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

                                5 Life Lessons I Learned From Dean Winchester 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

                                Trending in Technology

                                1 How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career 2 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2018 Updated) 3 Master These 25 Mac Shortcuts to Work Faster and Smarter 4 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Help You Make the Most of Your Business 5 Evernote vs OneNote: Which Improves Your Productivity Better?

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Published on November 9, 2018

                                How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                                Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                                So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                                6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                                When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                                1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                                Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                                To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                                In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                                • Microsoft Excel
                                • Microsoft Access
                                • Statistics
                                • Data Analytics
                                • Adobe Campaign
                                • Quickbooks
                                • XML Database management system
                                • Filemaker Pro
                                • MATLAB
                                • Hive
                                • FORTRAN
                                • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                                • SAS

                                2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                                Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                                Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                                • Content Management System (CMS)
                                • Google Analytics
                                • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                                • Email Marketing
                                • Web Page Design
                                • WordPress
                                • Digital Media
                                • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                                • Campaign Management Software

                                3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                                A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                                • Adobe Photoshop
                                • Adobe InDesign
                                • Adobe Illustrator
                                • AutoCAD
                                • CorelDRAW
                                • Microsoft Visual Studio
                                • Maya
                                • Microsoft Word
                                • Microsoft Publisher
                                • Operating Digital Cameras

                                4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                                The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                                To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                                • HTML
                                • C/C++
                                • Java
                                • Python
                                • XML
                                • UI/UX
                                • LINUX
                                • CISC and RISC architecture
                                • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                                • Memory Management
                                • PCB Layout
                                • SQL

                                5. IT Troubleshooting

                                Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                                So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

                                Advertising

                                • Backup management
                                • Diagnostics
                                • End User support
                                • Client-Server management
                                • Installation and configuration
                                • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                                • System administration
                                • Tech support

                                6. Enterprise Systems

                                Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                                Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                                The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                                Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                                Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                                Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                                1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                                a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                                Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                                Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                                b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                                This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                                c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                                Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                                Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                                2. Rule the Social Media World

                                a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

                                Advertising

                                Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                                From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                                b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                                This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                                c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                                Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                                Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                                3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                                a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                                From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                                b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                                Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                                The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                                c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                                The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

                                Advertising

                                4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                                a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                                It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                                From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                                b. Canva Design School

                                From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                                c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                                62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                                d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                                The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                                Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                                5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                                a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                                IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                                It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                                b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

                                Advertising

                                The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                                Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                                The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                                • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                                • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                                • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                                • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                                • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                                • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                                • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                                Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                                Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                                1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                                It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                                Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                                2. Work on Your Efficiency

                                Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                                For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                                3. Look for Shortcuts

                                Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                                4. Apply for an Internship

                                Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                                By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                                How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                The Bottom Line

                                Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                                So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                                Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

                                Read Next