ABR (.abr) file extension is a file format created for Adobe Photoshop. It contains a collection of custom brushes that can be used by the Brush tool in Adobe Photoshop and it includes shape, texture, dynamics, and other data for each brush style. The custom brushes allow you to virtually paint shapes and lines with unique colours and textures. Although the file was created for Adobe Photoshop, it can be open by most of the modern photo editing software and viewed by many free viewing apps.
Although the file was created for Adobe Photoshop, it can be open by some of the modern photo editing software and viewed by many free viewing apps.
The brushes can be located at various different locations, however here are the traditional locations with the standard settings.
Mac - Applications\Adobe Photoshop 2021\Presets\Brushes
Windows - C:\Program Files\Adobe folder\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop 2021\Presets\Brushes
There is a number of free and paid applications with the capability of viewing the ABR files. Our favourite application is called ACDsee and it's designed by ACD Systems. This application is built on powerful photo library features and it's used by many professional photographers for managing their photography portfolio.
Other less advanced but equally capable (when it comes to ABR files) applications are called Preset Viewer Breeze (Mac Only) and ABRViewere (Windows Only). Both of the applications can be downloaded for free and used for pre-viewing the custom brushes stored in the ABR file.
Opening the ABR file is a simple task in the recent versions of Photoshop and we will show you how it's done in the following text.
All the recent versions of Photoshop do allow you to import your new brushes by simply double-clicking on the brush icon. This will open the Photoshop software and automatically import the brushes without any further steps.
Creating Photoshop brushes (ABR) can be great fun and once you master the technique, you will be able to turn any elements into your own brushes. For the full video tutorial on how to create custom brushes, check out this simple video guide created by our friends from PHLEARN here.
Editing the ABR files isn't as straight forward as one would think as they are set once created in Photoshop. You can re-organise/delete/add the Brush Group in the "Brushes" menu before exporting the brushes again, however, when it comes to editing the custom brushes the workflow is the same as with the creation of new brushes covered in the topic above.
It's easy to confuse the ABR file extension with the ABW (AbiWord Document), ABF (Adobe Binary Screen Font), or ABS (Absolute Database) extension. If you can't open your file with the programs we mentioned above, you might be confusing a different file format with a Photoshop Brush file. When in doubt use our favourite file format tool to find out more about your file and how to access it here.
Photoshop isn't the only software out there that is able to create and export custom brushes. Here are some of the other file formats created by other photo editing applications.
Make sure to check out our latest Landscape Brush Bundle here.