In This Chapter
Discovering the real purpose of filters and extensions
Using common extensions and filters in Adobe CS5
Extensions, also known as plug-ins, are pieces of software installed or saved on your computer that work as add-ons to existing programs. For example, you may be able to use an extension to integrate with a different program, help add usefulness to a program (such as the ability to create 3D text), change the appearance of an object in your software, or add a 3D effect to a video file. Filters are used to change parts of a document. Even if you haven't used Photoshop, you're probably already familiar with some popular Photoshop filters, such as Watercolor and Emboss, used for artistic effects. This chapter shows you common plug-ins, extensions, and filters, as well as how to use them in the Creative Suite.
Extensions are sometimes used for similar tasks in several programs and are designed to enhance a program's existing capabilities. Extensions and filters can also dramatically speed up the creative process. At the mere click of a button, you can add to your project an amazing effect that may have taken many hours to accomplish without the plug-in.
Additional filters and plug-ins for the programs are available or linked from the Adobe Web site. You can also easily find plug-ins for downloading from the Web. A search yields many results for these packages. A good place to start is ...