About presets

In the Expert mode, pop‑up panels appear in the Tool Options bar and provide access to predefined libraries of brushes, color swatches, gradients, patterns, layer styles, and custom shapes. The items in each library are called presets. When closed, pop‑up panels display a thumbnail image of the currently selected preset.

You can change the display of a pop‑up panel to view presets by their names, as thumbnail icons, or with both names and icons.

You can use the Presets Manager to load different preset libraries. Presets are stored in separate library files that can be found in the Presets folder in the Photoshop Elements application folder.

Use preset tool options

  1. Select the tool you want to use.
  2. In the Tool Options bar, open the pop‑up panel. (Only certain tools have pop‑up panels.)
  3. Do any of the following:
    • To view and select currently loaded preset libraries, click the panel menu icon.

    • To select a preset, click an item in the library.

    • To save a brush, open the pop‑up panel menu, choose the Save Brush command, then enter a name in the dialog box provided and click OK.

    • To save a gradient or pattern, open the panel menu, choose the New Gradient or New Pattern command, then enter a name in the dialog box provided and click OK.

    • To rename a brush, gradient, or pattern in a panel, open the pop‑up panel menu, choose the Rename command, then enter a new name and click OK.

    • To delete a brush, gradient, or pattern from a panel, select an item, open the pop‑up panel menu and choose the Delete command. You can also hold down Alt (Option key in Mac OS) and click a brush or gradient.

    • To save a library of brushes, gradients, or patterns, open the pop‑up panel menu. From the menu, choose the Save Brushes, Save Gradients, or Save Patterns command, then enter a name for the library file, and click Save.

    • To load a library of brushes, gradients, or patterns, open the pop‑up panel menu, choose the Load command, then select the library file you want to add and click Load.

    Note:

    Using the Load command adds the brush library to the brushes you have available. If you choose a preset library of brushes, the preset library replaces your current set of brushes.

    • To add assets from a library to an existing library, click Append. Select the library file you want to add and click Append.
    • To replace the current set of gradients in a panel, open the pop‑up panel menu, choose a library file from the bottom section of the menu, and click OK. You can also choose the Replace command, browse to select a library file, and click Load.
    • To replace the current set of brushes or patterns in a panel, choose a library from the Brushes menu.

    Note:

    To replace the current set of brushes, gradients, or patterns, you can also choose Preset Manager from the pop‑up panel menu and use the Preset Manager to load a different library of brushes, gradients, or patterns.

    • To load the default set of brushes, gradients, or patterns, open the pop‑up panel menu and choose the Reset command.

Change the display of items in a pop‑up panel menu

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To change the display of one panel, open the pop‑up panel menu by clicking the menu icon in the upper-right corner of the pop‑up panel.

    • To change the display for all panels, choose Edit > Preset Manager to open the Preset Manager, and then click the More button.

  2. Select a view option:

    Text Only

    Displays the name of each item.

    Small Thumbnail or Large Thumbnail

    Displays a thumbnail of each item.

    Small List or Large List

    Displays the name and thumbnail of each item.

    Stroke Thumbnail

    Displays a sample brush stroke and brush thumbnail. (This option is available for brushes only.)

    Note:

    Not all of the above options are available for all pop‑up panels.

Use the Preset Manager

In the Expert mode, the Preset Manager (Edit > Preset Manager) lets you manage the libraries of preset brushes, color swatches, gradients, styles, effects, and patterns included in Photoshop Elements. For example, you can create a set of favorite brushes, or you can restore the default presets.

Each type of library is a file with its own file extension and default folder. Preset files are installed on your computer inside the Presets folder in the Photoshop Elements program folder.

Note:

You can delete a preset in the Preset Manager by selecting the preset and clicking Delete. You can always use the Reset command to restore the default items to a library.

Preset Manager
Dragging a preset to a new position in the Preset Manager

Load a library

  1. In the Preset Manager, choose Brushes, Swatches, Gradients, Styles, Patterns, or Effects, from the Preset Type menu.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Click Add, select a library from the list, and then click Load. If you want to load a library located in another folder, navigate to that folder, then select the library. By default, preset files are installed on your computer inside the Presets folder in the Photoshop Elements program folder.

    • Click the More button and choose a library from the bottom section of the menu.

  3. Click the Done button when you’re finished.

Restore the default library or replace the currently displayed library

  • In the Preset Manager, click the More button and choose a command from the menu:

    Reset

    Restores the default library for that type.

Save a subset of a library

  1. In the Preset Manager, Shift-click to select multiple contiguous presets or Ctrl-click (Command-click in Mac OS) to select multiple noncontiguous presets. Only the selected presets are saved in the new library.
  2. Click Save Set, then enter a name for the library. If you want to save the library in a folder other than the default, navigate to the new folder before saving.

Rename a preset

  1. In the Preset Manager, do one of the following:
    • Select a preset in the list, and click Rename.

    • Double-click a preset in the list.

  2. Enter a new name for the preset. If you selected multiple presets, you are prompted to enter multiple names.

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