Chapter 19. Beyond Photoshop: Plug-Ins

With enough patience, practice, and keyboard shortcuts burned into your brain, you can get smokin’ fast in Photoshop. But you’ll never be as fast as a computer. As you’ve learned, some things—like creating complex selections, correcting colors, retouching skin extensively, and so on—are darned difficult, so they’re going to take you a long time no matter how fast you get.

That’s where plug-ins come in handy. Think of them as helper programs that run inside Photoshop (though a few run outside Photoshop, too) and let you do the hard stuff faster. You can get plug-ins from all kinds of websites, and they range from free to pricey. The really good ones give you amazing results in seconds, rather than the hours it would take you to do the same thing (if you can do it at all). Plus, the newer ones do their thing on a separate layer and, in some cases, run as Smart Filters, so you don’t even have to duplicate your original layer first. Nice!

In this chapter, you’ll learn how to add and remove these little jewels, as well as how to store them somewhere other than your Photoshop CS6 folder (it’s safer that way). You’ll also be introduced to some of the most amazing plug-ins on the market today—the crème de la crème—that run on Macs and PCs.


Photoshop CS6 on the Mac is 64-bit mode only, so you can forget about using any 32-bit plug-ins that you might have hanging around. What’s the workaround? Contact the folks who made the plug-in and see if they’ve ...

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