By Ars Grafik
I am a collector by nature, and my squirrel-like tendencies are always with me, whether I’m at a thrift shop, bookmarking websites, or downloading Photoshop brushes. Lucky for you, I’ll save you the play-by-play of the state of my closet post-thrift shopping and focus instead on how to easily organize Photoshop brushes. Vista users, this is especially for you!
You see, I’ve amassed enough brushes that they won’t all fit on my screen when I open the library to switch out a set. I have to use dual monitors just to see them all (which totally cramps my style, by the way, because I’m the kind of gal who likes to work at coffeeshops. And they really don’t like you setting up camp with your dual screens, even if you bring smores).
The other issue I’ve had with my brushes is that I can’t find the ones I need when I need them because they’re named something awful like “MM_spring_buloxi” or whatever file name the author decided to use. I needed some organization. So I finally bit the bullet, turned on the iPod, and decided to do some spring cleaning. I started in the brushes folder under Adobe Photoshop Presets:
From there, I tried to simply rename the file. In Vista (I know… if I weren’t poor I’d buy a Mac. Apple gods, will you send me a free one please?????) :), this presents a problem because whenever you’re in the C: drive, the operating system is set up in such a way as to assume that you are an idiot who will screw up anything and everything you touch, so it gives you a pop-up dialog box whenever you attempt to change something. It basically says, “We assume you have the intellectual capacity of a first grader, so we’re not going to let you make this change on your own. Only administrators can do this. If you are an administrator, make sure you are aware of what you’re doing before the changes are applied. Should we apply changes?” And it does this for every single action you take while in the C: drive. Since I had hundreds of brushes to manipulate, this was going to be a problem.
In my humble opinion, the nanny controls are the most frustrating thing about Vista. But I figured out how to turn them off!
In your control panel, go to “User Accounts” and select “Turn User Account Controls On or Off.” Uncheck the box and hit ok, restart your computer, and the annoying Vista nanny is gone for good.
At this point, I opened up a blank document in Photoshop and tried out all the brushes to see what they were and if I wanted to keep them. I had a lot of duplicates, and some of the brushes were just crap. I put the brush presets folder side-by-side with Photoshop and renamed the brushes as I went according to their subject matter:
Mind you, this took most of the day. But it was well worth it. I now know where everything is and scaled down the size of the folder to make room for more.