Putting Brushes in Their Place

with 16 Comments

Nannette Dalton pic

I will admit it, I am just a wee bit OCD! I love having a place for everything and everything in its place. I love being able find things when I need them, and the same is true for my scrapbooking supplies. If I canโ€™t find them, I canโ€™t use them.

One thing that is a bit more of a challenge is organizing my brushes. Some brush sets come with previews that I can tag and keep with my brushes, but some do not. I think I have found a way to keep my brushes neat and tidy, and I wanted to share it with you today.

Tutorial:

For Adobe Photoshop Version click here.

Step One: Download and Open the Template

  • Download the free template for this tutorial here. (There will be one template file with all the variations for you to choose from provided as separate layers.)

  • Unzip the template.
  • Open the template (File > Open) in Photoshop Elements.
  • Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the Default of black and white, or pick a Foreground Color Chip of your choice.

Note: There are free brushes you can use for this tutorial in the Digital Scrapper Plus Member and Premier Member areas. Details to get free Plus Membership are here.

I am using brushes that came from the kit Fancy Free, by Jenny Binder.

The template comes with several different color labels. Use them to help you organize by type of brush. (Element, Border, Stitches, Alpha, etc.) You could also choose to use them to help you organize by Brushes, Styles, Gradients, etc.

There are also two grids to help you line up your stamping, or you can leave it blank and use it without the grid.

Step Two: Load a Brush Set

Note: If you use a previously loaded brush set, you can skip Step Two and go straight to Step 3.

  • In the Tool Bar, get the Brush tool.
  • Open the Brush Picker, open the flyout menu and choose Load Brushes.
  • Navigate to where you keep your brushes on your computer, and then press Load.

  • In the Options Bar, the Mode should be Normal and the Opacity 100%.

Note: You can find more information about where to store your brushes in the Get Organized Now Class.

Step Three: Stamp the Brushes

  • In the Layers panel, click on the top layer that says "Brush Here" to activate it.

  • In the Brush Picker, choose the first brush of the brush set you are using.
  • Hover your cursor over the grid of the template, and press the Right or Left Bracket key to resize the brush to fit in the grid box.
  • Click in the first grid box to stamp the first brush.
  • Press the Greater Than key (>) to move to the next brush, and repeat the process until you have stamped or drawn all your brushes on your template grid.

Step Four: Choose a Label

  • In the Layers panel, choose your label, making sure that only one Visibility icon is showing.

  • In the Layers panel, double click on the thumbnail of the Brush Set Name layer to select the text. Type in a different name and then click on the check mark to commit the changes.

Note: If you do not have the Arial typeface on your computer, you may need to download it from the web or replace it with a font of your own.

Step Five: Save Your New Template

  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Flatten Image.
  • Save your template (File > Save As) as a JPEG or PNG with the same name as the brush set and in the same folder as the brush set.

You now have a little preview next to your brush set showing what those brushes look like. You also can import this into an organizer and tag it.

P.S. If you like being organized or just wish you were more organized, I would like to suggest taking the Get Organized Now class taught here at Digital Scrapper by Linda Sattgast. I consider myself pretty well organized, but I came away from that class with many new ideas and ways to organize that I had never thought of.

Credits: Digi Scrap Tutorial: "Putting Brushes in Their Place," by Nannette Dalton
Template by Nannette Dalton
File Folder Tutorial: "Filed Memories," by Susie Roberts

Kit: Brushes came from Fancy Free, by Jenny Binder
Software: Photoshop Elements 10

Download a PDF version of this "Putting Brushes in Their Place" tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose "Save Link As" or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

Step One: Download and Open the Template

  • Download the free template for this tutorial here. (There will be one template file with all the variations for you to choose from provided as separate layers.)

  • Unzip the template.
  • Open the template (File > Open) in Photoshop.
  • Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the Default of black and white, or pick a Foreground Color Chip of your choice.

Note: There are free brushes you can use for this tutorial in the Digital Scrapper Plus Member and Premier Member areas. Details to get free Plus Membership are here.

I am using brushes that came from the kit Fancy Free, by Jenny Binder.

The template comes with several different color labels. Use them to help you organize by type of brush. (Element, Border, Stitches, Alpha, etc.) You could also choose to use them to help you organize by Brushes, Styles, Gradients, etc.

There are also two grids to help you line up your stamping, or you can leave it blank and use it without the grid.

Step Two: Load a Brush Set

Note: If you use a previously loaded brush set, you can skip Step Two and go straight to Step 3.

