10 Useful Photoshop Plugins and Tools for Web Designers

Freebies are awesome, and design blogs are dispersing them like pennies from Heaven, but there are times where you need something which is of higher quality design wise as well as certain tools by which to handle professional design related tasks.

There are an innumerable amount of extremely powerful and high quality Photoshop tools which can dramatically improve and speed up your workflow and are worth every penny one spends on get them. If you’re looking for such new and creative ways by which to edit or enhance your images, then- plugins can make your Photoshop workflow go so much smoother and speed up the process of your project.

Whether your work requirement is to add some noise or create some stunning color effects, we’ve assmbled a fantastic list for you – and all completely free! Today we will look at several of the best tools available for making color adjustments, adjusting focus, enlarging images, transforming layers in 3D, reducing noise, creating textures, applying complex masks, and even taking that PSD into full-blown HTML.

1. Cut & Slice : For Exporting Layers Smartly

Cut&Slice me is a great and free Photoshop plugin that can fasten this process with the smart features it offers. It trims any unnecessary pixels while exporting. Also, it understands that “a group of layers” needs to be treated as a single object and cuts them perfectly. When designing buttons, once the layers are named with the format mentioned by the plugin, it can auto-slice the multiple states of that button. Also, for designs created at full resolution, Cut&Slice me can export to iPhone + Android retina/xhdpi (ldpi, mdpi and hdpi) with only one click.

2. GuideGuide : Photoshop Plugin for Working with Grids

GuideGuide is a free Photoshop plugin which simplifies creating grids in Photoshop with only a few clicks. After defining a few variables (number of rows/columns, gutter width, etc.), it instantly generates the grid using Photoshop guides. And, for any active selections in the document, the plugin sets the grid within the limits of the selection. Also, any frequently-used grid settings can be saved for later use.

3. CSS3Ps : Photoshop Plugin for Converting Shapes Into CSS

CSS3Ps is a free Photoshop plugin that allows us to convert shapes in a PSD file into CSS3-powered elements. It has support for Photoshop versions starting from CS3 and works by re-directing any conversion requests to the website of the plugin. The CSS3 rules for the shapes are created within seconds and presented with the output.

4. CanLnkit : Link Photoshop Layers in Different Files

CanLinkIt, a Photoshop plugin does that. It can link any PSD or image file Photoshop files to another. The linked files are not updated automatically but this feature is triggered manually (with an “Update All” button) considering you may not want this synchronization to happen for some elements.
Also, for anyone designing a project as a team and using a file sync/storage service like Dropbox, you can edit one file while your teammate is working on a piece of that file and it’s only one click to merge them.

5. Photoshop Icon Plugin

Icon Plugin for Photoshop enhances Adobe Photoshop with an ability to export and import Windows icons (.ico). Thanks to this ability, users can create compelling icons directly in Adobe Photoshop, using its large arsenal of creative tools and a convenient and familiar design environment. The use of the plug-in eliminates the need to use intermediate files and buy additional icon editors. In addition to Adobe Photoshop, the plug-in can work with Elements, AfterEffects, Premiere, PhotoDeluxe, Corel PhotoPaint, PaintShop Pro, Painter, and Photo.

6. Divine : Convert Psds to WordPress Themes

Divine is a fresh & free Photoshop plug-in for converting Photoshop files into WordPress themes. It works by selecting spots in design files & marking them as WordPress variables like: post title, post text, author link, etc. It produces valid XHTML-CSS code & themes are automatically widget-ready. Divine has an integrated FTP-client & it is a very ideal plug-in for anyone who is not that into coding and/or WordPress theming.

7. No More Banding : Photoshop Action to Prevent Banding

If you are using Photoshop, you should already have encountered the issue of banding in gradients. This usually happen in 8-bit but, even when working with 16-bit, this can occur if you need to apply an 8-bit filter. No More Banding is a Photoshop action which automatically converts your document into 16-bit and applies a new layer to the top of your group/document which fixes fixing all the banding.

8. Tych Panel : Automation Tool for Photoshop

Tych Panel is a free and open source Adobe Photoshop extension for automating the process of placing pictures side by side with pre-defined sizes. It simplifies creating diptychs, triptychs, quadtychs and almost any type of custom layouts. There is support for “Smart Objects” and, when enabled, all layers are converted to “Smart Objects” and get the appropriate layer masks.

9. Mr. Stack : Instant Storyboarding for Photoshop

Mr. Stacks is a Photoshop script for quickly and automatically creating storyboards, stacks, and PDF(s) to be used in client presentations, CD check-ins. etc.
Just take any normal sized banner, define few options like the name, background color or “numbering to be printed over them” and your storyboard is ready. Afterward, they can be exported into various files types including PDF.

10. Filter Forge : Photoshop Plugin for Filter needs

Filter Forge is a professional and paid Photoshop plugin that comes as a pack of filters to generate textures, create visual effects, enhance photos and process images. The better part is, it enables you to create your own filters with a visual node-based editor. So, there are unlimited possibilities. Most filters of the plugin support seamless tiling with a click(the ones you create as well), even for non-square textures. Every filter generated is resolution-independent. They can be rendered in any resolution without losing any detail.

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