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.

PaintShop Pro has an advanced plugin interface to give you access to a myriad of third party image editing tools 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. 

Step 1: Install the plugin(s)

Depending on which plugin(s) you are using, the installation process might be slightly different for each one. Most will be installed in a Program Files folder, for example C:\\Program Files (x86)\Topaz Labs\ Topaz Adjust 5. The important thing is to take note of the file path during the installation process.

Step 2: Configuring PaintShop Pro

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are using the Essentials workspace in PaintShop Pro 2018 or higher, you will need to switch to the Complete workspace to be able to set file location preferences. You can switch workspaces by going to File > Workspaces

Launch PaintShop Pro and go to File > Preferences > File Locations. The File Locations dialog box will open:

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 Plug-ins and then click Add. Browse to file path that you noted during the plugin installation process.

When you see the file path selected in your File Locations dialog box, click OK to complete the installation.

Step 3: Start editing!

  • Open an image in the Edit workspace. Go to Effects > Plugins and you will find the new plugin(s) that you installed.

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.

See what’s new in PaintShop Pro 2023!

Download your FREE 30-day trial and make every shot your best shot with PaintShop Pro 2023, your all-in-one photo editing and design software.

Comments (45)

Reader Interactions


  1. Romke Visser says

    My version of PSP (Paint Shop Pro 2018) does not have an option: File > Preferences > File Locations…
    So, I just can’t seem tot point the program in the right direction.
    Just downloaded the Effects Scriot Bundle inside PSP but can’t find it. Can somebody please help me?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Adam says

      Hello Romke,

      The File > Preferences > File Locations menu is the primary way to access the File Locations dialogue. If it is absent, make sure you are in the Complete workspace, as accessed under File > Workspace. If you are in the Essentials workspace, the File Locations option is hidden as part of the streamlined and simplified interface.

      If the menu option is still not present when in the Complete workspace, there may be an issue with your PaintShop Pro installation. You can find alternate ways to access the File Locations window starting on page 714 of the PaintShop Pro manual, but if you are finding instances of core menu items being absent we would advise uninstalling and reinstalling the program to resolve this.

      Discovery Center Team

  2. Dunc Petrie says

    I have PSP X8 Ultimate (PSP-X8-Ult) and am considering upgrading. PSP-X8-Ult included Perfect Effects 9.5.0 that does not ship (afaik) with PSP 2018 Ultimate. Can this be added to the newest version using the strategy in ” how to use 3rd party plugins in PSP”?
    What is included in the “professional photo editing software collection” that is advertised as part of PSP 2018 Ultimate?
    Must I remove PSP X8 Ultimate before installing PSP 2018 Ultimate?
    My system is Windows 10 Pro, 64 bit. Do I need to install both the 32 & 64 bit versions of PSP 2018 Ultimate?
    Will having many 3rd party filters installed degrade system performance? If yes, is there a way to “switch them out of the software when not in use?
    Is therre a comprehensive listing of 3rd party plugins that are PSP 2018 Ultimate compatible?

    Thank you!

    • Adam says

      Hello Dunc,

      You can use these instructions to install Perfect Effects into PaintShop Pro 2018, but we cannot currently guarantee its stability in PSP 2018 as the plugin was designed for a prior version.

      The Professional Photo Editing Software Collection includes Painter Essentials 5, which helps convert photos into realistic digital paintings in a variety of styles (or you can start a digital painting from scratch within the program), Athentech Perfectly Clear 3 SE, a suite of powerful image correction and manipulation tools that streamline and improve workflow, and Corel AfterShot 3, for all your RAW photo editing needs!

      You can leave PaintShop Pro X8 installed alongside 2018 if you like – the only issue you may run into is which program is set to open your photos by default, since Windows only allows one default program at a time for a given file type. You can change which is the default at any time using this Microsoft help page.

      As for which version to install, if you have Windows 10 64 bit, we would suggest installing the 64 bit version of PSP 2018. You can install either, but since you have a 64 bit operating system, installing the 64 bit edition will make sure you get the most out of the program and your computer!

      Having many 3rd party filters is fine! The initial launch time may take slightly longer if you assembly a truly enormous library of them, but once PSP has launched they are only used when you select them.

      Finally, we don’t currently have a full listing of all the compatible third party plugins for PSP 2018. Thank you for the suggestion! We have passed it on to the PaintShop team for their consideration.

