Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - November/December 2017



: New features and bug fixes

METARAW 2.55 FOR WIN/MAC: New cameras supported and bug fixes

FILTERHUB 1.51 FOR WINDOWS: Bug fixes and installation improvements

PHOTOWIZ FOR WINDOWS: Improved preview scrolling, Enhanced support for Affinity Photo and ON1 Photo Raw, Installation support for PSP 2018

PLUGIN GALAXY / HYPERTYLE / HARRYS FILTERS / PHOTOFREEBIES FOR WINDOWS: Improved preview scrolling, Enhanced support for Affinity Photo

POLL RESULTS: Which Lightroom version will you use in future? Which of these Lightroom-like applications do you regularly use?

NEW POLL: Which image editing application(s) do you mainly use?

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: PhotoWiz Editor, KPT3 Spheroid Designer

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: HEIC for Windows, InPixio Photo Editor, PhotoDemon, BirdFont

GRAPHICS NEWS: Photoshop CC 2018, Affinity Photo 1.6, nik Plugins acquired by DxO




Dear Reader,

All of our major products (including the Harrys Filters and PhotoFreebies freeware) have been updated this autumn to keep up with the latest developments in software and hardware. We are determined to keep it up in future to ensure that our plugins are not outdated by new technology and get useless or even stop working some day. Unfortunately this has been the case with many other Photoshop plugins, which were abandoned in the last few years.

One positive development lately is that the nik Plugins were sold by Google and acquired by DxO. They will very likely loose their freeware status, but it also means that they will be improved again in future. See the Graphics News blurb about it below!

Photoshop CC 2018, which was recently released, offers several useful features. Even if you are a CC subscription adversary, this means that at least some of these new features will ultimatively become available in future Photoshop Element versions, or even more likely in the next major version of our ElementsXXL product.

We would like to thank all people who have supported ElementsXXL (and the other related products) and helped to make it a success story in the five years of its existence. An even bigger thanks applies to all users who have supported our PhotoWiz products in the last 15 years and helped to keep them evolving.

In any case I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Prosperous and Very Happy New Year!

Kind regards,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site


New features and bug fixes

ElementsXXL 5.02 offers new Auto Lens Correction features, improvements of the Perspective Warp and Fill Selection features as well as many bug fixes.

The new Lens Defaults feature lets you define your own lens profile defaults, which makes manual adjustments unnecessary for unknown lenses. The Perspective Warp now works much more like the same tool in Photoshop, which is a big improvement. The Fill Layer/Selection dialog of ElementsXXL also behaves more similar to the classic version of Photoshop Elements. In Photoshop Elements 2018 the nik Viveza plugin was previously missing as a smart filter on the SmartFilter panel, which was fixed. As some people reported persistent problems with the ElementsXXL menu items on the Layers panel context menu, there is now an option in the ElementsXXL Preferences to deactivate them.

The trial period was renewed, so undecided users can test it again for another 14 days. Please note that there was a bug on the release day that was fixed on the next day. So if your ElementsXXL 5.02 trial version causes a crash when changing a brush setting, please redownload and reinstall it to have it work properly.

Thanks to the numerous people who sent bug report and improvement suggestions for ElementsXXL! Such feedback helps us to make ElementsXXL an even more reliable and effective tool. ElementsXXL 5 will continue being improved in 2018.

For more information and a trial version visit the
ElementsXXL Page


New cameras supported and bug fixes

MetaRaw 2.55 supports Adobe DNG Converter 10.0 as well as new cameras and offers bug fixes. The Lens Correction and CA Removal options (in Photoshop Elements 10 and higher) now work even if an XMP file already exists for a raw file. Under MacOS the MetaRaw format plugin finally runs correctly in Photoshop CS3/CS4 and Photoshop Elements 8. The Windows uninstallation now now makes sure that Photoshop and Photoshop Elements are closed before MetaRaw is actually uninstalled.

