Photoshop Plugins and Filters A-Z

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The Photoshop community is choc-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 and filters. Of course, Photoshop has been the pioneer in graphic editor development for a long time now, and with each new version (its current version is CS4) 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?

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?

Further Reading on SmashingMag:

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 a 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

Watercolor Photoshop Action

Turn your photo — or only parts of it — into a watercolor painting that looks as if it comes straight out of an artist’s treasured sketchbook. To apply the effect, brush onto the areas you want to turn into watercolor art and play the action. More Details and Downloads (affiliate link)

Photoshop Plugins


Clean edges, precise angles — this Photoshop action turns your photo into a technical sketch. More Details and Downloads (affiliate link)

Photoshop Plugins

Smoky Double Exposure

The Smoky Double Exposure add-on elegantly blends the original photo into a watercolor splash. A beautiful play with sharpness and blur. More Details and Downloads (affiliate link)

Photoshop Plugins


A sleek look with a subtle, handpainted effect, that’s exactly what Spectrum does. Simply fill in your subject with a color and play the action. More Details and Downloads (affiliate link)

Photoshop Plugins

3D Shadow

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 Downloads

Photoshop Plugins


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 Downloads



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 Downloads

Photoshop Plugins

Circle to Square

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



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


Craquelure 3D

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 Downloads



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


Cut&Slice me

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


Dreamy Photo

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 Downloads



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



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


Fine Threshold

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


Focal Zoom Effect

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


Font Awesome

Font Awesome icons right inside Adobe Photoshop.

More Details and Downloads



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


Harry’s Filters

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 Downloads


ICO Windows Icon

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


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



More Details and Downloads 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. plugins-a-z30

Kaleidoscope 2.1

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 Downloads


Layrs Control

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


Long Shadow Generator

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 Downloads



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 Downloads



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 Downloads


Mood Lighting Effect

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


Nik Effects Collection

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


Noise Reduction

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


ON1 Effects

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



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 Downloads


Polar Projection

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


Retinize It

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



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


Sharpen Details Effect

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 Downloads


Seamless Textures

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 Downloads



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


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



Folders for your swatches in Photoshop. More Details and Downloads


Vibrations 1.1

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 Downloads



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


Water Ripples

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 Downloads



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


Plugin Development Resources

  • Filter Meister 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 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 Scripting 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 Documentation.