Advertising
Advertising

15 Useful Photoshop Plugins You Should Not Miss

15 Useful Photoshop Plugins You Should Not Miss

Anybody who is into image editing probably knows their way around Photoshop. Indeed, it is one of the most ubiquitous names in the design industry, especially for those who are graphic artists or otherwise in the business of creating fantastic pieces of art for one reason or another.

I myself have not been a heavy user of Photoshop since CS2. Still, I have kept up with it as it has evolved over the years, and thus am familiar with most of its capabilities. The current version is incredibly powerful, capable of doing more than I could ever imagine when I used it for graphic design purposes in 2006.

That said, there will still be times when the vanilla version of Photoshop won’t do exactly what you need it to do. This is where plugins come in. Plugins are, for those unacquainted, essentially small bits of additional software that add to Photoshop’s functionality.

Here are fifteen that should be particularly useful in almost any project.

1. CSS Hat ($34.99)

photoshopplugins1z

    CSS Hat is, to put it succinctly, the web designer’s dream. What it allows you to do is take one of your layers, and transform it into CSS3 code. This basically means you can copy your designs from Photoshop and paste them into your website.

    2. Flaticon (free)

    Advertising

    photoshopplugins2z

      If you need to insert some sort of vector-based icon into your designs, Flaticon is for you. It is essentially a database of free-to-use icons, which you can access in Photoshop by downloading the plugin.

      3. Pixel Dropr ($19)

      photoshopplugins3z

        Pixel Dropr is great if you are working on a project that requires the use of many of the same assets. So, for instance, if you are working on five separate projects in Photoshop, you can use Pixel Dropr to transfer up to 100 “icons, buttons, UI kits, or photos” from one project to another. As you might imagine, this saves a lot of time in the long run.

        4. Silver EFEX Pro 2 (free trial)

        photoshopplugins4z

          Silver EFEX Pro 2 is great if you want a simple, non-time consuming way to create beautiful black and white images. It’s like an advanced version of a filter you might find on Instagram. As such, it comes packed with a number of advanced controls that experts can use to get the best black and white images possible.

          5. Fractlius ($39.90)

          photoshopplugins5z

            Fractalius is a plugin that allows you to easily create interesting works of art out of normal everyday images. What it does is extract the “hidden fractal texture” within a picture, allowing you to reveal certain eccentricities that weren’t visible before.

            Advertising

            6. Exposure 7 (free trial)

            photoshopplugins6z

              Exposure 7 is a straightforward plugin with a single purpose: to make digital images appear as though they were originally captured in an analog manner. As such, you have several options to add film-esque effects, such as scratches, grain, and other finishes.

              7. Machine Wash Deluxe ($99)

              photoshopplugins7z

                Machine Wash Deluxe accomplishes a simple task: it takes your clean designs and applies a kind of weathering effect, giving it a more aged and worn-in look. It works best when used with basic typography, but can also be applied to more complicated works of art as well.

                8. Blow Up 3 (free trial)

                photoshopplugins8z

                  Ever find an image you want to use but discover that it’s too low of a resolution, causing weird graphical artifacts to show up when you try to enlarge it? Blow Up 3 tries to solve that problem by making it so that images maintain their graphical integrity as you enlarge them.

                  9. Noiseware ($79.95)

                  Advertising

                  photoshopplugins9z

                    Noiseware is a powerful tool used to clean images that are contaminated by an unusual amount of “noise,” which are basically elements within an image that reduce its clarity. This plugin lets you remove these, giving you a sharper final product.

                    10. Portraiture ($199.95)

                    photoshopplugins10z

                      Portraiture is a plugin that’s targeted towards smoothing skin. What makes it special is that it is able to remove blemishes like acne scars without tampering with details like skin texture and hair. The end result is that you get a much more realistic image than if you tried to manually remove acne with something like the clone-stamp tool.