      All the best,
      Discovery Center Team

  3. Sandra D. says

    Hi there. I’m following your steps(both written and video) to install the Xero free plugins.. But when I go tho the ‘effects’ on PaintShopPro 2018 Ultimate, there are no plugins…Could it be that I’m using the free trial of PSP? These plugins do not come with an ‘exe.’ at the end but they are ‘8bf’… Please help.

    • Adam says

      Hello Sandra,

      The most recent version of the Xero plugin suite we could find is not compatible with any version of PaintShop Pro past X8. As it is a third-party plugin, you would need to contact the developer in order to find out about an updated version of this plugin suite.

      Discovery Center Team

  4. Sandra Chung says

    The only problem with using the Nik Collection is they aren’t 100% compatible with Corel PSP. You get an odd color shift in the preview window when you use the Viveza plugin, and you don’t get any of the brushes or other tools.

  5. Dorith Carmeli says

    Hello, I bought and installed PSP 2018 today and as mentioned above a few days ago, I also do not have this option of File Locations. I do not see “You can open the File Locations dialog box by clicking the File Locations button , which appears in many Corel PaintShop Pro dialog boxes, as well as in the Presets drop-list (located in the Tool Options palette) for tools”. And while I did tag the Preset shape in the list of tool options, it does not appear in the visible tool options. And “presets” does not appear in the list at all.

    I find this very frustrating…… Please tell me how to solve this problem. It is really a big bother to d/l and install the program again and who will promise me that File Locations will appear next time???

    • Adam says

      Hello Dorith,

      Which workspace are you using? We took a closer look at situations that could cause this to happen, and the most likely situation is that you have the Essentials workspace enabled, which simplifies the available menu options to provide a more focused experience. You can change this by going to File > Workspace and selecting Complete, which will change the interface and should reveal the File > Preferences > File Locations option. If you prefer the Essentials workspace for your day-to-day editing, you can always switch back after you have updated your File Locations menu as needed.

      Hope this helps!
      Discovery Center Team

  6. phyllisfperkuins says

    Clearly I am doing something wrong. I just bought PaintShop Pro 2018. Particle shop comes with it, but didn’t install as a plug in. So I think I followed your instructions to install plug-ins, but to no avail. They do not show up in the effects list. Also, I already own PhtoEffects Lab from Topaz and tried to install those plug-ins but they didn’t install either. I am using Window 10 and I have plug-ins in other programs. So, what am I doing wrong?

    • Adam says

      Hello Phyllis,

      Thank you for getting in touch! We have contacted our support team about this issue, and an agent will be in touch directly to look into this with you.

      Discovery Center Team

      • Marilyn Armstrong says

        I have the same problem. I have Topaz Studio — plus most of their standalone filters on which I depend. I have downloaded the trial version of PSPro Ultimate 2018. I can’t use any of my Topaz filters.

        The filters are a deal breaker for me. Unless I can use them, won’t buy the application. I like it otherwise, so IF you can explain to me how they will work, then I WILL buy the program. I had this conversation with a sales guy last night and he gave me the “OH NO problem” answer. This was the precise issue about which I called.

        He said “try it” and I said “OK, but I need the filters and if I can’t get them to install … I can’t do this.” So. What’s the deal?

        • Adam says

          Hello Marilyn,

          Thank you for getting in touch! We notified our technical support team and an agent will be contacting you directly to help look into this.

          Discovery Center Team

  7. Christina says

    What folder exactly do I place an .8bf file and the environment folder it comes with in? There is not an executeable to install the plugin.

    I am trying to install Super Blade Pro and keep getting it is unable to run when I try to run it. That the plugin may be installed incorrectly or cannot find the 8bf file.

    I have pointed to plug in folders standard in PSP installation. Have pointed to plugin folder I have placed the 8bf file and environments folder in, and still get error message.

    So clean installing PSP again as I have seen some information that not placing the plugin in the native plugin folder can break PSP.

    So what is the exact folder location to place the Super Blade Pro 8bf file and environments folder in once PSP is reinstalled?

    • Adam says

      Hello Christina,

      Which version of PaintShop Pro are you using? Your default plug-in location can be found as follows:
      C:\Program Files\Corel\Corel PaintShop Pro [version number]\Plug-ins\EN

      You can also check (and change!) which folder PaintShop Pro uses for plugins and other functions from the File Locations menu found in File > Preferences > File Locations.

      Hope this helps!
      Discovery Center Team

    • Adam says

      Hello Laurinda,

      We can certainly help with this! To clarify, were you having trouble locating the File Locations menu, or are the plugins not showing up after being added to the proper file location?

