Photoshop Wiki

Filters are widespread changes to an image or layer. They are often used for special effects or improvements. If a selection is active, the filter is limited accordingly.

Filters differ from adjustments in that each pixel is processed in comparison to others and/or a generating function, rather than individually. This cross-processing can be time-consuming, and can be alleviated by upgrading the CPU and RAM.


Filters have been present in every version of Photoshop, increasing in number with each new version:

Filter Version
Gaussian Blur 0.63
Add Noise 1.0 or earlier
Blur filters, Distort filters, Noise filters, Sharpen filters, Stylize filters 2.5 or earlier
Pixelate filters, Render filters, Video filters, Other filters 3.0
Artistic filters, Brush Strokes filters, Sketch filters, Texture filters, Digimarc filters 4.0
Vanishing Point filter

In version 2.5 (or perhaps 2.0), filters were given their own menu.


Main article: Troubleshooting

If you encounter memory errors, try the following:

  • Process a small selection, rather than the whole image. Note that this may cause seams to be visible.
  • Process an individual channel rather than the composite image.
  • Use the Purge command to free up some memory.
  • Use lower settings if possible.
  • If using a grayscale filter, try converting to Grayscale color mode and then applying the filter. Note that this may give different results than running the same filter in other color modes.

Some filters are not available in 64-bit Photoshop. Use 32-bit mode to gain access to these filters.

Some filters are available only for 8-bit or 16-bit color depth. Convert to either one to gain access to these filters.