Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - September/October 2017




: 255 new features, Support for Photoshop Elements 2018

ELEMENTSXXL 1.04 for MAC: Support for Photoshop Elements 2018

METARAW 2.54 FOR WIN/MAC: New cameras supported

LAYERSXXL 1.54 FOR WINDOWS: Support for Photoshop Elements 2018

ACTIONSXXL 1.05 FOR WINDOWS: New feature and other improvements

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

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

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Larger Curves, HDR Photoshop Plugins, PSP 9.01 Update Problem


GRAPHICS NEWS: Lightroom (Classic) CC, Photoshop Elements 2018, PaintShop Pro 2018, Fractalius G4




Dear Reader,

The latest version 5 of ElementsXXL for Windows offers up to 870 features for Photoshop Elements. 1.5 years ago I thought it would be hard to come up with new features after version 4, but when working on version 5, new ideas for ElementsXXL 6 presented itself. So it seems that there is no limit in sight for future upgrades of ElementsXXL. Also, I hope you like the new skin feature of ElementsXXL 5, which makes its dialogs and controls almost indistinguishable from those of Photoshop Elements itself.

Developing Lightroom-like tools seems to be a big trend lately among plugin companies. ON1, Alienskin and recently Topaz concentrate on providing Lightroom alternatives. nik would probably have done something similar if it would still be around and AutoFX may still come up with one. And who knows ... our own PhotoWiz Collection may also pick up some Lightroom aspects in future. Additionally many traditional raw development and image viewing applications have adopted the Lightroom look over the years. Apart from the original I like Alienskin's Exposure X3 best so far, probably because it imitates Lightroom best. So the latest poll asks for Lightroom-like applications that you currently use.

Word just came out that Adobe will drop the perpetual version of Lightroom 6 and only offer Lightroom 7 as a subscription. Many people already feared that this would happen, so it is not really a surprise. That is why I quickly set up another poll regarding this topic. See below.

Personally I only productively use Lightroom for editing the hundreds of photos of weddings. For this purpose it works great. But normally I edit and use only very few of my photos (although I shoot masses of them), so using the Zoner image viewer and Photoshop Elements (with ElementsXXL) suit me better.

Kind regards,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site


255 new features, Support for Photoshop Elements 2018

ElementsXXL 5 provides up to 255 new features for Photoshop Elements 11 to 2018 and a Photoshop Elements skin for all ElementsXXL dialogs and controls. A mong the main new features are a Color Adaptation option for the Content-Aware feature of nine tools, a Crop Tool Preset feature, Black & White Preset and Auto features, six new path tools (Photoshop Elements 11-14 only), an Auto Lens Correction features, a Micro Contrast filter, an Image Size dialog similar to Photoshop and a Smart Filter panel with new features.

Additionally there are 12 new smart filters (for Photoshop Elements 15/2018), a Reduce Noise filter for removing sharpening noise, an Equalize feature for Curves, 16-bit/channel support for the Color Lookup filter, five new 16-bit/channel filters, support for 16-bit rendering of all adjustment layers, a "New Guide Layout" dialog, Quick Export features, a "Save in Background" option, new Layers panel context menu items and many more. Worth mentioning are also the new Help buttons or panel menu items on 42 dialogs and panels, more than 20 bug fixes and many performance enhancements.

For more information and a trial version visit the
ElementsXXL Page


Support for Photoshop Elements 2018

The new Mac version of ElementsXXL mainly provides support for Photoshop Elements 2018. It has also been tested under High Sierra.

ElementsXXL adds up to 130 powerful features to Photoshop Elements for MacOS X that were previously only available in Photoshop. These features are included as new menu items, icons, buttons, key shortcuts and dialogs, so they seamlessly integrate into the user interface of Photoshop Elements.

For more information and a trial version visit the
ElementsXXL Page


New cameras supported

MetaRaw 2.54 supports Adobe DNG Converter 9.12.1 as well as new cameras, e.g. the Sony RX10 IV. Better colors are produced during raw conversion for Fujifilm X-E3, Nikon D850 and Samsung Galaxy S7 / S7 edge / S8 / S8+. Additionally a bug that only occurs in Photoshop CS6 (and older) is fixed and installation support for Photoshop Elements 2018 is provided. The trial version can now be used for another 14 days, even if the MetaRaw trial version expired before.

MetaRaw extends the functionality of the Adobe Camera Raw plugin in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. It lets you open camera raw files with Adobe Camera Raw, which are normally not supported by it, and allows applying Adobe Camera Raw to image layers.

For more information and a trial version visit
MetaRaw Page


Support for Photoshop Elements 2018

LayersXXL 1.54 mainly offers support for Photoshop Elements 2018. It also makes sure that the Tasks sub menu is correctly placed when also using ElementsXXL5 in Photoshop Elements 14 to 2018.

LayersXXL offers tools for Photoshop Elements for performing image processing with the help of multiple image files, e.g. denoising, DOF Increase, HDR creation, multiple exposure effects, panorama stitching and more. It also includes a Layer Comp panel for creating and managing layer compositions as well as 5 new layer effects, 15 new blending controls and 90 new layer effect options.

For more information and a trial version visit
LayersXXL Page


New feature and other improvements

Version 1.05 of ActionsXXL provides a new "Do Not Close Opened Images" check box on the Batch dialog, which is handy when processing already open images or layers and you still want to continue editing them. Opening actions with up to 4096 steps is also possible now. Furthermore, four bugs were fixed.