      Discovery Center Team

  8. Jill says

    I have just got a new computer and so am trying to reset paint shop pro x7 to work with plugins/filters and i know there are needed dll files that i Need to put in my windows system32 folder and i have spent the last hour searching for them – does anyone have the link to where i can download them. I have a Windows 10 operating system.

    • Adam says

      Hello Jill,

      Any .dll files PaintShop Pro needs in order to run are installed along with the program itself. Unfortunately PSPX7 is no longer a supported product, and our technicians would be unable to assist with this. If you have an error code or message to look up, we would suggest taking a look at the Knowledgebase, where we keep the solutions to many previously resolved issues, or the User Forums to see if anyone in the community has had a similar problem and resolved it.

      Discovery Center Team

  9. Christine Novelli says

    It seems I can not get any of my plugins to show up. I am using Paintshop Pro 2018 with windows 10 64 bit Do I need to install the 34 bit program to get it to work. If I can not get them to install and work, then there is no point in purchasing the product.

    • Adam says

      Hello Christine,

      What plugins were you attempting to use in PSP 2018? While we do our best to avoid it, new editions often introduce changes which cause plugins designed for older software versions to stop working. When this happens, it is up to the plugin’s developer to update it in order to ensure compatibility with new software.

      Discovery Center Team

  10. Dorith Carmeli says


    After I bought PSP 2018, I only installed the 64 bit. Many plugins do not work. Now I wonder if I should have also installed the 32 bit version?? Unfortunately my d/l link does not work any longer, as the time has passed.

    Why do the plugins not work in 64 bit?? Do I need both versions of PSP 2018?


    • Adam says

      Hello Dorith,

      Which plugins are you trying to use? While the 64-bit version of PaintShop Pro 2018 can use 32-bit plugins, it is possible the plugins you are trying to use need to be updated to be compatible with PSP 2018.

      Discovery Center Team

  11. John Philion says

    My Paintshop Pro 2018 does not have the “File Locations” item in the “File” group so I am unable to load my plug-ins

    • Adam says

      Hello John,

      It sounds like you are in the Essentials Workspace. To access the File Locations menu option, you need to be in the Complete Workspace, which you can switch to from the File > Workspace option, and selecting Complete.

      Hope this helps!
      Discovery Center Team

  12. Debbie says

    I’m not able to install the extra programs that came with my PSP 18. The Creative Pack gives the error message “Please make sure you have finished any previous setup and closed other applications. If the error still occurs, please contact your vendor: Coral Corporation.” And, KPT Collection says “The path to the language folder could not be resolved, Setup cannot continue.”
    I’m using a new Windows 10 laptop.

    • Adam says

      Hello Debbie,

      Thank you for getting in touch! We have contacted our technical support team to help get this sorted out. One of our agents will be in touch directly to help.

      Discovery Center Team

  13. Walter Martin says

    Last week installed Corel Paint Shop Pro 2018 Ultimate and then purchased 2 brush packs and then purchased 2 plug ins, one of which was Night Effects. All installed with only minor difficulty except Night Effects, which in spite of numerous attempts has not installed. I also installed the NIX collection with no problem. Even re-purchased Night Effects and still had the same problems.

    Corel sends an email wit a download link which I use. The 5 items (2 plug ins, 3 scripts and one pdf file) all appear in my laptop as a Google file. I then select each of these files and new page appears with download message. I follow this instruction for each and select the save message, There is not a run message available. If I go to downloads in program area of my laptop, these items will appear. A double click on the item will cause PSP 2018 to open. The effect is not in the effect location and appears nowhere.

    I go to preferences and open and browse my files but following instructions to open, can not find the Night Effects Script anywhere. Also, I find no files ending in *.8bf, .8be, .8bi or.8ba. Have read reviews about this script and would really like to use. Please help.

    • Adam says

      Hello Walter,

      The Night Effects pack contains a set of scripts and picture tubes in separate folders, which each need to be copied to a slightly different location.

      The script files (ending with .pspscript) would go here:
      C:\Users\YOURNAME\Documents\Corel PaintShop Pro\19.0\Scripts-Restricted

      If you are using a different version of PaintShop Pro, replace 19.0 in the filepath above with your version

      The picture tubes (ending with .psptube) would go here:
      C:\Users\YOURNAME\Documents\Corel PaintShop Pro\19.0\Picture Tubes

      Again, if you are using a different version of PaintShop Pro, replace 19.0 in the filepath above with your version.

