How to Install Photoshop Brushes, Gardients, Actions, Patterns...

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As a graphics designer you might need additional Photoshop resources like brushes, layer style effects, actions, shapes, patterns, gradients, and color swatch sets to achieve desired results in your Photoshop projects. There are hundreds of websites that offer to download these resources. After downloading you may need to know how to use them.

Recommended: Download Free Vector Art(Brushes, PSDs, Photos, Vectors...)

Here are step by step instructions on how to make these resources working in Photoshop.

Note: If the downloaded files has *.zip or *.rar extension, then these must first be extracted before being used. You can use built-in decompressors or third-party programs like WinZIP or WinRAR for extracting these compressed files.

Installing Photoshop Brushes

  • Make sure the brush set files has an extension *.ABR
  • Copy these *.abr file into the following directory:
    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Brushes
    where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.

Brush sets created in newer version of Photoshop will not work in earlier versions of Photoshop.

From the Brushes Palette in Photoshop, click the small arrow in the upper right corner of the palette, and choose load brushes from the menu. The brushes will be added to the current brushes list.

Installing Photoshop Actions

  • Make sure the action files has an extension *.ATN
  • Copy these *.atn files into the following directory:
    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Photoshop Actions
    where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.

To load an action set, go to the Actions palette, then click the small arrow in the top right corner and navigate to the location where you saved the action. Select the file you'd like to load and it will be added to the actions palette.

Installing Photoshop Shapes

  • Make sure the shapes files has an extension *.CSH
  • Copy the *.csh files into the following directory:
    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Custom Shapes
    where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.

To load a file, go to the Styles palette, then click the small arrow in the top right corner and choose one of the layer style collections from the menu.

Installing Photoshop Patterns

  • Make sure the pattern files has an extension *.PAT
  • Copy the *.pat files into the following directory:
    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Patterns
    where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.

To load a pattern set, go to the Patterns palette, then click the small arrow in the top right corner and choose one of the pattern collections from the menu, or choose "Load Patterns" if the set is not listed in the menu.

Installing Photoshop Gradients

  • Make sure the gradient files has an extension *.ABR
  • Copy the *.abr files into the following directory:
    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Brushes
    where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.

To load a file, go to the Gradients palette, then click the small arrow in the top right corner and choose one of the gradient sets collections from the menu.

Installing Photoshop Color Swatches

  • Make sure the color swatches files has an extension *.ACO
  • Copy the *.aco files into the following directory:
    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Color Swatches
    where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.

To load a file, go to the Swatches palette, then click the small arrow in the top right corner and choose one of the swatch collections from the menu.

Installing Photoshop Layer Styles

  • Make sure the layer style files has an extension *.ASL
  • Copy the *.asl files into the following directory:
    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Styles
    where X is the version number for your version of Photoshop.

After copying the files into there proper paths, you need to restart Photoshop before you can use them.

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