Free Photoshop Plug-Ins: are worth It?

Photoshop plug-ins are the ideal way for photo editors, website designers, and animators to streamline their workflow and optimize productivity. The vast web is brimming with hundreds upon hundreds of plug-ins, all of which range in price. It begs the question: can a person find equal value in free plug-ins as they can in paid plug-ins?

The Benefits of Free Photoshop Plug-Ins

The most obvious benefit of free plug-ins is that they cost no money to the user, so you’re losing nothing by trying them out. There are free plug-ins that can assist with just about every aspect of Photoshop, enabling you to greatly improve your productivity and design without spending a penny.

particleshop

There are free plug-ins that can:

  • Automate layer management
  • Generate unique lorem ipsum textConvert
  • Photoshop documents to CSS3
  • Browse vector design assets
  • Find and insert free favicons and icons
  • And more…

No matter what it is you’re trying to do, there is likely a free plug-in to support the task, allowing you to improve your workflow management while keeping expenses at a minimum.

What’s the Downside of Free Plug-Ins?

Since the plug-ins are free, you aren’t losing anything by trying them out. Nonetheless, there are many paid plug-ins that can improve workflow, while offering greater benefit to the user. Compare Renamy 3 with Composer, for instance. Both plug-ins offer essentially the same service: managing the editing of layers to make it more efficient. However, Renamy 3 costs about $10 whereas Composer is free. Depending on the level of functionality you’re seeking, Composer may fit your needs. However, Renamey 3 offers additional features that Composer lacks, such as replacing layer names and name filtering.

poratta

Portraiture is another great example. Though it costs upwards of $200, it’s well worth the price given the level of value it provides the user. It’s a plug-in that enables you to efficiently retouch photos to provide an airbrushed, flawless look to skin without compromising other important details in the picture. Though there are free plug-ins that offer similar tools, you’ll be able to achieve a higher level of precision and accuracy with Portraiture, hence its steep price tag.

The Takeaway

While free Photoshop plug-ins are limited in variety and capacity, they still provide a viable way for people to access a diverse range of Photoshop services at no cost. For people looking to increase efficiency without spending a lot of money, free plug-ins are certainly worth the value.

Though, depending on the tools you’re seeking, sometimes it’s worth it to spend a little extra money. Make a list of all the tasks you’d like to automate. Find as many free plug-ins as possible and utilize paid plug-ins as a secondary option if no free plug-ins can support your needs.

Read Top 10 Tools for a Photo Retouch to learn more.

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