Installing plug-ins into the default plug-ins folder in the Adobe Photoshop CS2 folder is quick and painless. Just point the installer to it and sit back. However, saving a little time when installing can cost a lot more time down the line. For example, when you need to reinstall Photoshop, it's easy to accidentally delete the plug-ins folder even though you had every intention of keeping it (especially on Mac OS, where dragging application folders to the Trash is a common practice). When you come to upgrade Photoshop to the next version, you may find that you have to reinstall some if not all the plug-ins because you cannot just copy them into the new version. If you do, some of them are sure to require a reinstall, owing to the name change of the top-level folder. It all adds up to a loss of time.
To avoid reinstalls and save time, you can take advantage of a little known Photoshop functionality. If you drop a shortcut (Windows) or alias (Mac OS) into any of the folders within the application folder, Photoshop can see the path and find the folder at the end of it. Therefore, by installing the plug-ins once into a designated folder away from the main Photoshop folder, creating a shortcut/alias to it, and then dropping it into the plug-ins folder, you can do away with the need to reinstall and reduce the chance of accidentally deleting the folder. You can even create shortcuts/aliases from the individual plug-ins and drop those into the plug-ins folder one at a time. That way, you can control how many plug-ins load into memory each time you launch Photoshop. Furthermore, if you don't fancy making shortcuts/aliases, you can simply choose the designated folder in Preferences ^ Plug-Ins & Scratch Disks as the Additional Plug-Ins Folder and have Photoshop find it automatically at launch time.
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