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Manage Plug-Ins in Photoshop with Shortcuts

A Photoshop Plug-in Trick

By Shari Rapal

Here's a useful tip for managing a large collection of plug-ins and filters in Photoshop. You can save memory and reduce load time by only loading the plugins you need. This tip comes from Shari Rapal on the Photoshop discussion list. Thanks Shari!

Photoshop will recognize plug-ins that are located in subdirectories of the Photoshop\Plug-Ins folder. Photoshop also recognizes shortcuts within the Plug-Ins folder and subfolders.

This is very useful when trying to keep your plug-in collection under control. For instance, you can install your plug-ins to any folder outside of the Photoshop\Plug-Ins folder, then create a shortcut for the *.8b* file in the Plug-Ins folder.

By using shortcuts in the Plug-Ins folder, it simplifies the task of adding and removing plug-ins on the fly. By installing the plug-in and related files outside of the Plug-Ins folder it keeps things orderly so that if you decide to later uninstall a plug-in, the documentation and other related files are all in the same place.

Another advantage to this is that you can create several folders for holding various plug-in shortcuts for various tasks and only load the ones you need by moving them in or out of of the main Plug-Ins folder.

I've tried the shortcut trick in Paint Shop Pro 5 and Photo-Paint 9, and unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work. So this is a Photoshop-only trick.

Editor's Note: In Windows you can create a plugin by right-clicking on an item (folder or file). Then you can move the shortcut anywhere you like. Or create the shortcut where you want it byt clicking and dragging with the right mouse button.

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