The use of Brushes can add so much interest to our digital scrapbooking pages. Just take a look at our gallery and you will see so many beautiful pages incorporating this technique.

Here’s just one example, created by Norma, using “You are a Masterpiece” and the PNG of some brushes she had in her digi-stash. I love the interest that the map and the text give her page!

Many times when we purchase or download free brushes, PNG files are included; but not always.  We can use various software programs or applications to view the contents of an .abr file, which is helpful.  One such program is Argus, by Tumasoft (discussed in this post:  See Thumbnails of Styles, Shapes, and Patterns in Windows).

EDIT: Thank you to one of our blog readers, Gordon, for this information for MAC users: “Yes. Brush Pilot is a brush app for macs. You are able to see your brushes in the abr file. And you can export them as png files.I think the app is free or if not it is pretty cheap.”

But what if we want .png files too? One application that will let you preview .abr files AND make .pngs of the images is a free application,  abrMate 1.1.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Open the application.
  2. Click on Open Brush Set and navigate to the brush from which you would like to create .png files.

3. Once you select the brush, the images for the brush will be reflected in the panel on the right for viewing. To create PNGs for these images, click on the .abr file in the “Brush Sets Open” box to select it. It would make sense that you could then click on the “Export Selected Brush to .png” but that doesn’t work for me. (I am using Photoshop CC 2017). I need to click on “Export ALL Open Brushes to .png’s” for this to work.  (Try either option and see what works for your software.) A box will open allowing you to navigate to where you would like to save the .png files.

4. Once abrMate 1.1 has created the .png files, navigate to the folder where you saved them. You can see at the bottom of the screen that you are now looking at the .png files of the brush, and will also be able to see their dimensions and size.

This process does NOT override your .abr file. You will now be able to use the .abr file if you like or have the option to use the .pngs as well. Pretty cool, don’t you think?

This little application is FREE and is offered by TextureMate.  Because this application is free, there is a Donation Button on the site.  You may donate a few dollars if you are able, but it is not required in order to download the application. Be sure to click on the right download button for the application, and not one of the other downloads offered on the site.

I hope you find this application helpful!

Thanks to Manu Scraps for allowing the use of her gorgeous Lacy Motifs brushes in this tutorial!