For more information and a trial version visit the
MetaRaw Page


Bug fixes and installation improvements

The FilterHub 1.51 automation plugin (for Windows) now displays an error message to avoid crashes with three old and faulty Flash Player versions. Additionally the filter scanning algorithm of the FilterHub automation plugin was improved, which makes sure that e.g. nik Viveza is displayed in Photoshop Elements 2018. The installation was adjusted to match the installation of our other products, which means that you will be able to fully overwrite old versions and trial version in future. The installation into Photoshop CS5.1 was also fixed.

The FilterHub extension (for Win/Mac), which only works in Photoshop CS4 to CC 2013, was not updated and still has version number 1.05. It is not very likely that it will be updated in future, because it is based on technology that was dropped by Adobe with Photoshop CC 2014. The FilterHub automation plugin for Windows is still under development and works in the latest thirteen Photoshop versions from 7.0 to CC 2018 as well as Photoshop Elements 2.0 to 2018.

For more information and a trial version visit the
FilterHub Page


Improved preview scrolling, Enhanced support for Affinity Photo and ON1 Photo Raw, Installation support for PSP 2018

The latest PhotoWiz update offers improved preview scrolling, enhanced support for Affinity Photo and ON1 Photo Raw, PaintShop Pro 2018 installation support as well as various bug fixes. There is also a fix for a freeze problem in the Color modes of LightMachine and it makes sure that all PhotoWiz products are installed correctly as external editors in Lightroom. The manual was extended with instructions on how to manually install PhoWiz in other Lightroom-like applications. The PhotoWiz standalones also support the raw files of 200 new cameras based on MetaRaw 2.54.

For more information and a trial version visit the
PhotoWiz Page


Improved preview scrolling, Enhanced support for Affinity Photo

Similarly to the latest PhotoWiz update our other Photoshop plugins (Plugin Galaxy, HyperTyle, Harrys Filters and PhotoFreebies) were updated with similar improvements. Scrolling the preview with a maximized window on a 4K (and even HD) screen now works much more fluently. This is especially the case in Adobe applications with UI Scaling activated and in non-Adobe applications, e.g. Affinity Photo. Additionally support for 16-bit images and a maximized window in Affinity Photo was added. Our Plugin Installer tool now supports Paint Shop Pro 2018 as well as Corel Draw & Photo-Paint 2017 and has an improved Add Folder button.

For more information and a trial version visit the
Products Page


Up to 125 voters took part in both of the latest poll about Lightroom and Lightroom-like applications. Here are the results:

Poll 1: Which Lightroom version will you use in future?

1. I will stay with Lightroom 6 as long it supports my camera. 33%
2. I plan to switch to an alternative Lightroom-like application. 26%
3. I do not know yet what to do in future. 20%
4. I plan to switch to version 7 of Lightroom Classic CC. 16%
5. I plan to use the new cloud-based Lightroom CC. 6%

Only one quarter of all voters intend to switch to Lightroom Classic CC and Lightroom CC. 20% are uncertain which Lightroom version they will use in future or if they will switch to another application. Another quarter of the voters plan to switch to an alternative application and one third want to stay with the old Lightroom 6 version. So there is quite some skepticism about the new Lightroom version among the voters.

Poll 2: Which of these Lightroom-like applications do you regularly use?

1. Adobe Lightroom 44%

2. Topaz Studio 26%
3. DxO OpticsPro 22%
4. ON1 Photo RAW 21%
5. Other 20%

6. ACDSee 10%
    AfterShot Pro 10%
    Raw Therapee 10%
7. Nikon Capture (NX) 8%
8. Zoner Photo Studio 7%
9. Capture One 6%
10. Darktable 5.5%

11. Luminar 5%
     Canon Digital Photo Professional 5%
12. SilkyPix 3%
     PhotoDirector 3%
13. Exposure 1.5%
     SIGMA Photo Pro 1.5%
14. LightZone 1%
     PT Photo Editor 1%
15. Photo Ninja 0%

44% of all voters use Lightroom, but each voter uses on average 2 applications, because there were slightly more than double as many votes than voters. After Lightroom itself the most popular applications are Topaz Studio, DxO OpticsPro and ON1 Photo RAW, each used by around 20-25% of all voters.

For more poll results visit the
Resources section


Which image editing application(s) do you mainly use?

