If you are bored with the preset brushes included with Adobe Photoshop, don’t worry – you can install it yourself. Adobe lets you install new brushes that contain shapes, patterns, outlines, and more. Here’s how to do it.
Downloading New Brushes for Photoshop
To get started, you must first download the third-party brush set that is suitable for Photoshop. This comes in the ABR file format and can be found for sale, or free online, from sources such as Brusheezy.
Note: Make sure you only download and buy brushes from reliable sources. Malicious actors will insert files infected with malware in an attempt to hijack your computer.
After downloading the brush file, you are advised to place it in the Preset> Brushes folder in your Photoshop installation directory.
On Windows, this is usually found in the C: \ Program Files \ Adobe folder.
You can leave third-party brushes in an alternative folder and load them manually, but it’s easier to leave these brushes in a managed location that is suitable for Photoshop.
Installing Brushes in Photoshop (From Photoshop 2020)
The way you install third-party brushes will vary depending on your version of Photoshop. If you are using Photoshop from Photoshop 2020 onwards, you can install a new brush using the Brushes menu panel, but you might need to display the panel first.
To do this, open a new or existing image in Photoshop and then tap Window> Brushes to display the panel.
To add a new brush, select the “Settings” menu icon at the top right of the panel. From here, click the “Import Brushes” option.
After your ABR file is selected, click the “Load” button to install the brush into Photoshop.
Installing Brushes in Older Photoshop Versions (CC 2019 and Older)
To load brushes in earlier versions of Photoshop (Photoshop CC 2019 and earlier), all you need to use is the Preset Manager, rather than the Brushes menu panel.
To do this, launch Adobe Photoshop on your PC, then tap Edit> Preset> Preset Manager.
You might need to select “Brush (* .ABR)” from the drop-down menu next to the “File Name” box to be able to select it.
Using an Imported Photoshop Brush
After your imported Photoshop brushes are available, you can start using them. You will need the Visible Brushes panel to do this, so be sure to choose Window> Brushes to make them visible.
The brush you imported will appear as a “Brush Group” folder for you to use – click on the group folder to see a list of all available brushes.
Like all Photoshop brushes, you can further edit settings for your brush using the options bar at the top of the Photoshop window.
Installing third-party Photoshop brushes is just one way to expand the functionality of this photo editing software. You can go further by installing Photoshop plug-ins and extensions to add new features and settings too.