16 Free Photoshop Extensions That Will Take Your Designs to the Next Level

Photoshop is one of the most popular photo editing software for designers all over the world. Like the rest of the Adobe suite, sometimes the native actions and functionalities can be a little cumbersome and time consuming.

Whether it’s handing off to web developers, or tinkering with a freelance design concept, these free plugins and actions are all about saving you time and either enhancing existing Photoshop capabilities or introducing brand new ways to level up your designs. And these are the tools used by top web developers such as the leading web development company in coimbatore.

 GRIDBUILDER

Built by event technology specialists, WorldStage, the Gridbuilder extension allows you to quickly generate dynamic and reusable projection grids, and LED pixel maps in Photoshop. It’s especially useful for those in the arts or entertainment industries. 

ON1 EFFECTS

Like any effects plugin, how much you get out of On1 Effects depends on how much time you put into experimenting and exploring all the combinations of filters, presets, borders, textures, and more. 

Exploring this tool with some creative imagination will bring you images and designs with stunning and unique effects in a few short clicks.

PENU PANEL

With software as large and with as many capabilities as Photoshop, it can be easy to forget some of the functions that make your life a little easier, even as an expert. And when you’re trying to crank out designs at a fast pace, tools like Penu Panel can save you those few precious seconds with your pen.

This toolbar gives you easy access to functions that you frequently use in Photoshop including, brush size, brush hardness, back and forth in history, and easy zoom. 

WORKFRONT EXTENSION

If you’re not a freelancer but are working within a larger creative team, Workfront project management is a great way to collaborate with your team and turn design projects around that much faster. Now, there is an extension available so you can project manage right from within the Adobe apps. 

File Sync

When working within a group, losing track of versions is one of the easiest ways to lose precious time. You can upload directly from Adobe apps to Workfront tasks and spend less time on tracking files and versions. 

Streamlined Updates

Rather than switching back and forth between windows, team members can now add updates and comments to tasks in Workfront straight from Photoshop.

PEXELS PLUGIN

Pexels is one of the most popular sources out there for beautiful free imagery. It’s a great place to source really high-quality imagery without having to trawl through lots of inferior photos. This extension allows you to search and insert images directly in Photoshop without ever having to leave the app.

Images from Pexels are one hundred percent free for both personal and commercial use. It provides access to over 30k photos across a huge range of themes, helpfully divided into categories and being updated and added to all the time. 

Another handy feature is that any photos you like are synced with Photoshop, so you can easily access them again any time.

INK

Sometimes handing a design off from Photoshop to developers or other designers can results in a finished product that doesn’t turn out quite the way it should.

Ink for Photoshop provides important spec information about your layers, typography, effects, and shape sizes to ensure the finished product is as close to the original design as possible.

LAYRS CONTROL

One of the most popular and well known extensions for Photoshop, Layrs Control comes in a few different versions depending on what version of Photoshop you use.

Managing complicated layers can be one of the biggest frustrations for designers when it comes to Photoshop. This extension is essentially a collection of scripts so you can manage layers in a straightforward and practical way.

Including layer name editor, removal of unused effects, flatten all effects, and delete empty layers, Layrs Control helps to cut down file size and makes it easy to move between and edit all your different layers.

FONT AWESOME

If you’re looking for an easy way to grab icons and add them to your design, look no further than Font Awesome with easy to use ligature-based font files.

Font Awesome is also constantly taking requests for new icons through their online community. The basic features are free, and under their pro plans, you can also access features like dual-tone icons.

TEXTURE ANARCHY

Creating textures and borders is made easy with the Texture Anarchy extension for Photoshop. Whether you’re working on realistic photography or need to add texture to a design, there are infinite possibilities when it comes to using this tool.

Texture Anarchy creates either 2D or 3D textures through it’s filters and includes plenty of palettes so you can get right into the details of the texture you want to build in terms of lighting, colour, fractal noise, and more. 

SKEUOMORPHISM

With the decline of skeuomorphism as a design trend, this Photoshop extension allows you to turn designs from skeuomorphism to trendier flat design. This simple tool does it all in one click, whether it’s an individual icon, logo creator, or a web template.

LONG SHADOW GENERATOR

Any plugin, extension, or action that can cut down on time for frequently performed tasks is a win when it comes to Photoshop. Long Shadow Generator fits that bill perfectly, as it allows designers to create and customize shadows in just a couple of easy clicks.

With Long Shadow Generator you can lengthen shadow, and adjust the opacity, colour, style, and angle of the shadow. 

 PLUGIN SWITCH

Plugins for Photoshop are great. They cut down on time, make you more efficient and can help you discover entirely new aspects to explore in your designs. 

However, it’s easy to build up a ton of plug-in filters, to the extent that they become difficult to manage. Maybe you downloaded a filter that you only use infrequently but still value highly when it is needed.

Plugin Switch allows you to easily organize all your installed files and disable and enable different filters easily, without having to re-install them every time.

ANIMDESSIN2

If you find animation a painstaking task, this is a plugin for you. AnimDessin2 allows designers to draw frame-by-image animations, simplifying the entire animation process. You can even test and adjust your creation continuously and set durations for keyframes.

PANTONE EXTENSION

If there’s one thing that can complicate your tools and designs, it’s Pantone’s. Designers can often struggle with vague direction and design guides from clients, or struggle to make that “exact” colour match.

With Pantone Extension you can easily convert Hex, RGB, and CMYK to Pantone colours, and create and share Panton palettes. It also allows you to rapidly search and filter through Pantone libraries, import colours and find their closest Pantone matches.

PSD COVERS

Working on a book cover? Or some new product packaging?

PSDCovers allows you to easily create high resolution, 3D packaging mock-ups in minutes.

All you need to do is browse the collection of options directly in Photoshop, click the item and run the action! 

GOOGLE PHOTOS PANEL

If clients are sharing photos with you for use in your design, the Google Photos Panel is a handy way to import the images to your design without having to leave Photoshop. It’s another great time saver and cuts down on time spent going back and forth to different programs. 

Be sure to check about Photoshop versions as not all plugins are available on all versions of the software.

Before installing any action, ensure that it’s compatible with the version of Photoshop that you’re using. Hopefully some or all of the Photoshop plugins in this list will help.