Please vote for your main image editing application(s) in our latest poll. You can choose between various versions of Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and PaintShop Pro as well as vote for seven other applications, e.g. Affinity Photo, and an "Other" option. There was a similar poll 1.5 years ago, but only for the first three tools. As several new versions and applications have been released since then it was time to redo this poll and see what has changed.

Please participate in this poll by visiting the

Main page...


Here are the latest posts from The Plugin Site Forums:

PhotoWiz Editor (the possible future of PhotoWiz)

DDR wrote: "Is there a sense to start a new project called, I say, "Harry Photo Editor" or "PhotoWiz Editor"? I mean a competition to OpticsPro and others. See the project picture below. There are many advantages and one drawback as below. ... I have no idea [if it] is possible to easy make switching the PhotoWiz apps under a common shell ..."

KPT3 Spheroid Designer

pnjnca wrote: "Dug out my ancient KPT3 Spheroid Designer: Enabled mutations and hit the preview window for a preview of the most current mutation. Is there any way to constrain that current mutation shown in preview so it is the one that actually applies to the image? As I click to leave the preview window the mutations continue to evolve so the actual apply is never the same as was being shown in the preview. It's been so darned long I cannot recall if it was even possible to constrain, and am fast running out of keystroke combinations to try."


Feel free to post comments or start a discussion topic at
The Plugin Site Forum


HEIC for Windows, InPixio Photo Editor, PhotoDemon, BirdFont

HEIC/HEIF is a new format introduced with iOS 11 that only requires half the disk space of JPEG. HEIC for Windows allows you viewing these files with Windows Picture Viewer as well as use them in Windows Explorer and MS Office. There is also an Explorer context menu item for converting HEIC to JPEG. By the way, a commercial tool that also supports HEIC/HEIF under Windows is Zoner Photo Studio X. Adobe only supports the format on Apple OSes.
Visit website...

The free version of the InPixio Photo Editor (for Windows) was developed for enhancing photos that are meant to be shared on social media. It offers effect presets, crop preset, sliders and curves for manual adjustment as well as frame effects. The commercial version includes more features.
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PhotoDemon is an open source image editing tool (for Windows) with a more traditional UI and a layers feature. Other features include 100 image effects, macro recording, batch processing and presets for all tools. It is localized to more than 20 languages.
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BirdFont (for Win/Mac/Linux) is a font desig tool, which exports TTF, EOT and SVG fonts. You can open existing font files for editing, create a font from scratch, trace letters or import SVG files. BirdFont offers many vector drawing tools for designing each letter. BirdFont is free to use as long as the created fonts are released under an open font license. A commercial license is rather inexpensive, but updates are limited to one year.
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For more free plugins and tools, please visit the
Resources section


Photoshop CC 2018, Affinity Photo 1.6, nik Plugins acquired by DxO

The latest CC 2018 edition of Photoshop offers a new brush preset management, brush stroke smoothing and paint symmetry, a new curvature pen tool and various typographic enhancements. For beginners there are rich tool tips and a new Learn panel available. Lightroom users can now access their Lightroom photos from the Photoshop start screen and panorama photographers benefit from a new spherical panorama workflow. There were also smaller improvements added like copy & paste of multiple layers, improved image resizing, better PNG compression, various performance improvements and some enhancements for retouching tools.
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Version 1.6 of Affinity Photo (for Win/Mac) offers a performance boost concerning speed and working with large files. There is also a new light user interface option, a stroke stabilization mode and better support for Photoshop plugins. Other new features include a new font chooser, new Glyph browser, an "align to key items" feature, custom brush wet edges, outlier stacking mode, PDF export as well as text placement improvements.
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At the end of October Google sold the Nik Collection to DxO Optics. DxO plans to release a new “Nik Collection 2018 Edition” mid 2018. In the meantime DxO already included the Nik U Point technology in the new DxO PhotoLab software, the successor of DxO Optics Pro. You can still download the free Nik Collection by leaving your email address. However, it would not be surprising if the free plugins would disappear as soon as the new commercial version becomes available.
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