Exploring the Preset Manager in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

If you collect or create many Photoshop custom materials and templates, such as brushes, custom shapes, layer styles, toolboxes, gradients, and patterns, you should familiarize yourself with the Template Manager.

Photoshop’s Preset Manager can be used to load, organize, and save all custom content and presets for brushes, swatches, gradients, styles, patterns, paths, custom shapes, and tool presets. In Photoshop Elements, the preset manager works with brushes, swatches, gradients, and patterns. (Layer styles and custom shapes must be loaded differently in Photoshop Elements.) In both programs, the Preset Manager is located under edit > styles > styles. Manager .

  1. Introducing Preset Manager
  2. Preset Manager menu
  3. Select, save, rename and delete presets
  4. Select presets
  5. Rename Presets
  6. Delete presets
  7. Load and create your own set of your favorite presets
  8. Filename extensions for all Photoshop preset types

Introducing Preset Manager

At the top of the preset manager is a drop-down menu for selecting the specific type of preset you want to work with. Below are examples of this particular preset type. By default, the Preset Manager shows small preset thumbnails. On the right are buttons for loading, saving, renaming and deleting presets.

Preset Manager menu

Next to the menu for the preset type on the right is a small icon that represents another menu (in Photoshop Elements this is labeled Lake ). In this menu you can select different layouts for displaying presets – text only, small thumbnails, large thumbnails, small list, or large list. It depends on the type of preset you are working with. For example, the brush type also provides a stroke thumbnail layout, and tool presets do not have a thumbnail selection. This menu contains all presets installed with Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.

The Preset Manager allows you to load presets from files stored anywhere on your computer, so you don’t have to put files in a specific folder. In addition, you can combine multiple preset files or save a custom set of your favorite presets. For example, if you have downloaded multiple brush sets, but you usually only use a few brushes from each set, you can load all those sets into the Preset Manager, select your favorites, and then save only the selected brushes. like a new set.

The preset manager is also important for saving presets that you create yourself. If you don’t save your presets, you could lose them if you ever need to reinstall Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. By saving your custom presets to a file, you can create backups for safekeeping or share your presets with other Photoshop users.

Select, save, rename and delete presets

Select presets

You can select items in the Preset Manager in the same way as in your computer’s file manager:

  • Hold down a key ctrl on Windows or order on a Mac, individually click multiple items anywhere in the list. If you want to make a selection from multiple items in a row, click on the first item in the list, hold down the key Shift and click the last item you want to select. Everything in between is selected.

You can tell when a preset is selected because it has a black border around it. After selecting multiple items, click the button Save set to save the selected preset to a new file in the location of your choice. Write down where you saved the file in case you want to make a copy as a backup or send your presets to someone else.

Rename Presets

Press the button rename to name individual presets. You can select multiple presets to rename and rename each one.

Delete presets

Press the button remove in the Preset Manager to remove the selected items from the download. If they are already stored in a set and exist as a file on your computer, they can still be accessed from that file. However, if you create your own preset and don’t explicitly save it to a file, clicking the delete button will delete it permanently.

You can also delete a preset by pressing and holding a key alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) and click the preset. You can rename or delete a preset by right-clicking the preset thumbnail. You can change the order of presets by clicking and dragging items in the preset manager.

Load and create your own set of your favorite presets

When using the button To download in the preset manager, the newly loaded set is added to the presets already in the preset manager. You can load as many sets as you want and then select the one you want to create to create a new set.

To replace the currently loaded styles with a new set, go to the Settings Manager menu and select the command To replace instead of the download button.

To create your own set of your favorite presets:

  1. Open preset manager on the menu Change .

  2. Select the preset type you want to work with from the menu, for example Templates.

  3. Review the currently loaded templates and make sure they contain the templates you want in your new set. If not, and you’re sure they’re all saved, you can delete them to make room for the presets you want to work with.

  4. Press the button To download in the Preset Manager and navigate to the folder on your computer where the preset files are stored. Repeat for as many different files as you want to use. You can resize the Preset Manager by dragging it along the sides if you need more workspace.

  5. Select each of the presets you want to include in your new set.

  6. Press the button Save , and the “Save” dialog box opens, where you can select a folder and specify a file name in which to save the file.

  7. Later you can reload and add or remove this file.

Filename extensions for all Photoshop preset types

Photoshop and Photoshop Elements use the following preset filename extensions:

  • Brushes: ABR

  • Samples: ACO

  • Expired: GRD

  • Styles: ASL

  • Patterns: PAT

  • Contours: SHC

  • Custom Forms: CSH

  • Resources: TPL

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