  • In the Tool Bar, get the Brush tool.
  • In the Options Bar, open the Brush Picker, open the flyout menu and choose Load Brushes.
  • Navigate to where you keep your brushes on your computer, and then press Load.

  • In the Options Bar, the Mode should be Normal and the Opacity 100%.

Note: You can find more information about where to store your brushes in the Get Organized Now Class.

Step Three: Stamp the Brushes

  • In the Layers panel, click on the top layer that says "Brush Here" to activate it.

  • In the Brush Picker, choose the first brush of the brush set you are using.
  • Hover your cursor over the grid of the template, and press the Right or Left Bracket key to resize the brush to fit in the grid box.
  • Click in the first grid box to stamp the first brush.
  • Press the Greater Than key (>) to move to the next brush, and repeat the process until you have stamped or drawn all your brushes on your template grid.

Step Four: Choose a Label

  • In the Layers panel, choose your label, making sure that only one Visibility icon is showing.

  • In the Layers panel, double click on the thumbnail of the Brush Set Name layer to select the text. Type in a different name, and then click on the check mark to commit the changes.

Note: If you do not have the Arial typeface on your computer, you may need to download it from the web or replace it with a font of your own.

Step Five: Save Your New Template

  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Flatten Image.
  • Save your template (File > Save As) as a JPEG or PNG with the same name as the brush set and in the same folder as the brush set.

You now have a little preview next to your brush set showing what those brushes look like. You also can import this into an organizer and tag it.

P.S. If you like being organized or just wish you were more organized, I would like to suggest taking the Get Organized Now class taught at Digital Scrapper by Linda Sattgast. I consider myself pretty well organized, but I came away from that class with many new ideas and ways to organize that I had never thought of.

Credits: Digi Scrap Tutorial: "Putting Brushes in Their Place," by Nannette Dalton
Template by Nannette Dalton
File Folder Tutorial: "Filed Memories," by Susie Roberts
Kit: Brushes came from Fancy Free, by Jenny Binder
Software: Photoshop CS5

Download a PDF version of this "Putting Brushes in Their Place" tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose "Save Link As" or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

16 Responses

  1. Gayle
    | Reply

    Wow, Nannette this is a fabulous tutorial. Thanks for sharing, will surely be using it.

  2. Geri
    | Reply

    Thanks for this tip as I will have to do something to organize my stash soon.

  3. Carol Mathrick
    | Reply

    Great idea to be able to check the brushes this way rather than scroll through them all. I have quite a large number of brushes, all loaded, but this way will give me a bigger image. Because I have so many, instead of “saving as” I am saving for web, this bought the storage space way down.

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      What a great idea Carol……why didn’t I think of that?

  4. Cheryl M
    | Reply

    What a great tutorial! Thank you soooo much! I’m a brush addict and have TONS of them. I miss using so many because I’ve never quite figure out how to see all of them and you’ve done a wonderful job in helping me!
    Have a great day!

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Cheryl, I love them too I’m glad you can use the template.

  5. Crimson Crow
    | Reply

    Why didn’t I think of this!? If I had, I never would have come up with the visually wonderful embellishments you gifted us in your template. So well done. Wonderful attention to detail. Thank you! This is wonderful. A great tool, a great way to keep track of things. I really appreciate it. Just what I needed.

  6. SWJenn
    | Reply

    That’s a great idea if you only have a few brush sets, I have thousands! I use a preset viewer software by Tumasoft that works great, I know there are other preset viewers that will let you see not only your brushes but styles, patterns too! So if you have too many to stamp each one, you might look into a preset viewer program.

  7. Barbara
    | Reply

    Wonderful tip! Thank you!

  8. Jenifer Juris
    | Reply

    Thanks for the great tip!! This is awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Sandy
    | Reply

    I love this template! What a help in organizing not only brushes, but other digital do-dads also. Thank you!

  10. Renee
    | Reply

    Such a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing your templates and your super organizational tips. TY Nanette ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Linda
    | Reply

    Wow! I have struggled to figure out a good way to organize the gazillion brushes I have. What a super idea! Thank you so much!

  12. Cyndi
    | Reply

    WOW!!! Thank you so much for sharing this. I just organized my brushes …yay!!

  13. Mary
    | Reply

    This is an excellent tip! Great job Nannette.

  14. Gladys Hino
    | Reply

    I have used this template for the Scrap It Now templates. It is a great way to view the 1 photo, 2 photos, 3 photos or more SIN templates by placing them on different sheets. Window user, place images to view psd files.

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