Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - June/July 2017




: Preview Bug Fixes and Improved Installation

ELEMENTSXXL UPDATES FOR WIN/MAC: Camera Raw smart object support and bug fixes

METARAW 2.52 FOR WIN/MAC: 50 new cameras supported

LAYERSXXL 1.53 FOR WINDOWS: HiDPI improvements, faster Gradient Editor and improved installation

ACTIONSXXL 1.04 FOR WINDOWS: Bug fixes and improved installation

POLL RESULTS: From which companies have you purchased a Photoshop plugin (or its upgrade) during the last two years?

NEW POLL: Which operating system do you mainly use for processing images?

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Win10/PSP8/Nik Problem, New Win10/PSP9 Solutions

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Mehdi Plugins, Ditto, Ashampoo Photo tools

GRAPHICS NEWS: Plugin Bridge, Abstraction TX, More Adobe Links




Dear Reader,

During the last two months we mainly worked on updates of existing products, which is why we had to postpone a new product which is under development. With the latest PhotoWiz/Plugin Galaxy updates for the Mac we have now taken full control over the Mac development of our products. Previously our Mac products were ported and updated by an external developer. This means that new updates will be released faster in future.

Google finally announced - what I already expected since 2012 - that the nik Collection is discontinued. This basically means that it will gradually become less usable or even stop working with future updates of operating systems and image editors. It is also not very likely that a similar product will become available from another company, because no commercial company can compete with freeware. It is more or less doomed, so enjoy it while it still works...

Kind regards,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site


Preview Bug Fixes and Improved Installation

The PhotoWiz Collection 2017 and the Plugin Galaxy product offer various bug fixes and an improved installation. Installation support for Affinity Photo, GraphicConverter and Photoline is provided via the new Install app. It is also now possible to install into the full version of Affinity Photo and the upcoming Photoshop Elements 16. Additionally some preview problems in Affinity Photo were fixed as well as a crash that occurs with 16-bit images under certain conditions.

For more information and a demo version visit the
PhotoWiz Page


Camera Raw smart object support and bug fixes

With ElementsXXL 4.04 for Windows the two ElementsXXL plugins were combined into one plugin. Additionally there are seven bug fixes, mostly for the "Render 16-bit Document" feature.

ElementsXXL 1.03 for Mac lets you double click a smart object containing a camera raw file for displaying Adobe Camera Raw and readjusting its settings. This also works for smart objects created with the MetaRaw's "Camera Raw Smart Object" feature, which do not contain a camera raw file. There are also two bug fixes and an improved installation provided.

For more information and a demo version visit the
ElementsXXL Page


50 new cameras supported

Since the last newsletter two updates of MetaRaw have already been released. More than 50 new cameras have been added to the compatibility list since then. Especially notable is that MetaRaw 2.52 supports uncompressed Sony A9 raw files, the packed raw format of the Fujifilm X-A3 and the compressed raw formats of the Fujifilm GFX 50S, X100F, X-Pro 2, X-T2 and X-T20 cameras. MetaRaw Converter now also produces great colors for the DNG files of 9 smart phones (e.g. Google Pixel XL, LG G4 and OnePlus 3) whereas the results of Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter on the same files are partially unusable. MetaRaw 2.52 supports the latest Adobe DNG Converter 9.10.1 and offers some bug fixes.

For more information and a 14-day trial version visit
MetaRaw Page


HiDPI improvements, faster Gradient Editor and improved installation

LayersXXL 1.53 contains HiDPI improvements, a faster Gradient Editor, bug fixes and an improved installation. The two LayersXXL plugins were also combined into one plugin. With HiDPI settings the dialog font looks much better now, there are larger check box icons on the Layer Comp panel and the Blend If sliders of the Style Settings dialog as well as the gradient bar of the Gradient Editor dialog received larger handles. The handles of the Gradient Editor dialog also react much faster now. Additionally the Angle option of the Gradient Overlay style works correctly and the broken localization of the Style Settings dialog in Photoshop Elements 15 was fixed. Furthermore, LayersXXL received the improved installation features that we used for our other products lately.

For more information and a 14-day trial version visit
LayersXXL Page


Bug fixes and improved installation

Version 1.04 provides some bug fixes and an improved installation. ActionsXXL plays back some action steps correctly now and the Batch feature works correctly even if no extension item is used on the Name tab sheet. Now ActionsXXL also benefits from the installation improvements that were already added to our other products this year.

For more information and a 14-day trial version visit
ActionsXXL Page


From which companies have you purchased a Photoshop plugin (or its upgrade) during the last two years?

119 voters took part in the latest poll about people's favorite commercial plugin companies and submitted 389 votes.

