How to Load Brushes in Photoshop Elements 2019

February 8, 2020

Using brushes on digital scrapbook pages or projects is a fun and easy way to add extra interest to layouts or hybrid crafting projects.  Photoshop Elements is one of the most popular programs for digital scrapbookers and it comes with hundreds of options to help you create unique projects including a nice little inventory of built-in brushes to help you get started, but why stop there?  Brushes literally open up a whole new world of possibilities for you to expand your own creativity.  Brushes allow you to make subtle changes or bold statements with the click of a mouse; and if you’re not happy, CTRL+ Z and you’ll be right back where you started.  I love the flexibility brushes provide.  You can change the opacitycreate custom png files for use on future projects, and even customize your brushes;  but we have to know how to load them before we can use them, right?

3 Methods To Load Brushes in Photoshop Elements 2019

I am using Photoshop Elements 2019, and I am going to walk you through 2 ways to load and 1 way to install Photoshop brushes.  

Tutorial Level: Beginners

Method #1:

  • In the top Menu Bar: Edit > Preset Manager.
  • You have the option to Append or Add.
  • If you choose Add, the brushes that are loaded in Photoshop Elements will be replaced with the brush you are adding. This means that the new brush will be the only brush you have access to until you Reset your brush panel. (Click on the down-pointing arrow to the right of the Brush Present Picker in the bottom Options Bar; on the fly-out menu, click the 4 horizontal bars in the top right corner; click on Reset Brushes and the Default Photoshop brushes will be loaded again.)
  • If you choose Append, the brush you are loading into Elements will be added to what is already available.

Method #2: 

  • Click on the Brush Tool in the Tool Bars Menu on the left.
  • Click on the down-pointing arrow to the right of the Brush Preset Picker
  • Click on the 4 horizontal lines in the upper-right corner of the fly-out menu.
  • Click on Load Brushes. Photoshop will open and you will see your computer structure on the left. 
  • Navigate to where you have the brush you want to load. Click on the brush file (.abr) to select it.
  • Click on Load.

Method #3 for Windows Users:

With Method #3, you are actually installing a brush into the permanent Photoshop Brushes Preset folder rather than just loading it for temporary use. Be careful about “installing” too many brushes, though, as the presence of an excessive number of brushes can slow your computer down.

  • This method requires that you find the Brushes Presets folder on your computer. I am using Windows and this is the path I would follow install brushes: 

  • To use this method you will need to have hidden files in Window visible.  Here’s how to do that:  Click on the View tab in File Explorer; put a checkmark in the box in front of Hidden Items; select the View you would like to have (I have List selected).  


Now that we know how to load brushes, let’s explore some of the possibilities.  

Are you a Mac User? No problem! 

Vicki Robinson Designs has written out the instructions for you and has graciously allowed me to include it in this tutorial:

  • Close Photoshop Elements
  • Make a copy of the .abr file for the brush set you want to install. Making a copy ensures that you can always find the file again if you need it – be sure to store the original with your other purchased brush sets.
  • In Finder, navigate to the Brushes Preset folder: Macintosh HD\Applications\Adobe Photoshop Elements (your version)\Presets\Brushes
  • Drag a copy of the .abr file into the Brushes folder. Enter your Mac’s password if prompted to do so.

The brush is now installed and will appear in the Brush Picker.


Foliage and Garden Brushes are perfect for adding interest to papers, paper frames, or to create your own unique elements.  One of my favorite ways to use brushes is to create scatters for dimension.

Here are a few of my favorite brush sets:







If brushes are new to you don’t wait any longer.  Load some brushes.  Take them for a spin.  Let your creative juices flow.  It is easy to find fresh ways to Use The Brush Tool.   What are some of your favorite ways to use brushes?  Leave your answer in the comments section below and feel free to show off your work by linking to a layout in your gallery at OScraps or Gingerscraps.  

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