20 Best Photoshop Plugins For Designers

Last Updated: September 30, 2016

Although there are many great and free alternatives, Photoshop is still the most popular and powerful graphics editor, and the default choice of many designers, illustrators and photographers. If there’s a feature you need, but can’t find in Photoshop, don’t worry – countless scripts and plugins are available to help you extend and improve Photoshop’s functionality.

Here is a selection of 20 useful Photoshop plugins for designers.

Photoshop Plugins For Mockups and Layouts

1. WebZap

photoshop-plugins-webzap

If you’re a web designer, WebZap can make your life significantly easier. This plugin helps you create website mockups by providing layout guides and templates for the 960 grid. You can use it to generate placeholder text and choose pre-made interface elements to add to your website. Every element can be modified as a separate layer. WebZap can also create attractive previews of your design for showcases and presentations.

Key Features:

  • Requires Photoshop CS 5 or newer
  • Works both on OS X and Windows
  • Lets you create website mockups
  • Offers pre-made layouts
  • Generates dummy text (“lorem ipsum”) and UI elements (menus, buttons…)

Price: $19

2.Webbsy

photoshop-plugins-webbsy

Webbsy makes web design a breeze by converting your PSD files into HTML and CSS. You don’t have to markup your layers – Webbsy can automatically name them and export all design elements into CSS3. If something can’t be converted into HTML, Webbsy renders it as an image. It supports responsive web design by exporting to appropriate sizes for different devices. Webbsy lets you use Google Fonts in your designs, and can automatically export into formats for LESS, SASS, SCSS, Stylus, HAML, Slim and Jade.

Key Features:

  • Converts your PSD designs into HTML and CSS
  • Supports Google Fonts, LESS, SASS, SCSS and Stylus
  • Lets you export images from your project and choose their quality
  • Slices images, can export text elements
  • Requires Photoshop CS6 or newer, including CC

Price: $49, free 14-day trial available

3. Velositey 2

photoshop-plugins-velositey

Velositey is an amazing plugin for creating mockups and prototypes. It uses presets and templates to streamline the design process. You can insert pre-made modules and modify them later, and let Velositey generate favicons and mapicons for your project. With Velositey, it’s possible to build an entire mockup in just one minute.

Key Features:

  • Choose pre-made elements and templates to create a mockup
  • Use a grid to position elements
  • Generate favicons and mapicons
  • Works in Photoshop CS6, CC and CC 2014

Price: Free

4. Elemente

photoshop-plugins-divineproject

Have you ever wanted to create your own WordPress theme, but didn’t have time to deal with all the coding? Elemente by Divine Project is a plugin that lets you do this by converting any PSD design into a WordPress theme. You can design a blueprint from scratch in the Layout Editor or modify provided templates, and then let Elemente generate the theme code. It offers helpful grids for element resizing and positioning, and you can also group your elements. Elemente supports advanced typography parameters like kerning and baseline shift, and lets you export all text formatting (font size, weight, alignment…). The code produced by Elemente is valid and SEO-optimized, and if you want, you can modify it in any other code editor.

Key Features:

  • Converts PSD into a WordPress theme
  • No coding required; just design a blueprint, conversion is automatic
  • Lets you use templates and group elements
  • Exports clean, SEO-optimized code
  • Works only on 32-bit Windows
  • Supports Photoshop CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6 and CC

Price: $99 for Personal plan, $199 for Developer plan, free trial available

Photoshop Plugins For Grids and Layers

5. GuideGuide

photoshop-plugins-guideguide
This plugin helps you create grids and custom guides based on your entire project or just the selected parts. You can also use grid notation to create tables and adjust margins. GuideGuide helps you by calculating most of the dimensions. You can save created grids as Sets (templates) for future use. Guides can be toggled with a click of the mouse, and you can even make a grid inside a grid!

Key Features:

  • Create and save grids
  • Adjust guides and margins
  • Supports Photoshop CS5 and newer

Price: Free

6. Layrs Control 2

photoshop-plugins-layrscontrol

Layrs Control 2 is a practical solution for layer management, and it can come in especially handy when working on large, complex design projects with multiple layers. You can use this plugin to edit layer names, optimize your project by removing unused effects and empty layers, and flatten all selected layers. It’s also possible to rasterize smart objects and convert selected layers into smart objects.

