After all the hard work designing or retouching an image in Photoshop, it is time to save it. You go to File then Save or Save As; you get a prompt to choose a name if the file wasn’t already given a name. You also see a place to choose the File Format. If you added a feature to the file that it does not support, Photoshop will display an error icon. File formats are very important when saving as they will indicate so many attributes of the file. The file format will decide what program can open the file, how and if it is compressed, and so much more.
Common Photoshop File Formats that you can use
Before designing your artwork you would decide what it will be used for. Maybe it will be used for one thing or it will be used for multiple things. Knowing what the artwork will be used for helps you decide what format or formats to save it in. One rule I set and follow in photoshop is the rule of saving my artwork first as a PSD file so that I can edit it later. Then I save it in the other format or formats that I need. Before you can even decide on the file formats, you will need to know the different file formats and their advantages and disadvantages. This article will look at the most common Photoshop file formats and give some information about them.
- Best for Digital Photos
- Best for Web Graphics
- Best for Commercial Printing
Important note: when you work on any file in Photoshop then you go to Save As usually the option that is in the File Format box is PSD. However, this can change if you had saved a previous file in some other format such as TIFF. Whenever you go to save another file, the file format that will be in the box will be TIFF or one of those other formats that will automatically take over the file format box. So it is good to pay attention before clicking Save and closing. This could cause you to save a file that you wanted to save as PSD as a TIFF or one of those other formats.
Another thing to pay attention to is the limitations of the file format that you choose. When you choose the file format in the Save As dialogue box, look at the lower section of the box. Check if you see some yellow warning icons. If they are there, check to see what they represent. They will usually show you what features will not be available in the chosen file format.
Here is a file save dialogue box with the yellow triangle beside the feature that will not be available for this file format. In this case, Photoshop is telling you that if you save it as a JPEG file format, you will not have the layers available. If you are ok with the missing element then you can save it. If not, you can choose a different file format that will support the features you wanted available. If you need to save layers and have them available for edit later, save the file as a Photoshop PSD.
Whatever file format you choose to save your project, always keep the Photoshop PSD working file saved. This will help you to make changes in the future without having to redo the whole thing. Another file format that will save your layers and paths is TIFF with Layers enabled.
1] Best Photoshop file format for Digital Photos
If you will be doing your printing yourself, you can just print from Photoshop, this means that you can keep the PSD file and print from it. Remember that the more file formats that you have the more disk space that you will use up. That means you can just print straight from Photoshop PSD and you will also be able to make edits if you need to. (Remember that you cannot re-save in a Raw format after opening in Photoshop.) if you need to send the files to a store for printing, then save them as JPEGs. If the print store accepts TIFF then you can send it as TIFF. If you are sending it via the internet, the JPEG file would be smaller and easier to send.
Here are the pros and cons of the major formats that you should consider for photos when saving:
The PSD file format is Photoshop’s build-in file format that is used to save files with all the layers and styles editable. PSD is great for doing your printing and you can make changes if you need to. If the file size is large, you can make a JPEG or TIFF copy before printing, to flatten the image, making it smaller. Be sure to keep a copy of the PSD so you can edit it. Send JPEG to the print store, TIFF is ok if they will accept it.
Although the TIFF format can save your layers and most other Photoshop features, make sure to choose Layers then Flatten Image before sending files for printing. Layered TIFF files generally are compatible only with working in Photoshop.
The JPEG file format is a file compression scheme rather than a file format. What is important to remember is that JPEG throws away some of your image data when it saves the file. Save important images in PSD or TIFF and use JPEG only for copies.
You should use JPEG When sending images to a printing store that doesn’t accept TIFF files, uploading to most social media sites, and when sending images (via email or messengers) to people who don’t have Photoshop. Unlike PSD and TIFF, you can open JPEG images in a web browser and print from there. When saving JPEGs, the lower the Quality setting you choose in the JPEG Options dialog box, the smaller the file, but also the more damage to the image. JPEG only supports 8-bit color so it will convert your 16-bit to 8-bit before saving. Save your file in a format that supports 16-bit color, such as PSD or TIFF, before creating the JPEG copy.
