How Load a Brushes Set in Photoshop

It’s quite basic but I frequently receive this question by email. So in this tutorial I will explain you how load a Brushes Set in Photoshop CS and higher versions. After that I will explain how to manage your brushes for a maximum usability.

Step 1

First you must launch Photoshop, Generally the double click on a brushes file (.abr) load Photoshop but not the brushes.

Once it’s done you can create a new document (it’s better if you want use the brushes) or do nothing (if you just want manage/see it),  it doesn’t matter.

Step 2

Select the brush tool in the left tool bar. The brush tool is  with the Pencil Tool and the Color Replacement Tool.

Once it’s done, the top bar change and the Brush Tool appears in it

Step 3

Select the little arrow near the current brush shape to open the menu

Step 4

After That, select the little arrow on the right and the options appear.

Here you have 2 choices : “Load Brushes” and “Replace Brushes”. The  first one will add your new brushes to the current selection  of brushes that you can see on the left. The second one will remove the current selection and add the new brushes to replace them.

Once done, go search your .abr file on your computer with the file explorer.

And it’s done you can use it !

Note :  In the brush options menu (step 4), you can change the appearance of the brushes (text only, large thumbnails, lists …) and you can use the “Preset Manager” to delete/order the brushes to keep only the useful in your workspace. Once Done you can “Save Brushes” to keep a save of your brushes selection.


  1. Any .abr file will work in Photoshop Elements 6 and 8, correct?

    Will not just adding the .abr files to the correct PS folder using Finder (Snow Leopard) not be sufficient to include those brushes to your existing brushes?

    Thank you for your assistance.

  2. Hello Bill,

    Yes you must follow the step. Just adding them in a particular directory isn’t sufficient.

  3. tracy

    Is it also possible to load multiple brush sets at the same time? If I want to load for example 10 brush sets, I have to reload them one by one. I tried to find a quicker way, but doesn’t find a solution.
    Thanks in advance.

  4. Jewel Goodwin

    I just drag the brush file onto my open photpshop, and they load themselves 😀

  5. jade

    tanx.. this tutorial was really helpful

  6. ^^ this is what I do 🙂

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