Key Features:

  • Works with Photoshop CC & CC 2014
  • Rename and flatten layers
  • Remove empty layers and unused effects

Price: Free

7. CSS3PS

photoshop-plugins-css3ps

This plugin simplifies converting Photoshop layers into CSS3 code. Just create your graphics in Photoshop, select desired layers and wait for the plugin to load the result in your default web browser. Supported properties include size, border radius, inner and drop shadow, inner and outer glow, as well as the usual font properties for text layers.

Key Features:

  • Works on Windows and OS X, requires Photoshop CS3 or newer
  • Lets you convert one or multiple layers to CSS code
  • Supports browser prefixes (-webkit-, -moz-, -ms-…)
  • Automatically calculates appropriate sizes and converts the layer size

Price: Free

8. UberColumns

photoshop-plugins-ubercolumns

UberColumns is a handy plugin if you spend a lot of time editing text in your designs. It lets you format text into columns – all text remains on a single layer, and it automatically reflows to fit the size of the layer if you change it or add more text. All you have to do is choose the number of columns.

Key Features:

  • Works on OS X and Windows, requires Photoshop CC or CC 2014
  • Splits text in a text layer into a desired number of columns
  • Automatically adjusts text if you resize the layer

Price: Free

Photoshop Plugins For Colors, Fonts and Effects

9. Swatchy

photoshop-plugins-swatchy

Swatchy is a small plugin that makes it possible to organize your color swatches into folders. This way you can save and easily access your color schemes, and preview colors you often use.

Key Features:

  • Manages swatches and lets you organize them into folders
  • Works on OS X and Windows
  • Requires Photoshop CC and CC 2014

Price: Free

10. MagicPicker

photoshop-plugins-magicpicker

MagicPicker is a color management plugin that improves the existing color tools in Photoshop by adding helpful features. You can use options like Tone Lock to control the gamma of selected colors, and an enhanced Color Wheel tool with triangle, box, and diamond modes. It also helps you generate color schemes and offers a compact mode to save screen space.

Key Features:

  • Works on OS X and Windows
  • Supports Photoshop CC2014, CC, CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4 and CS3
  • Lets you generate color schemes
  • Pick colors from an improved color wheel with 3 modes and tone locking
  • Choose only warm or cold tones from the palette
  • One-click copy HEX color codes

Price: $19; free 15-day trial version available for download

11. FilterForge

photoshop-plugins-filterforge

FilterForge is an incredibly powerful editor that can be used as a standalone application or a Photoshop plugin. You can use it to create your own photo effects and filters, and it gives you access to a huge online repository of user-submitted content. It supports seamless tiling for textures, and filters can be rendered in any resolution. Every preset has several variations to choose from, so FilterForge should satisfy all your photo effects needs.

Key Features:

  • Works on both OS X and Windows
  • Lets you create your own filters, effects and textures
  • Choose from an online repository of filters
  • Generate maps and textures that support seamless tiling

Price: $399, free 30-day trial available

12. Eye Candy 7

photoshop-plugins-alienskin

Eye Candy 7 by Alienskin is a plugin that lets you choose from 32 effect categories and more than a thousand presets to apply to your graphics. You can use it to create your own effects and instantly preview changes applied to any layer. All effects are applied in a new layer, so your original artwork remains untouched until you decide to change it.

Key Features:

  • Create and apply realistic effects
  • Choose presets from a rich collection
  • Supports editing in a new layer to preserve your original design
  • Instantly preview effects
  • Works on OS X OS X 10.7 or newer, Windows 7 and 8
  • Requires Photoshop CS5, Elements 10 or newer

Price: $129, free trial available

13. Font Hero

photoshop-plugins-fonthero

Font Hero helps you organize fonts and eliminates the need for a separate font management application. This plugin loads all installed fonts from your computer into a neat interface where you can tag, favorite and group them. You can instantly preview fonts and modify their appearance. Font Hero lets you change the font for any text layer with just one click of the mouse. It supports Google Fonts and Typekit, but stores them separately for your convenience.

Key Features:

  • Import, preview and organize all your fonts directly in Photoshop
  • Tag and favorite fonts to make searching easier
  • Support for web fonts
  • Works on OS X and Windows, requires Photoshop CC 2014

Price: $39

Some Other Photoshop Plugins

14. FlatIcon

photoshop-plugins-flaticon

FlatIcon is a popular stock resource, and this simple plugin lets you use their free icons directly from Photoshop. Selected icons are imported as vectors, which means you can freely edit them to suit your project.

