I’ve been working a lot more with Photoshop lately, and when you work with a piece of software for awhile you always end up needing to do things faster, and more efficiently, and sometimes the issues are nearly impossible to remedy. There aren’t always issues, but definitely time consuming things that I’d rather get through quickly rather then spending my day on, things like setting up gutters, grids, upsizing images, knowing what fonts are “web safe”, etc. Here’s a few of my favourite plugins/extensions for Photoshop for accomplishing a few simple but time consuming things quickly and easily! Hopefully at least one of these is helpful to you.
GuideGuide makes setting up Photoshop guides and grids so simple, it makes you wonder why this plugin isn’t a Photoshop standard feature. Simply enter a few measurements, set the number of guides, grids, rows, columns, whatever you’re looking for, and GuideGuide does everything else. Quick, easy, free, and just plain smart.
CSS Hat might not be free, but it’s definitely a great tool. When mocking up websites, the big pain after is converting your beautiful “image” into a living, functioning website. While the development aspect of this can’t be helped much, the design side of things definitely can be, and CSS Hat makes converting your layers and layer styles into complaint CSS code quick and painless. Just click on a finished layer, and CSS Hat outputs the code for you to copy and paste into your code editor of choice. A huge time saver for anyone who has ever taken the time to take a fully PSD to HTML/CSS.
Note: CSS Hat is no longer in production as of 2016, but a similar tool called "CSS3Ps" is still available.
Photoshop Web Fonts
Simply one of the best tools ever. The worst part of designing websites in Photoshop, is that 99% of the fonts you can use in Photoshop don’t work on the web, at all. And a lot of times, non-web safe fonts don’t degrade gracefully, and instead look hideous. This extension is the ultimate assistant for these situations: simply fire it up before starting your PSD template, and it’ll let you work with fonts that are just web safe. No more worrying about having a client sign off on a font that you can’t replicate. And again, this one is free, as long as you use Fusion Suitcase.
Note: Photoshop Web Fonts is now Adobe Fonts.
Blow Up is another paid extension with lots of power. Take an image of any size and scale it with minimal (or sometimes almost no) artifacting. It’s very helpful for those situations where the photos provided for that project aren’t up to par with the quality you’d expect. It’s got a steep cost, but it’s also an easy one to pay off.
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