      Hope this helps!
      Corel Discovery Center Team

    • Walter Martin says

      PROBLEM DOWNLOADING NIGHT EFFECTS THIRD PARTY SCRIPTS AND INSTALLING IN PAINT SHOP PRO 2018 Adam, Thank you for your prompt response to my question. I followed your instructions re: downloading and saving the 3 scripts in my name\documents\paintshoppro\2018\restricted-scripts. Did the same thing for the 2 plugins except used plug ins at end as the extension. Opened PSP 2018 and file\preferences\file locations and then browsed until I found documents\PSP\2018\restricted-scrips and selected. Depressed OK. Then went to the script toolbar and to where night scripts should be and nothing was there under that name. I still have PSP 9 (2015 version) loaded and this does the same in both PSP programs. Should I delete PSP 9? Today I downloaded two of the free scrips offered weekly by Corel. Both had the same problem as the Night Effects download in PSP and did not appear under scripts and work with PSP.

      Also, have downloaded Google NIX collection and this program appears under plug ins and works great. Any script written by Corel scripts and Particle brush packs download without a problem and appears in their correct location. Only have a problem with third party plug ins, Would appreciate some answers as would like to use this script. Thanks, Walter

      • Adam says

        Hello Walter,

        This sounds like it needs a closer look to get sorted out. We have contacted technical support, and an agent will be in touch directly to help!

        Discovery Center Team

  14. James Lee Wiltrout says

    I finally upgraded from PSP X to PSP 2018. I’m sure I’ll like it once I get past the “learning curve”. However PSP 2018 only comes with 2 “call out” balloons. Are there more hiding in there that I haven’t found yet? If not where do you suggest I find more to download?

    • Adam says

      Hello James,

      While we do not currently have any additional in-house speech bubbles to offer, you can add any speech bubbles you find or create by adding them to your Preset Shapes folder! By default, the Preset Shapes folder is located in C:\Users\\Corel PaintShop Pro\\Preset Shapes.

      Hope this helps,
      Discovery Center Team

  15. Noel Carboni says


    We have plug-ins that normally position and size themselves to where they were used last time.

    We’re finding that they’re being forcibly placed over the PaintShop Pro window at startup.

    Is this normal, expected behavior? It actually causes real problems when used with multiple monitors of different DPI scales under Windows 10 v1803.

    • Adam says

      Hello Noel,

      Thank you for getting in touch! For plugin support, we would have to direct you to the creator of the plugin or plugins themselves. PaintShop Pro can launch add-ons and plugins, and they interact with PSP and can send it commands, but their behaviour during and after launch is internal to the plugins themselves.

      Hope this helps,
      Discovery Center Team

  16. Ena Rasmussen says

    hi i have used paint shop pro x2 for many years, but now i have bought paint shop pro 2019 and unfortunately i can’t get plugins in i have many as i use in the old program they should be able to use in the new 2019 but no matter what I do, they do not come in, I have seen on youtube how and it does not work in my paint shop pro 2019 and nor in writing here with topaz labs adjust5 what can i do ??
    Sincerely, Ena Rasmussen form Denmark (oversat fra google)

    • Adam says

      Hello Ena,

      Since PaintShop Pro X2 was released in 2007, there have been substantial changes to PaintShop Pro on just about every level of the program. While many of these plugins likely have newer versions, you would need to check in with the creators of those plugins to see what the most recent versions are, and what programs they are compatible with.

      Hope this helps,
      Discovery Center Team

  17. Ines says

    I bought and is already installed the PSP-19 version on my computer and you know how to configure plugins in this new version? Thanks

    • Adam says

      Hello Ines,

      Thanks for getting in touch! Have the plugins been updated to support PaintShop Pro 2019? Updating plugins would need to be done by the plugin creator – we would recommend contacting them directly if you have any questions regarding plugin support for PaintShop Pro 2019.

      Discovery Center Team

  18. Kevin Kitzman says

    Hi to Corel Discovery Center, I had Paint Shop Pro 8 in 2003 and it seems no longer working because it used to be Jasc until Corel merged with Jasc. I just bought Paint Shop Pro 2020 and I have so many plugins back from 2003 to 2010. I tried to have it work with Paint Shop Pro 2020 but only one plugin (FM File Tools) that works but it stated missing components. Is there a way to make them all works as possible even I make sure it is in the right folder via File Locations. One thing that I suspect is I also bought my new desktop computer which is All-in-One HP touchscreen and it is 64-bit (24 inches screen). Is that a reason why most 8bf files didn’t work with 64-bit? I would say 1/2 of old plugins are paid plugins. Thank you for your time reading my message and still struggling with plugins to make them work. Kevin

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