Best practice: where to save optional presets, plugins, etc.

Posted By
Mar 24, 2009
Using CS4 on a Mac Pro, what is the best practice for where to place optional presets, plugins, actions, etc.?

As a longtime PS user but just now migrating to the darkside, I have become quite confused. After reading several hundred messages in this forum, I see conflicting or inconsistent direction: "drop into the appropriate applications folder", "drop into Application Support", "tell PS to look in a unique AddIns folder" (in Preferences where I used to tell PS where to find Silverfast – had that pain, learned that lesson). Furthering my confusion, an Apple Support person discouraged placing anything in any system folder – which would include Library/App support/… – on the basis that it would be overwritten if the machine ever had to be rebuilt.

In the Windows world, I was proficient in placing such items into C:\Documents and Settings\Application Data\… .

With the Mac reputation for stability, the apparently varying practices are puzzling. Would appreciate advice. Tell me, "Macs are so good it doesn’t matter where you put ’em!"


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Mar 24, 2009
an Apple Support person discouraged placing anything in any system folder – which would include Library/App support/…

It IS a bit confusing because there are three different "Library" Folders:

HD/System/Library … that one you do leave alone.

HD/Library/… Various software and Applications’ support files get installed in this location; and you may need to add special components in this area from time to time.

Users/ you /Library … this is the place where data that is specially for your individual use is stored; including your Preferences and your Photoshop Settings.

Photoshop CS4 installs the default Presets in:
HD/Applications/Adobe Photoshop CS4/Presets

but it normally saves any Preset which you create personally in Users/…/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS4/Presets.

If you are the sole user of your computer, you might want to keep your own presets in the same folder as the Default Presets.

Just be sure to keep copies so that you dont’t lose them if you need to re-install Photoshop.
Mar 24, 2009
Ann, you’re wonderful! Your summary is exactly what I was looking for to put everything in perspective. Thanks so much.

After reading all those forum messages I feel I know you. Your presence is extensive and constructive.

I, too, feel Silverfast is very expensive but gives me control well beyond anything else I’ve used except NikonScan. I scan old photographs for our local library. Silverfast handles, nay often recovers, just about any image we throw at it.

I, too, after several months’ wrangling Silverfast/PS CS3 crashes on a Windows box, shifted to the scan-outside-PS approach. I still have occasional crashes, especially when going 48-bit, but their frequency is much diminished. Recovery is a bit more smooth having a small stash of clean Silverfast Preferences where they can be readily copied to replace corrupted ones.

Thanks again for solving my puzzle and thank you for all your time helping so many users in the forum.

Mar 25, 2009
Thank you fpr your kind remarks.

I am delighted that I was able to help you.

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