Using brushes is a very powerful way of manipulating a picture on Photoshop; whether you want to create a powerful background, or a suitable addendum to your photograph, or just a flourish to make a statement. They are being increasingly used in post-photography processing and web designing. Installing brushes to the Photoshop program (CS 3, CS 5, CS 6, Version 7) on your Mac (OS X and higher) is simple and can be done in a few quick steps:
Step 1: Download brushes
There are a number of sites where you can freely download the brushes you need. Brusheezy is the best, as it has several other patterns, textures, gradients etc where you can download your entire Photoshop Tool Library. All-free-download.com also has an interesting Library, where there are several background brushes and on-image brushes that will completely change the look of your picture. You can go to hongkiat.com/awesome-photoshop-brushes for several categories of brushes, each of which will come with its own brush palette free to download.
Step 2: Extract Brushes
If your downloaded brushes are in a zip folder, you will need to extract the individual brushes. Mac OS X and its versions usually allow decompressing by just double-clicking on the .zip folder, but then this applies only to .ttf or .otf files. Since your brushes files have a .abr extension, you can extract them using an utility called Stufflt Expander, the basic version of which is offered free from its home site. Use Stufflt Expander to decompress the files into individual .abr sets.
Step 3: Go to Applications
You have to go to the Applications folder on your Mac to install brushes. The Applications folder is usually on your Finder or on your Hard Disk Drive which has a Macintosh HD icon, but in higher versions of the Mac, the Applications is usually not available in the Dock. To find the Applications folder, open Finder. With the Finder open, click the Go icon on top of the Navigation Panel. Go to the option marked Application in the drop down menu.
Step 4: Go to Presets
In your Applications folder, click on Adobe Photoshop CS 6 (or whatever other version you may be using). Clicking on it will open a number of options on the right hand panel; here, you have to click Presets. The first options in Presets folder is usually Brushes. Clicking on that will take you to all the brush patterns that are already installed on your Mac Photoshop
Shortcut Method: If you don’t want to go to all the hassle of finding Applications folder, simply click on the Photoshop icon on your Dock while keeping the Command key pressed. Your Applications > Photoshop CS 6 will automatically open, in that folder, click the Presets sub-folder.
Step 5: Drag and drop
Your downloaded brushes will be in the Downloads window. Select all the brushes (suitcases, licenses included), then drag and drop on to the Brushes sub folder in the Presets folder. Installation complete!
Step 6: Loading brushes on Photoshop
If you cannot find the downloaded brushes automatically on your Photoshop Brush palette, that means they will have to be loaded. For this, activate the Brush tool (icon on the left hand toolbar) and it will come up in the Options Menu (on top of the Window). Click on the downward facing arrow next to the word Brush, and the Brush palette will be displayed. Then click on the right facing arrow on the top right hand corner of the brush palette and another fall out menu will be displayed. In this menu, select the Load Brushes option.
You Applications/Photoshop/Presets/Brushes folder should automatically open in the Load dialogue box. Click on whatever brush you want in your Photoshop and then hit Load.
If you open the fall out menu again, you will see the brush preset you have loaded at the end of the menu. Clicking on it will display a number of brush patterns which were part of this new preset on the brush palette. If you choose to go back to the original palette, just click the Reset Brushes option the fall out menu and you will be back to the previous palette. Also check our other article: How to Install Fonts in Photoshop on a Mac? (CS5, CS6).