Key Features:

  • Gives you access to thousands of free icons
  • All icons are available in fully editable vector format
  • Supports Photoshop CS5, CS6, CC and CC 2014

Price: Free

15. QR Code Generator

photoshop-plugins-qrcodegenerator

This plugin does exactly what its name says – it generates QR codes as vector masks which you can edit and use in your designs. QR codes are generated in print quality with CMYK compatibility, so you don’t have to worry about that. The plugin supports several QR code types, including URL, SMS, business card, plain text and email.

Key Features:

  • Generates QR codes as images that you can modify
  • Supports several QR code types
  • Codes are optimized for printing and follow the QR code standard
  • The plugin works on OS X and Windows

Price: $19

16. TinyPNG

photoshop-plugins-tinypng

TinyPNG lets you export images to PNG and compress them to reduce their file size, but preserve transparency. It supports batch-editing and automatically converts images to sRGB if necessary. And it has a cute panda as a mascot!

Key Features:

  • Works on OS X and Windows
  • Supports Photoshop CS5, CS6, CC and CC 2014
  • Lets you edit multiple images at once
  • Compresses PNG files while preserving transparency

Price: $40

17. Descreen

photoshop-plugins-descreen

Descreen is a savior if you often use scanned materials in your design projects. It removes screen and moire (interference) patterns from scanned images using a precise Fourier transform method. Unlike other tools which rely on blurring, Descreen can preserve more details thanks to this approach. Recommended resolution for scans is between 600 and 1200 pixels/inch.

Key Features:

  • Supports Photoshop from version 7.0 and CS to CS6 and CC
  • Removes screen and interference patterns from scanned images
  • Works on Windows and OS X

Price: Home Edition €15, Professional Edition €75

18. Perfect Resize

photoshop-plugins-perfectresize

Perfect Resize lets you enlarge photos without losing quality and ratio. It offers a crop tool with presets and another tool to “straighten” photos. Perfect Resize can enlarge photos taken by mobile devices and create extended margins for printing photos to canvas. You can use it to batch-resize photos and save two different versions of one image.

Key Features:

  • Lets you enlarge, crop and straighten photos
  • Optimizes photos for printing
  • Supports resizing many photos at once
  • Works on Windows 7 & 8 and OS X 10.8 – 10.10
  • Requires Photoshop CS6, CC, or CC 2014 (also Elements 11, 12, or 13)

Price: $79.95, offers a 30-day trial

19. Cover Action Pro

photoshop-plugins-coveraction

This plugin is perfect for book cover designers and anyone who needs to showcase their work in a professional, visually attractive way. Cover Action Pro converts your designs into 3D product shots; or rather, transfers them onto product models. You can use templates and guides, and choose from 25 categories containing more than 150 models, including books, binders, DVD boxes, greeting cards, business cards, magazines…

Key Features:

  • Lets you convert your designs into 3D product models
  • Offers templates and models
  • Developed for Photoshop CS6 and newer, but can work on CS5, CS4 and CS3
  • Automatic updates

Price: $147 or $247 with 60 designer templates

20. Avocode

photoshop-plugins-avocode

No, it’s not a misspelled fruit. Avocode is a design collaboration and project management tool meant to bring designers and developers together. It lets designers upload their project via the Photoshop plugin, and developers can then inspect the design elements in the web interface or a standalone app. It’s possible to export layers as images, convert layers to CSS, Less, Sass or Stylus, get information about text formatting and layer dimensions. Avocode saves previously uploaded design versions on the server, so you can use it as a version control system for your project.

Key Features:

  • Easily share your designs via Photoshop plugin
  • Inspect the design in the web interface or in the app – works on OS X, Windows and Linux
  • Export layers as images, convert to CSS
  • Access previous versions of shared designs

Price: Starts at $20 per month, offers a free 14-day trial

 SEE ALSO: 10 Free Tools To Create Your Own Fonts

Which Photoshop plugins would you recommend to designers? Are there any plugins you can’t live without? Tell us about them in the comments.

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Ivana Isadora is a freelance writer and translator working in English, Croatian and Swedish. She's a Linux user & KDE fan interested in startups, productivity and personal branding. She loves discovering new apps and presenting them to the world.

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