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Use Preset Viewer to Browse Your Photoshop Brushes Without Squinting

by Grant Friedman

on August 26, 2009

in Reviews

I’m a big fan of Photoshop Brushes. As you know, I’ve created and released hundreds of brushes on this website. As you can imagine, I have a rather large library of brushes in my arsenal. The problem with this is that I sometimes find it difficult to find the right brush for the project I am working on. If you have ever worked with the Photoshop Brush Palette you may have noticed how difficult it is to load and preview brushes. Brush sets need to be loaded individually and once that’s done you have to squint just to see which brushes you like the best. This is not a good way to design!

Several months ago I became aware of an awesome app that solves just about all my Photoshop Brush problems. If you visit my site often you may have noticed the banner ad in the sidebar for Preset Viewer, a Windows only app that will search your system for all your Photoshop presets, sort them, and then allow you to browse for them in one easy-to-find place.

This means that Preset Viewer is more than just a Browser for Photoshop Brushes. It also allows you to browse for patterns (.pat), custom shapes (.csh), swatches (.acb, .aco, .act, .ase), styles (.asl), compositions (.psd), and even images (.bmp, .jpg, .png, and more). Preset Viewer really is a must-have tool for any designer who works with design resources often.

No More Squinting!

One of my favorite features of this app is the ability to preview brushes at nearly full screen. This gives me the ability to take a look at each brush individually so that I know exactly what I’m getting before I decide to load the set. What’s even cooler is that Preset Viewer allows me to switch views between Thumbnails and Filmstrip, much like Windows Explorer.

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Loading Brushes

The ability to preview brush sets without squinting would have been enough to get me to purchase this app but Preset Viewer also allows me to load the brush set into Photoshop directly from the app. This time-saver saves me from having to locate each brush in my library without having to load it manually. To load a brush set just select the brush set and CTRL + Double-Click. Photoshop will then load the brush automatically. Pretty awesome!

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Conclusion

Preset Viewer is a really nice app for anyone who uses Photoshop presets a lot. It’s reasonably priced at $25 and is incredibly useful. If you’re on a Windows machine, I would definitely recommend that you head over to Preset Viewer’s website and purchase this fantastic app.

Also, don’t forget to follow Preset Viewer on Twitter (@preset_viewer).

About Grant Friedman

Grant Friedman is a graphic design, blogger, and author. In addition to being the founder of this website, Grant is also the editor of Psdtuts, one of the world's most popular tutorial websites.