IMPORTANT UPDATE: Extensis no longer provides any updates for PhotoTools, inclusive of the older updates as applicable for compatibility with Photoshop 6.0 or 7.0. As the result, existing owners of PhotoTools 3.0 who may have updated to either of these versions of Photoshop but have not yet updated PhotoTools, may find PhotoTools inoperative. I requested permission from Extensis to add the old updates of PhotoTools back into their downloads area or, in lieu of that, to give me permission to make the PhotoTools 3.0.6 US version update/demo available through my website. No response was ever received from Extensis, so I can only encourage users in need of the PhotoTools 3.0.6 update to search the web for any relevant information available. Extensis has since sold their Photoshop plug-ins to onOneSoftware, but this does not appear to have included PhotoTools. Consequently, neither company may provide any support of PhotoTools, but if you are a registered user in need of the PhotoTools 3.0.6 update, you might try e-mailing or phoning each company to inquire about whether they might still provide the update via an unpublished web link.
SALVAGING PHOTOBARS 3 FOR PHOTOSHOP 6.0 / 7.0 / CS
"What are PhotoBars?" PhotoBars is a plug-in introduced by Extensis in their PhotoTools plug-in collection for Photoshop. PhotoBars was a one-of-a-kind plug-in, as no others have been developed that provided to Photoshop the features that it did...customizable toolbars and buttons that invoked the commands normally accessible only by keyboard shortcuts (which some users still prefer) or by menu access. No longer did you have to strike three keys to access certain shortcuts...you simply clicked a button. Beyond those who simply prefer a toolbar-oriented user interface, you can imagine how welcome PhotoBars was for those with limited mobility in their hands due to injury or health problems.
Unfortunately, PhotoBars was likely the highest-maintenance component of PhotoTools (especially for the Macintosh platform) and Extensis dropped PhotoBars from the collection when PhotoTools was updated to version 3.0.6 for Photoshop 6.0. In doing so, Extensis stated that PhotoBars was not compatible with Photoshop, which wasn't exactly true. For the Windows platform, PhotoBars would still work but were simply not mapped correctly to support the menus in Photoshop 6.0. I am not aware of any Macintosh user managing to get PhotoBars to work fully but, for those interested, a separate page may provide some useful information to explore.
Using the tools provided by PhotoBars to create custom buttons and toolbars in PhotoTools 3.03 (for Photoshop 5.5), but using menu definitions based upon Photoshop 6.0, it was possible to create toolbars that would work fine for Photoshop 6.0 by simply transferring all PhotoBars files from Photoshop 5.5 to Photoshop 6.0 along with other critical support files. Using this technique, the PhotoBars 6 supplement was born, expanding upon the original PhotoBars by not just providing groups of buttons (categories) to build toolbars from, but also providing a full set of ready-to-use toolbars that covered nearly every menu and submenu in Photoshop, inclusive of all new features. The "beauty" of this approach is that the full integrity of the PhotoBars plug-in is retained, since no software modifications or "hacks" are necessary. Any user of PhotoTools could do this, so the remapping of the PhotoBars as provided in the supplements is simply a service of convenience to the users. The PhotoBars supplements do not function as a stand-alone plug-in; rather, the PhotoTools must be installed as well.
With Photoshop 7.0, a few problems with the PhotoTools collection overall required yet another update to version...odd though it seems, 3.0.6. Yes, Extensis overlooked updating the version number of the earlier PhotoTools 3.0.6 when updates were incorporated to support Photoshop 7.0. With this 2nd revision of PhotoTools 3.0.6 installed, the PhotoBars functionality remained operational in Photoshop 7.0 and Photoshop CS, provided that the buttons and toolbars were again remapped appropriately to address all menu change could still be provided on the Windows platform. Thus, for those two versions, PhotoBars 7 and PhotoBars CS evolved.
Presently, there are no known problems when using PhotoBars 6 or 7 with their respective versions of Photoshop and PhotoTools 3.0.6. PhotoBars CS does appear to work but not without at least one problem observed by the author: When PhotoTools is installed, an Extensis menu is normally added to appear between the Window and Help menus. With Photoshop CS and PhotoTools 3.0.6 installed, the Extensis menu does not consistently appear in Photoshop CS when the application is launched. Fortunately, as of May 2004, no users of PhotoBars have reported seeing this problem nor has the author seen it again; this suggests a possible software conflict elsewhere on the author's system that may have been a contributing factor. Still, as the menu problem was seen in earlier versions of PhotoTools and subsequently corrected by Extensis, the possibility of seeing it arise again cannot be ruled out. Given that Extensis has discontinued support of PhotoTools, no further software fixes for any observed problems in PhotoTools can be expected and other workarounds must be devised.
For more information specific to a given version of Photoshop, please select the appropriate Information link in the header.
Thank you for your interest in the PhotoBars Supplements!