Adding plugins to PaintShop Pro

If you are using PaintShop Pro, you know about the power of the various tools and commands that are native to the program. However, some external plugins have allowed users to add even more effects. Adding plugins can be simple, but can also bring in some challenges. Lyn Lou, an avid PaintShop Pro user, has helped many users over the years and wrote this guide to help you.

Auto Installed Plugins or Non-Executable plugins

Some plugins auto-install executable files that have the extension .exe. To install those, just double-click the file and follow the prompts (ex: Eye Candy & Alien Skin).

Non-Executable plugins need to be copied to your plugin folder. You can tell if it is an older plugin as it needs to be copied and not auto-installed and most of these plugins have filenames that end in .8bf and do not have a .exe file.

Executables are generally set up to install into the Corel plugin folders. It is installed in your Program Files folder on the C Drive. To find this, look on your C Drive for Program Files;
C:\Program Files\Corel\plugins\en  or C:\Program Files(x86)\Corel\plugins\en

Why are there two Program File folders? What is the difference?

Older computers use 32-bit technology and newer computers use 64-bit technology making the computer faster.

Many plugins were originally written on older computers. That means that most of them may not run on newer programs. Some plugins have been updated for 64-bit programs as well as new ones that have been created.

Up until version 2022, Corel provided two versions of PaintShop Pro when you purchased it; one for older computers (32-bit) and one for newer computers, (64-bit).  If you wish to use the older (32-bit) plugins they will run in the 32-bit PSP version and can be added to the Program Files (x86) folder.
The updated (64-bit) plugins run in the new (64-bit) PSP program and are added to the Program Files folder.

Where do I save my PSP Files

If you have a lot of plugins and other PSP files, you can, if you wish, create your own folders in your Documents folder to store them (like brushes, fonts, masks, etc.)  This can prevent it from slowing down and clogging up the program files.  (However, if PSP is not seeing your old plugins, then try adding them to the Program Files (x86) Corel plugins folder).

During installation, PaintShop Pro creates a set of folders for PSP files in your Documents folder. This is very useful to keep them all in one place and makes it easier to add to PaintShop Pro.

If you have more than one version of PaintShop Pro installed, you might want to have a single location for your supplies (not the default folders). This will make it easier as you don’t need to reinstall plugins, you simply have to point them to where they are.

How does PSP know where my plugins are?

Once you have installed PaintShop Pro and your plugins, you now need to tell PSP where to find those plugins. To do this, you need to add this information in Files > Preferences > File Locations;

In the File locations settings, direct PaintShop Pro to the specific folders where you saved all your brushes, masks, plugins, etc.

Select the plugin option, on the left pane, and if the specific folder for your plugin(s) does not already show, click Add and Browse to the location of your plugins folder. Make sure you tick the Enable and Use sub-folder options too.

If you have imported your plugins from a previous version, be sure to check that it added them to this menu. Especially if they are not showing up in your effects menu.

Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLS)

If you are using plugins, there are some Dynamic Link Libraries that might be required; the two main ones are plugin.dll and msvcrtl10. There are also a number of other DLLs that may provide additional plugin support depending on your Windows version.

You can find the msvcrtl10 file on . And you can download the plugin.dll file HERE

When installing DLLs please check if you have Msvcrt10.dll already installed in your Windows 32bit system folder before adding an additional one. If so, do not overwrite the original one.  In 32-bit operating systems, it is usually located under C:\Windows\System32\

If you are using a 64-bit operating system, the 32-bit system folder is located under C:\Windows\SysWow64\. Do not place Msvcrt10.dll, which is a 32-bit file, in the System32 folder of 64-bit operating systems like Vista 64-bit, because this folder is only meant for 64-bit files

This site also provides some tools to help integrate the older plugins. One tool will convert the larger plugins and another to patch the filters. The patch can be time-consuming if you have a lot of plugins.

If you have plugin.dll (which is distributed with Adobe products like Photoshop, etc., and is located in the appropriate installation folder), please copy it into your Windows 32-bit system folder.

Where can I find plugins/Filters for PSP?

There are a lot of websites that provide illegal plugins. Beware: there is a risk for viruses. Here is one reliable site I have used for years. It provides free plugins and links to some popular paid plugins as well. It also provides some useful information about the plugin: Graphnet.

Trouble Shooting

  1. Check if your plugins are 32-bit or 64-bit plugins.
  2. See if they are installed in Program Files or Program Files (x86)
  3. Do you have the correct DLLs installed, (or if you may need additional ones)?
  4. Check if you have added them to PSP Preferences > File Locations, and even if you have added them, check they are directed to the correct folder and you have ticked the Enable subfolders box.
  5. If they are older plugins, add them to the 32-bit PSP as they may not work in the 64-bit PSP.
  6. Try reinstalling them from the original .exe files. Make sure you have a full copy of the original older plugins. (There are some sites that have illegal downloads which may come with a virus or corrupted files).
  7. If you are trying to run 32-bit programs and plugins on a 64 bit computer/laptop and it is not working you can also try running it in either Compatibility Mode or Run as administrator.
    When you are installing the 32-bit program right-click on the install file and select Run as Administrator.
    Before you open the program, right-click on the program and select Properties;
    click on the Compatibility Tab and tick run in Compatibility Mode, select your operating system (Windows 7 or 10 etc).
    If the program or plugin is still not working, repeat above and tick Run as Administrator.
  8. If you have done all of the above and you are happy they are correctly set up and it is still not working. Contact Corel Support for additional help.

P.S. If you are using an older computer, the folder may display as Program Files <x86> instead of Program Files (x86).

Plugins for PaintShop Pro 2023 and beyond

Beware that, starting with PaintShop Pro 2023, Corel only provides the 64-bit version. There is no 32-bit option anymore. However, if you really want to, you can use the Plugin Bridge, which might allow you to run some 32-bit plugins anyways.

You can read more about the Plugin Bridge HERE.

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