abrMate Tutorial: Convert a Newer Adobe Photoshop CS Brush to PS7 Format for Use in Any Photoshop Version

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The latest version of abrMate now allows you to convert any newer Photoshop CS brush set that can be opened by the software to a Photoshop 7.x compatible brush set in a new .abr file. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for Photoshop users that are not using the latest version of Photoshop and want to use brushes available online that were created using newer versions. For example, if you have Photoshop CS2 and find an awesome brush set that was created with Photoshop CS5, you can now convert the brush set to a Photoshop 7.x version and now use it in Photoshop CS2! Remember that brushes are always forward compatible, just not backwards compatible. First off, if you are reading this tutorial, you are probably used to seeing this dialog from your version of Adobe Photoshop stating "Could not load the brushes because the file is not compatible with the version of Photoshop":

Could not load the brushes because the file is not compatible with the version of Photoshop
Could not load the brushes because the file is not compatible with the version of Photoshop

This occurs when you try to load a brush file into Adobe Photoshop that was created in a newer version of Photoshop then what you are currently using. This is why we need to convert the brush set! Start up your copy of abrMate and open the brush set you would like to convert to a PS7 format. Once your brush set is open, select it in the left list and click "Convert Selected Brush to PS7.x":

Convert Selected Brush to PS7.x

The brush file will now be loaded and converted by abrMate. A dialog will now be displayed to save your new Photoshop 7 compatible brush! By default, the new filename is the same as the old one but now starts with a 'ps7-' in front. You may change the filename to whatever you want, of course and save it anywhere you want as well. If you try to save over an existing file, you will be prompted just like any Windows software. I would not recommend overwriting any original brush file until you are positively sure it works in your version of Photoshop.

Save Your New PS7 Compatible Brush File Somewhere

Note that if you have 'Open Folder After Export/Convert' selected in the 'Settings' pull-down menu, a Windows Explorer window of where you saved the new brush file will be displayed. After saving the new brush file, go ahead and try to open it from within Adobe Photoshop...

Adobe Photoshop 7 Now Has No Problem Opening a CS5 Brush Set!

No problem! You can now use the converted brush in your older version of Adobe Photoshop. Have fun with the new world of possibilities of brushes that has opened for you!

abrMate Download Page

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Rog's picture

This is precisely what I was

This is precisely what I was looking for and I much appreciate it being shared. It seems the version offered on the page is 1.0. I downloaded it and tried it even installed MS Framenetwork 4 but there was no option for conversion. A quick check showed what I had downloaded from this site was ver. 1.0.

OK I took another route and found ver. 1.1 downloaded and installed it from another site. I was able to convert my first abr file to ver. 7 soon after.

I find the program easy to use however I am getting error messages "Issue reading brush file may be protected" I checked the attributes of several files that could not be read and found they were not protected. The file name appears in the left pane but there is no thumbnail view. I have to close it out.

The files don't seem to be corrupt. Has anyone else experienced this? Any ideas?

Thanks again.

sketchie's picture

awesome tool dude .... muchly

awesome tool dude ....

muchly appreciated.....

thanks for developing this and releasing to the wider world :)

Electra's picture

hello, well I did everything

hello, well I did everything here, but I get this error message issue reading brush file, file may be protected. How should I fix this?

Mi-Mi's picture

Thank you, thank you, thank

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

This is working smoothly, and I'm in love with it! I have a Photoshop 7 and loads of brushes are for cs4 and the newer versions.

Thank you for making something like this!!

Electric Coyote's picture

Just wanted to add my own

Just wanted to add my own "thank you" to the long list of us that are eternally grateful for abrMate! Many thanks for your hard work and for providing this great tool and the other great content on your site to the community...keep up the awesome work!

Anonymous's picture

Please help me, I found a

Please help me, I found a brush set on deviantart which was for cs5 and cs6, and I use cs3. I tried to convert them which worked fine, but somehow my photoshop would crash whenever I loaded the brushes :( Please help!

HG Guy's picture

Tried converting a CS6

Tried converting a CS6 originating brushes using abrMate 1.1, conversion seemed to work fine, got a new renamed file (with the PS7 at beginning) but having no success loading it into CS2 ... I am getting "Cannot load brushes into CS2 due to a programming error" dialogue ... it's not crashing PS like some report above, just won't load...

reinhard's picture

Same as the above. "Could not

Same as the above. "Could not complete request because of a program error" Converted brushes won't load in CS2. This would be an awesome tool if it would work. png convertion works fine btw.

Bill's picture

Hmmmm, let me see if I can

Hmmmm, let me see if I can load up CS2 and CS3 versions to see if I have problems loading PS7 brushes. So far, I've mainly just done CS5 and PS7.

reinhard's picture

Hi Bill! Thank you so much

Hi Bill!

Thank you so much for the fast response and for making this tool available for everyone!

This is the brushset I tried to convert to a PS7 version so I may open it in CS2:

I'm still using my ancient original PS7 brushes in CS2, so in theory this should not even be an issue.
Maybe the original brushset above is CS6 or CC and that cause some sort of trouble. Thanks for looking into it anyways! CS2 is my primary tool and I can't use a lot of brushsets friends gave me because they use more recent versions of Photoshop. If it would work, it would be really a highly recommended tool.


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