The 5 Favorite Photoshop Plugins I can't live without

When it comes to workflow I like to have control over the outcome as much as possible.
My Adobe Photoshop UI is therefore a good compromise of having enough screen real estate and all the tools I use on a regular basis.

For my tools of the trade, there are a number of hardware and software solutions that I rely on and it might not be a surprise that Photoshop is still leading the pack.

However, since Photoshop is still not perfect, I also rely on a number of Add-ons that fill the gap for me. You can view these Plugins as similar to Browser Add-ons; they are not necessary but provide a better user experience.

In this post I want to highlight my favorite plugins starting with:

#5 Perspective Tools V2.0 ($15)

Perspective Tools is a small but smart panel developed by Sergey Kritskiy. He has a number of tools and tips published on his website (if it is down, here is a link to his Gumroad: This one tool is especially useful for digital artists and concept artists working with environments. But it is also very useful for Graphic artists and Designers who often need to place designs or text in perspective - say on products - on a regular basis.

#4 GuideGuide

GuideGuide is perfect for any graphic artist. I said I would never need this, until I wanted to print a 5-Panel-Canvas-Piece ;) 

#3 ColorFriends (Free)

ColorFriends is a nifty plugin that allows you to pick colors and see correlated warmer or colder swatches around your current color. Works with hue, saturation and brightness.
Developed by Vasiliy Kuznetsov in 2012, published with source code on Github:
Even though it is fairly old, it still works like a charm in the current version of PS (2019).

#2 Brutus Symmetry ($10)

Actually obsolete in Adobe Photoshop 2019, so why is it on #2 in your list?
While it is true that Photoshop has realtime symmetry since 2018, there are many situations where it comes in handy to rotate or mirror a layer with just one click of a button or to find the center point of a document with one click. Or sometimes you find a layer would benefit of being symmetrical afterwards, because realtime symmetry requires that you use it intentionally, right?

Its use goes far beyond just painting with symmetry even if the gif above does not reflect that!

The list of actions in this simple panel is something I use at least once a day and many other plugins go away after a few weeks, banned from the user interface, not AD Brutus Symmetry. Since the very first day of its installation I use it daily and don't want to miss it.
Awesome Job Mr. Dukal!

#1 MagicSquire ($19)

MagicSquire is a brush organization panel. Actually Adobe has updated PS with new features to organize brushes better, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. From coloring different sets to having different brush previews as also being able to organize  and import both; .TPL and .ABR files as also Mixer brushes and having any brush be an eraser by clicking the ALT key is a bliss.
There is an alternative out there by Sergey Kritskiy called Brusherator, but personally I find it a bit too chaotic. For someone who likes a tidy workspace, MagicSquire with all its features is the way. But maybe you try out both and find Brusherator better, who knows?

Why is it the Nr. #1? Because I use it not just everyday, but every time I use a brush in Photoshop, and that is very often. Having a reliable tool to find and organize all my gems is an important asset and worth every penny.


Since I always like to improve my workflow, I like to read about your favorite plug-ins or panels for Photoshop. Let me know your list in a comment.

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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook


  1. how do you install colorfriends?

  2. Actually you copy it to the plugins folder.

  3. Anonymous8/03/2023

    Thanks for the list, though it already seems out of date. GuideGuide is not free - he is charging a subscription (and no way am I going to pay a monthly fee for what it does). I went to the GitHub of Colorfriends but I don't understand what to download. There doesn't seem to be an executable. A bit disappointing. I might buy and try the perspective tools.



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