Using the brushes even if you don’t have Photoshop

February 15, 2008

There is brilliant free (opensource) program ABRviewer which extracts PNG images from photoshop brush sets. What this means is that you can use it to convert brush sets that were made in CS3 or CS2 to use in older versions.

For instance, I use Photoshop 7, but if I try to download a brush set made in CS3 it won’t work and I get an error message. Very frustrating when you’ve just found an amazing set that you can’t wait to try out.

Extracting the PNG images is also useful for non photoshop users, and for digital scrapbooking etc. It makes the images contained within brush sets available to everyone, in any graphics editing software.

So, Heres How

tinygreenbutton.jpgDownload ABRviewer from here

tinygreenbutton.jpg Follow the installation instructions and open the program

tinygreenbutton.jpgGo to File > Open brush sets


tinygreenbutton.jpg Navigate to the folder on your computer where you downloaded the brush set, and click Open

tinygreenbutton.jpg You’ll see thumbnails of the brushes appear in the main window

tinygreenbutton.jpg In the bottom left white window, you’ll see the name of the brush set. Right-click on it, and then on export thumbnails


tinygreenbutton.jpg Choose the folder you want to save the PNG images to.
(If you don’t have photoshop, this is the final stage. you now have a collection of transparent images to use as you wish in any other graphics program.)

tinygreenbutton.jpg Now you’ll see the folder open with all the brush images in it. They will now be PNG files.

tinygreenbutton.jpg Now open photoshop.

tinygreenbutton.jpg Drag the images from the folder into photoshop.

From this stage you go through the same process as when you’re making your own brushes. Follow my tutorial here from this point on.


  1. Wow! Great tip!

  2. This is WONDERFULLY written!! Totally understandable & the easiest that I found in all my time spent on web searches! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!! U R 4-ever bookmarked!!!

  3. I had purchased a set of brushes last year not realizing they were for CS2 and have never been able to use them. Thanks to you I now have some hope that I can. Thank you so much for this tutorial.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: