A preset brush is a saved brush tip with defined characteristics, such as size, shape, and hardness. You can save preset brushes with the characteristics you use often. You can also save tool presets for the Brush tool that you can select from the Tool Preset menu in the options bar.

When you change the size, shape, or hardness of a preset brush, the change is temporary. The next time you choose that preset, the brush uses its original settings. To make your changes permanent, you need to create a new preset. See Create a new preset brush.

Select a preset brush

  1. Select a painting or editing tool, and click the Brush pop‑up menu in the options bar.
  2. Select a brush.


    You can also select a brush from the Brush panel. To view the loaded presets, click Brush Presets in the upper left of the panel.

  3. Change options for the preset brush.


    Temporarily changes the brush size. Drag the slider or enter a value. If the brush has a dual tip, both the primary and dual brush tips are scaled.

    Use Sample Size

    Uses the original diameter of the brush tip if the brush tip shape is based on a sample. (Not available for round brushes.)


    (Available only for round and square brushes.) Temporarily changes the amount of anti-aliasing for the brush tool. At 100%, the brush tool paints with the hardest brush tip, but is still anti-aliased. The Pencil always paints a hard edge that is not anti-aliased.

Change how preset brushes are displayed

Choose a display option from the Brush Presets panel menu :

  • Text Only to view the brushes as a list.
  • Small or Large Thumbnail to view the brushes as thumbnails.
  • Small or Large List to view the brushes as a list with thumbnails.
  • Stroke Thumbnail to view a sample brush stroke with each brush thumbnail.


To dynamically preview brush strokes in the Brush panel, position the pointer over a brush in the Brush Presets panel until the tool tip appears. As you move the pointer over different brushes, the preview area at the bottom of the Brush panel will display sample brush strokes.

Load, save, and manage brush presets

You can manage libraries of preset brushes to keep your brushes organized.

Change the displayed library of preset brushes

  1. To load a library of preset brushes, choose one of the following from the Brush Presets panel menu.
    • Load Brushes to add a library to the current list.

    • Replace Brushes to replace the current list with a different library.

    • A library file (displayed at the bottom of the panel menu). Click OK to replace the current list, or click Append to append the current list.

  2. To return to the default library of preset brushes, choose Reset Brushes from the Brush Presets panel menu. You can either replace the current list or append the default library to the current list.


    You can also use the Preset Manager to load and reset brush libraries. For more information, see Work with the Preset Manager.

Save a set of preset brushes as a library

  1. Choose Save Brushes from the Brush Presets panel menu.
  2. Choose a location for the brush library, enter a file name, and click Save.

    You can save the library anywhere. However, if you place the library file in the Presets/Brushes folder in the default preset location, the library name will appear at the bottom of the Brush Presets panel menu after you restart Photoshop.

Rename a preset brush

Do one of the following:

  • Select a brush in the Brush Presets panel, and choose Rename Brush from the panel menu. Enter a new name, and click OK.
  • In the Brush panel, double-click a brush tip, enter a new name, and click OK.

Delete a preset brush

In the Brush Presets panel, do any of the following:

  • Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the brush you want to delete.
  • Select a brush, and choose Delete Brush from the panel menu, or click the Delete icon .

Create a new preset brush

You can save a customized brush as a preset brush that appears in the Brush Presets panel and Preset Manager.


New preset brushes are saved in a Preferences file. If this file is deleted or damaged, or if you reset brushes to the default library, the new presets will be lost. To permanently save new preset brushes, save them in a library.

  1. Customize a brush.
  2. Do one of the following in the Brush Presets panel:
    • Choose New Brush Preset from the panel menu, enter a name for the preset brush, and click OK.

    • Click the Create New Brush button .

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