1. Topaz Labs 53%
2. ON1 Software 38%
3. The Plugin Site 27%
4. DxO Labs 24%

5. Other 19%
6. Corel 17%
7. HDRSoft (Photomatix) 15%
8. FilterForge 14%
    Portrait Professional 14%
9. Athentech 13.5%
10. Flaming Pear 12.5%
11. Akvis 12%
     Alienskin 12%
12. Neat Image / ABSoft 11%

13. Auto FX 9%
14. Redfield Plugins 8%
15. Imagenomic 5%
     Tiffen 5%
17. FocusMagic 3%
18. Human Software 2.5%
     Photodonut/Postworkshop 2.5%
19. AV Bros 2%

20. Cybia 0.8%
     Digital Anarchy 0.8%
     DFT (Digital Film Tools) 0.8%
     Fred Miranda 0.8%
     GraphicXtras 0.8%
     Mehdi Plugins 0.8%
     PixelGenius 0.8%
     Richard Rosenman 0.8%

The average voter purchased from 3.3 plugin developers in the 2015 to 2017 period. In our previous poll the voters purchased from 4 plugin developers in average between 2009 and 2012. This could mean that fewer commercial successful plugin companies exist today, but it could also be a result of the many more items in the previous poll.

Compared to 2012 10% more voters purchased Topaz plugins and 6% more purchased The Plugin Site products whereas ON1 lost 5% customers among the voters. As freeware nik Software vanished from the Top 3 whereas Dxo Lab gained an impressive 19% and now ranks on the 4th place. HDRSoft, Filter Forge, Flaming Pear and AutoFX sales remained more or less constant, Corel increased by 6% (very likely due to its new brush plugin), Portrait Pro gained 4%, ABSoft 3% whereas Alienskin, AKVIS and Redfield dropped by 3 to 4%. Athentech, which was not part of the 2012 poll, made it straight to rank 9 with 13.5% sales among all voters. Most of the companies on rank 15 to 20 also lost sales.

Compared to the previous plugin poll, which also included freeware plugins or older commercial plugins, the following conclusions can more or less be drawn: Topaz and ON1 seem to have few freeware users whereas almost 1/3 of all users of The Plugin Site, Auto FX and Redfield use freeware products. Dxo Labs seems to have one quarter of freeware or old users. Almost half of all Alienskin users are freeware users (Remember the free EyeCandy 3 download!) or users of older Alienskin products. Companies with a majority of freeware users are: Mehdi, Rosenman, Cybia and now of course Google/nik.

For more poll results visit the
Resources section


Which operating system do you mainly use for processing images?

The new poll asks you about your main operating system for editing images. You have a choice between various versions of Windows, MacOS and Linux.

Please participate in this poll by visiting the
Main page...


Here are the latest interesting posts from The Plugin Site Forums:


Mekare wrote: "... I've only had 3 computers in the last 15 years and I recently got the 3rd and am running windows 10. I don't remember how to get plugins to work with PSP8. ... I went to google and got the full Nik collection, installed it into my psp plugin folder and it didn't show up so I remembered something about the file locations in PSP so I went there, made sure the correct folders were listed and even tried clicking and unclicking the boxes.. nothing has worked. ... Can anyone please help me?... This forum is my last hope."

New Win10/PSP9 Solutions

greylin wrote: "I tried all the suggestions so far provided but having invested so much learning into PSP9 I didn't want to switch to a new program. Instead, my son has installed VirtualBox ..."

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


Mehdi Plugins, Ditto, Ashampoo Photo tools

Mehdi released the Minute Lut plugin (for Windows), which allows applying 3D LUT profiles to images and creating such profiles. The Absolute Color and Curves plugins are now also available as 64-bit plugins and offer some improvements as well.
Visit website...

Ditto is a Photoshop extension (for Win/Mac), which lets you use variables for fill colors, text strings, visibility, font sizes, font colors, line heights as well as X/Y positions. You simply add a variable name with a # prefix to the layer name, enter the variable value on the Ditto panel and press an update button. The defined variables are automatically saved with the PSD file inside a special layer group. Ditto only works with Photoshop CC 2015 and higher.
Visit website...

Ashampoo offers the free "Photo Optimizer 2016" and "Photo Commander Free" tools (for Windows). Photo Commander Free is an image organizing, editing and sharing tool whereas Photo Optimizer 2016 only aims at optimizing and editing photos. There are also enhanced commercial versions available of both tools. Both require that you apply for a free license key via email during installation.
Visit website...

For more free plugins and tools, please visit the
Resources section


Plugin Bridge, Abstraction TX, More Adobe Links

Plugin Bridge (for Windows) from Mediachance runs 32-bit Photoshop plugins, e.g. the KPT Collection, from within a 64-bit application, which would normally not be possible. As it executes them inside a separate memory space the 32-bit plugins cannot crash the 64-bit host application, e.g. Photoshop. If this type of product is something fro you, also have a look at LaunchBox from Alpha Plugins, which also works in Lightroom and on the Mac but does not have a protective crash mechanism.
Visit website...
Visit website...

Redfield released the Abstraction TX plugin (for Windows), which produces abstract art from photos. It offers 5 parameters for adjusting the effect plus sharpen and brightness controls. Abstraction TX supports rendering with multiple cores.
Visit website...

To continue our link collection of useful Adobe downloads from the second last newsletter issue, here are some more:

Camera Raw direct downloads (Latest version plus last CS6 version):
Visit website...

Various DNG tools and links to Adobe DNG Converter:
Visit website...

Camera and lenses supported by Camera Raw, DNG Converter and Lightroom are listed here:
Visit website...



Back to the News Page


Still got questions ?