Common Extensions and Filters in CS5 - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Additional filters and plug-ins for Adobe Creative Suite 5 are available or linked from the Adobe website. You can also easily find plug-ins for downloading from the web. A good place to start is at the Adobe Marketplace & Exchange. You can then download and install a wealth of tools for all Creative Suite applications.

Common Filters

Filters are used to change parts of a document. Even if you haven’t used Photoshop, you’re probably already familiar with some popular Photoshop filters, such as Watercolor and Emboss, used for artistic effects.

Extensions are sometimes used for similar tasks in several programs and are designed to enhance a program’s existing capabilities. Extensions and filters can also dramatically speed up the creative process. At the mere click of a button, you can add to your project an amazing effect that may have taken many hours to accomplish without the plug-in.

The Photoshop filter is probably the most common type of add-on you find online. Some filters you have to purchase before downloading and using them; however, some are free.

Common Extensions

Extensions, also known as plug-ins, are pieces of software installed or saved on your computer that work as add-ons to existing programs. For example, you may be able to use an extension to integrate with a different program, help add usefulness to a program (such as the ability to create 3D text), change the appearance of an object in your software, or add a 3D effect to a video file.

Extensions can be installed in a few different ways. Sometimes you use an executable file: Double-click the file on your hard drive and it automatically installs the software. This process is a lot like installing any other program on your computer, such as the programs in the Creative Suite itself.

Sometimes individual files need to be placed in a folder first. In that case, you need to find the Plug-Ins folder on your computer in the install directory of the program the plug-in or filter works with. For example, if your plug-in works with InDesign on Windows, you have to find the directory C:Program FilesAdobeInDesign CS5Plug-Ins.

You then copy and paste or move the files you downloaded into this directory on your hard drive.

If your plug-in works with Photoshop on the Mac, find this folder on your hard drive: ApplicationsAdobe Photoshop CS5Plug-Ins. Then copy and paste or move the files into the folder.

You can also take advantage of the Adobe Extension Manager CS5 application, installed automatically with the default CS5 installation. Locate Extension Manager in your Programs (Windows) or Applications (Mac) folder and double-click to launch it. Select the application for which you want to install the extension, click the Install button to locate the extension you want to install, and click the Select button — you’re on your way!

If you’re unsure how to install a plug-in, locate instructions for the software that explain how to install the plug-in on your computer. You can find instructions on the manufacturer’s website or bundled with the plug-in file in a text file (usually named readme.txt).