Brush Pilot: Quickly Browse Your Photoshop Brushes


For all you brush junkies out there: Brush Pilot is a brand-new piece of Mac OS X software for previewing Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Elements Brushes (.abr files), Brush Pilot allows you to instantly preview your brushes without having to load them into Photoshop.

Brush Pilot was created by Jay Hilgert, the designer and blogger behind design tip blog


Brush Pilot automatically finds every brush file on your hard drive, just launch it and let it do it’s thing. Brush Pilot also knows what version(s) of Photoshop you have, and the interface separates your installed brushes from the rest. You can Trash unwanted brushes, reveal the .abr file in Finder, and even install selected files into all versions of Photoshop on your system with a single click, menus, Control/Right + Click, or keyboard shortcuts.

If your Photoshop brush library is out of control, Brush Pilot looks to be worth the $15 price tag. And keep your eyes peeled—we’ll be doing a giveaway soon with some free licenses for Brush Pilot for the lucky winners!

We’ve also got a brief interview with Jay Hilgert, the creator of Brush Pilot:

Tell us a little about yourself and your background

I’m a graphic/web designer, blogger and now, I guess I’m in the software business. I started out at a small design firm in St. Louis and now I blog full time, design fonts, and do freelance web design.

What inspired you to create Brush Pilot?

I got tired of Googling and searching for a tool like Brush Pilot, so I decided to take matters into my own hands. Not only could I make a tool for myself, but I could provide an affordable, and useful tool to the global Photoshop community. In short, I wanted a brush previewer really bad, and I thought there would be plenty of people just like me, who’ve waited for years for a decent solution to brush management on the Mac.

How long did it take to create Brush Pilot?

A little over a year (not working full time though).

Any interesting things that you learned about Photoshop while developing BP?

Actually, yes. I had no idea that there were 2 locations on your mac where you can store brushes. I’ve always just installed brushes in the Applications > Photoshop CS3 > Presets > Brushes Folder. Turns out that individual users have their own folder in User > Library > Application Support > Adobe > Adobe Photoshop CS3 > Presets > Brushes, although, not all versions of Photoshop use this location.

Future features/plans for Brush Pilot?

Definitely drag and drop for version 2. I’d also like to have the ability to Shift + Select files for installation/deletion, and a full size PNG export.

We’re also thinking about moving the brush names and pixel dimensions from a tooltip to displaying them under each preview.

I’m also open to suggestions.

For every great Mac app, there’s the inevitable question: will there be a Windows version?

I haven’t even thought about it yet. It’s my first app, so I’m taking baby steps.