Article!

  189. 193

    this is the best plugins n filters ever i seen believe

  190. 194

    dattu shahiwala

    April 28, 2011 10:11 am

    I m very thankful to this site for introducing such very useful plugins and filters…

  191. 195

    Dhenchu Dhenchu

    June 6, 2011 6:41 am

    I know all the plugs are hilarious, but so are 99% comments. That 1 % is mine, in case you’re scratching your empty head. I fail to understand what these people expected out of free plugs. It all comes down to money, and when you the hungry and poor miserable get an apple for free you don’t complain of its taste or freshness, that it apparently lacked.

    O by the way I don’t care how any of you self-proclaimed-free-goody-seeking-lump-of-poverty-stricken-piece-of-rotten-fleshes may derive the meaning from my mindless snare, as I just don’t revisit the place where I vomit out such a colorful turd full of bright gradients.

    So bye bye.

  192. 196

    I want to a Hair cutting Filter, thanks

  193. 197

    sanat singh

    June 11, 2011 6:02 am

    I want free page curl filter

  194. 198

    plz send best comment

  195. 199

    Thank you for posting this, Paul. I was actually in search of some old filters I had years ago, and it looks like they’re here.

    I must say I do think the selection could have done with being smaller, as some of these are pretty redundant. However, this is no way means I agree with the orgy of of snarling and whining up above, which is purely painful to read. These people should be ashamed of themselves, particularly if any of them at all really are professionals and not (as I suspect) teenagers trying to talk big. Pathetic.

  196. 200

    verry good

  197. 201

    Thank you for your plug in site, I am just starting out on the road to learning PaintShop.

  198. 202

    Very nice filters

  199. 203

    i like this program.

  200. 204

    shiv singh Rawat

    September 10, 2011 2:58 am

    super filters please add new

  201. 205

    Hi I have searched for symmetry brushes to draw not to edit to draw. But looks like adobe are a bunche of dumb idiots. Since there are no plugins is there a way that you guys can contact adobe to request a symmetry brush or tool that you can activate the symmetry because I am getting very angry. Thank you Its not you guys its adobe. I am doing anime drawings and 3D Modeling so i need my drawings to be the same if you look at SumoPaint the symmetry works perfectly but the other side runs the wrong way. Both should go up, instead if i draw a line from bottom to top, the other side goes the opposite. I dont want that.

  202. 206

    Excellent resource site – thank you very much for sharing!

  203. 207

    Excellent resource site, found many useful plug-ins – thank you very much for sharing!

  204. 208

    super filter

  205. 209

    Rajesh Maharjan

    September 13, 2012 7:05 am

    Thanks for the filters!

  206. 210

    Thanks a lot

  207. 211


  208. 212

    Thomas Clarke

    April 15, 2013 9:13 pm

    Great array of effects, Thank You. Thomas .

  209. 213

    this filter is very amaging…..

  210. 214

    Ravalnath Redekar

    June 22, 2013 11:27 am

    Excellent resource site

  211. 215

    This is a fairly respected publication. Get someone to proofread. At least pay attention to spell check. This was so embarrassingly badly written it was unreadable.

    I before e, except after c. As in receiving. Surely you noticed the red squiggly line under that.

    Simply pathetic.

  212. 216

    Mehdi plugins are good ones, I use them. As for the article being not much for pros then look again at the title – it is about FREE plug-ins and filters. It is logical that they won’t have the WOW effect that paid ones have.


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