How to Use Third-Party Plugins in PaintShop Pro

How to Use Third-Party Plugins in PaintShop Pro


Have you found the the perfect plugin to take your latest photo from good to great? Not sure how to get it working? Then keep reading to learn how you can add your favorite compatible plugins to PaintShop Pro in no time at all!

But before we jump right into installing plugins, let’s start at the beginning with the obvious question…

What is a Plugin?

A plugin is an aftermarket software module that adds enhanced functionality to an existing piece software. Having a robust plugin support system enables the user community to add extra abilities or features to a program without the need for an entirely new version. Like open-source software, plugins offer individuals the opportunity to create their own solution to solve a unique challenge.

Plugins for PaintShop Pro are created by Corel and external third-parties, including the PaintShop Pro developer community and other photo software companies. One popular example is the Google Nik Collection, which offers a powerful collection of tools for custom filters, retouching, sharpening, and much more.

PaintShop Pro has an advanced plugin interface to give you access to a myriad of third party image editing tools (including the Nik Collection) that interface seamlessly with PaintShop Pro.

We’ve had many PaintShop Pro users ask us how to install plugins – and good news, it’s easy! Read on and learn how to install plugins in 3 simple steps. We’ll be using the popular Google Nik Collection as an example but you can use this method to install most plugins.

Installing Plugins in PaintShop Pro

Now that you know what plugins are and how they’re used, let’s get’em installed in PaintShop Pro. Once you’ve gone through this process once, you’ll be a pro at installing PaintShop Pro plugins, so read on!

Step 1: Install Nik Software to your operating system.


  • Open the downloaded file and select Run.


Step 2: Install Nik Software to PaintShop Pro

  • Launch PaintShop Pro and go to File > Preferences > File Locations…


  • Ensure that the Enable plugins checkbox is ticked to allow PaintShop Pro to recognize 3rd party plugins.
  • On the left side under File Types, select Plugins and browse to the installed Nik Software folder found here:C:\Program Files\Google\Nik Collection by clicking Add.
  • When you see the file path selected in your File Locations dialog box, Click OK to complete the installation.


Note: Be sure you verify that the correct plugin files were included by taking a look at the file formats. For example they should end in: *.8bf, *.8be, *.8bi or *.8ba.

Step 3: Start editing!

  • Open an image in the Edit workspace. Select Effects > Plugins and you will find Nik Collection is ready for work!


Finding Compatible Plugins

You may use this method to install most 3rd party plugins as long as the plugin is compatible with PaintShop Pro. For example, PaintShop Pro currently supports four of eight Photoshop plugin interfaces. They are:

  • Filter Module: 8bf (the most common of Photoshop plugin modules. They allow editing of pixel data like special image effects.)
  • Export Module: 8be
  • Format Module: 8bi
  • Import Module: 8ba

Getting started with some 3rd party plug-ins can be even easier if you select PaintShop Pro as a host application when you download and install it. For example, when installing the ParticleShop plug-in it detects PaintShop Pro and automatically installs itself to the right location for all compatible apps.

Want to Give it a Try?

You can download the Google Nik Collection absolutely FREE, courtesy of our friends at Google.

Looking for ways to add fantastic and realistic effects to your photos? Then check out ParticleShop, our plugin that brings the power of Corel Painter to your favorite photo editing app!

Ready to Get Started with PaintShop Pro?

Download our the FREE 30-day trial today!

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