                      11. Cut & Slice Me (free)

                      photoshopplugins11z

                        Despite its lighthearted name, Cut & Slice Me is quite useful for those of you who need a free and easy way to transfer your Photoshop designs to your website. As its name suggests, you can direct the plugin to cut out layers of your design, and export those assets to wherever you need them online.

                        12. GuideGuide (free)

                        photoshopplugins12z

                          GuideGuide is a free plugin that allows you to create an Excel-like grid in Photoshop, making it easy to design web layouts. What it really does is ensure that your creations are mathematically proportional.

                          Advertising

                          13. CSS3PS (free)

                          photoshopplugins13z

                            CSS3PS uses cloud computing to take your layers and turn them into segments of CSS3 code. This means you can easily transfer certain works, as well as any effects you may have applied to them (like drop-shadows), to your website. This tool is far easier to use than the export tool included in Photoshop, and, best of all, it is free.

                            14. Wire Worm (free)

                            photoshopplugins114z

                              Wire Worm accomplishes the the incredibly useful task of removing distracting telephone cables from your pictures. Thus, it makes it much easier to appreciate whatever it is you captured on film without having to deal with a jungle of wires obscuring your vision.

                              15. SuperPNG (free)

                              photoshopplugins15z

                                SuperPNG makes up for one of Photoshop’s deficiencies, which is that it has a hard time processing PNGs in a timely fashion. This plugin allows you to manage your PNG images in a more hands-on manner, allowing you to edit them so that they are rendered by Photoshop much more rapidly.

                                Are you a heavy Photoshop user? Did these plugins help you accomplish tasks in a more effective manner? Let me know in the comments!

                                Featured photo credit: Using Photoshop To Remove Acne/ Bark via flickr.com

                                More by this author

                                10 Best Online Shopping Sites I Wish I Knew Earlier 10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend 30 Incredible Things Your iPhone Can Do 10 Things Only Detail-Oriented People Do 10 Of The Best Mead Recipes

                                Trending in Technology

                                125 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know 210 Best Calendar Apps to Get Your Life Back on Track 320 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently 420 Excel Tricks That Can Make Anyone An Excel Expert 518 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2018 Updated)

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                                25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                                25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                                Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

                                Or even better:

                                What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

                                You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

                                Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

                                How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

                                The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

                                In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

                                • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
                                • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
                                • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

                                As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

                                Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

                                Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

                                But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

                                his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

                                5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

                                Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

                                But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

                                Advertising

                                1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
                                2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
                                3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
                                4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
                                5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

                                Who can use Excel shortcuts?

                                There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

                                • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
                                • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
                                • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
                                • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

                                Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

                                With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

                                25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

                                Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

                                1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

                                If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

                                2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

                                If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

                                If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

                                3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

                                Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

                                =sum(

                                …and then press F3.

                                When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

                                4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

                                Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

                                =match(

                                …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

                                Advertising

                                When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

                                But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

                                5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

                                If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

                                • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
                                • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
                                • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
                                • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
                                • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

                                6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

                                By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

                                The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

                                For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

                                A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

                                7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

                                When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

                                8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

                                When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

                                9. Use filtering

                                Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

                                It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

                                To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

                                10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

                                Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

                                Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

                                Advertising

                                To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

                                11. See formula results with F9

                                If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

                                Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

                                12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

                                If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

                                13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

                                Here’s how to use EDATE:

                                =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

                                =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

                                14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

                                Here’s how to use EMONTH:

                                =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

                                =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

                                15. Remove spaces with TRIM

                                TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

                                16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

                                In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

                                17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

                                When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

                                And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

                                Advertising

                                18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

                                If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

                                19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

                                Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

                                You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

                                20. Use data validation

                                This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

                                • Create dependent drop-down lists;
                                • Create drop-down lists;
                                • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

                                21. Use conditional formatting

                                It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

                                22. Use formula auditing

                                This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

                                The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

                                23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

                                Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

                                It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

                                24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

                                INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

                                25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

                                OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

                                The bottom line

                                As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

                                That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

                                If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                Read Next