ActionsXXL empowers Photoshop Elements users to create, record, play and save Photoshop actions. ActionsXXL also offers a Batch feature for automatically processing multiple documents or image files with actions, scripts and other features.

For more information and a trial version visit
ActionsXXL Page


Which operating system do you mainly use for processing images?

399 voters took part in the latest poll about their image processing OS. Here are the results:

1. Windows 10 52%
2. Windows 7 25%
3. macOS 10.12 Sierra 10%

4. Windows 8 4%
5. Windows XP 3%
6. OS X 10.11 El Capitan 2.5%

7. MacOS X 10.6 Snow Leopard 1%
Linux 1%
8. Windows Vista 0.5%
OS X 10.10 Yosemite 0.5%
9. OS X 10.9 Mavericks  0.25%
Other 0.25%

Although Windows 7 is generally the most used desktop OS, Windows 10 is clearly the winner when it comes to image editing, in this case with more than half of all votes. it is followed by Windows 7 with a quarter and macOS Sierra with a tenth of all votes. These three major OSes are used by 87% of all voters. All used MacOS versions sum up to 14.25% and Linux is only used by 1% of the voters for image processing.

For more poll results visit the
Resources section


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

Lightroom defined a new category of image editing applications more than 10 years ago. Although it was not the first of its kind, it is the most influencial one and many companies try to imitate at least some of its features. So our second poll asks you to vote for Lightroom or 19 of its alternatives that you already use at the moment.

With the breaking news of Lightroom becoming subscription-only and the two new Lightroom CC products we would like to get your opinion about which Lightroom version you will use in future: Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic CC, Lightroom 6 or an alternative application.

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


Here are the latest posts from The Plugin Site Forums:

Larger Curves

eseavey wrote: "I was looking for a version of the photoshop curves feature with a large window so that I can adjust the curves more precisely. I found Curvemeister, but heard that it has not been updated in a while and that it is unstable. Also, it has many features that I do not really need and therefore haven't purchased it. I am curious if you know about the Curvemeister plugin and perhaps your experience. A number of your plugins almost have a similar option, but not quite."

HDR Photoshop Plugins

Hattie Medina wrote: "... I discovered such thing as HDR photo processing, and I'd like to upgrate my Photoshop a bit. So, I need a plugin for creating such images. Of course I have already googled for some tools and the article about professional plugins for photoshop. Macphun recommends the one called Aurora HDR. I'm a bit afraid of buying it since I just want to try, and I'm not sure my skills are so professional. Could you please suggest me any free or cheap Photoshop plugins for HDR processing?"

PSP 9.01 Update Problem

Mags1 wrote: " ... My OS is Win7 Home Premium x64, I am running PSP9.0 in compatibility mode with WinXP SerPack 2 with great success until now. ... I am attempting to upgrade PSP 9.0 to 9.01. During the 9.01 install process I am presented with the error message: " C:\.....\Commands/JascCmdPluginHost.dll is not a valid previous version and could not be upgraded." ... The update is required to successfully run some psp scripts that are not acting correctly. ... You "smarter than me" folks, please help me solve this issue."

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


Topaz Studio, MIDI2LR

Topaz Studio (for Win/Mac) is a free image editing tool with a Lightroom-like UI. Although it provides more effects, its basic adjustments are not as effective as the ones in Lightroom. Many of the effects can be tested for 29 days and have to be purchased individually, which adds up to quite a lot of money. There are many presets, but most of them are of the extreme kind, which gives more the impression of cheap sensationalism than serious image editing. There are also no image viewing or organisation features. Other than that Topaz Studio offers a lot of effects to play with and renders very quickly. It can be used as a standalone program or from within Photoshop (Elements) and Lightroom.
Visit website...

MIDI2LR is a free plugin (for Win/Mac) that connects MIDI controllers with Lightroom and allows you to use physical controls to edit images in Lightroom 6/CC. MIDI input from the controller is transformed into slider value changes or Lightroom commands, and when slider values change in Lightroom you get motorized feedback on your MIDI controller.
Visit website...

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


Lightroom (Classic) CC, Photoshop Elements 2018, PaintShop Pro 2018, Fractalius G4

Adobe announced that Lightroom CC was renamed to "Lightroom Classic CC" and that "Lightroom CC" is a new cloud-based product that lets you access your photos only via internet with the help of automatic keywording. Furthermore, there will be no more updates for the perpetual version of Lightroom 6 after 2017. Lightroom 7 will only become available via a Creative Cloud subsciption. As we have seen with Photoshop CS6 Adobe will very likely stop selling Lightroom 6 after 2 years.
Visit website...
Visit website...

Photoshop Elements 2018 (for Win/Mac) is the 16th installment of Photoshop's little brother. There are some new guides for beginners, which I will keep silent about, but the relevant new features come down to two things: 1. A filter for replacing closed eyes in photos with open eyes from other photos. This may be handy if you have a lot of photos with closed eyes. 2. An Automatic Selection tool, which is nice for quickly masking objects in images, but as usual requires manual adjustments with complex backgrounds. So our recommendation is: If you own Photoshop Elements 14 or older, go for the upgrade as you will also get the features of version 15. Otherwise consider if the new 2018 features are really worth your money.
Visit website...

PaintShop Pro 2018 (for Windows) launches 50% faster, includes various speed improvements, offers two new workspaces, color palettes, larger icons, a tool bar customization feature as well as 125 new brushes, gradients, textures and patterns.
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Redfield released a new plugin (for Windows) called Fractalius G4, which turns photos into fractal-like paintings. Unlike the previous Fractalius plugin the new plugin produces a different kind of effect, which looks more textured.
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