The JPS or Jpeg Stereo file format is used to create stereoscopic images that use the left half as one copy and the right half as another. It’s a specialty format for creating 3D-looking photos. You may or may not ever use this file format.
Lots of people, even seasoned designers tend to overlook PDF for saving images, but you should consider using this format. Lots of printing stores will accept PDF, it’s a great format for sharing your pictures with folks who don’t have Photoshop. Unlike JPEG, your images won’t be degraded when saved as PDF; and like JPEG, just about anyone with a computer can view the files. Adobe Reader and other PDF readers are found on just about every computer now. PDF files will also open and print from most web browsers just like web browsers for JPEG. Remember, however, that PDF files are larger than JPEGs.
The PSB file format is for really big documents, possibly over 30,000 pixels wide or high or both. You may only need that for large banners that will stretch over 30 feet. With vehicle and building wraps being so common, this would be a good file format to save in for those big projects.
2] Best Photoshop file format for Web Graphics
If you are designing for use on the web, there are many more factors to consider, including what content management system is being used. Here are the three most commonly used file formats that you need for the web:
The JPG file format is best used for photos. Remember to resize the photo so that it fits on a web page. When selecting a Quality setting, you need to balance image appearance with file size. A smaller file will download (and display in a web browser) faster, but a larger file generally looks better. If you reduce the Quality setting until just before the image doesn’t look great, you’ve got the right balance— the compromise between file size and image quality.
The GIF file format is more appropriate for items like web banners, small animations, and buttons than it is for photos. If you save a photo that’s more than 100×100 pixels in size, you might see some degradation of the image quality as similar colors become one color. When you save an image as GIF, it can contain no more than 256 distinct colors. JPEG and the other common file formats can have thousands of different colors.
The file format PNG comes in two types: PNG-8 (which is a substitute for GIF) and PNG-24 (which is a substitute for JPEG). PNG has a couple of advantages for web designers, such as support for transparency. Transparent background is great because it gets rid of the white background which may sometimes conflict with your design.
3] Best Photoshop file format for Commercial Printing
Commercial printing usually requires excellent color and quality. You may design the artwork very well and the print color is CMYK, however, if the correct file format is not used to save the file, the quality will not be printed on paper. If the wrong file format is used the file may be compressed in the case of JPEG.
The TIFF file format is generally a great choice for commercial printing. Use TIFF for photographic images that don’t contain type/text layers.
The EPS file format is best if your image has type/text. Don’t flatten or merge the type layers before using Save As to create the EPS. In the EPS Options dialog box, make sure to select the Include Vector Data check box to ensure that your type prints perfectly.
If you reopen an EPS file in Photoshop, your type layers get merged. Make sure to save your original file as PSD and, should you need to make changes, open the PSD and create a new EPS file when you’re done editing.
The PDF file format offers support for spot color channels, alpha channels, and paths, these options are not supported by EPS. (Spot channels are used with custom colors, and alpha channels store information about transparency in the image.) If your file uses any of these features, choose PDF over EPS, if your print shop accepts PDFs. When saving as PDF, the PDF Options dialog box offers Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities. If you select the option, the PDF file reopens in Photoshop with layers and editable type.
The PSD file format is great if you need to make changes to the file. Use PSD only if you’re adding the image file to a project in Adobe InDesign. Don’t send PSD files to a print store unless specifically requested to do so by the print store.
Read: How to automate Photoshop using Actions
Why are there so many different file formats?
There are many different file formats because there are many different uses for images. There are also many ways to display images. Each file format may have an advantage that makes it more desirable for a certain project. It may also have a disadvantage that makes it less desirable for a project. For example, the JPEG file format is good for raster images that will be used on a screen and it is great for transferring over the web based on its small size. On the other hand, the JPEG file format compresses the image so it loses some of the quality, and each time it is saved the quality gets worse. For this reason, it is good to decide what the artwork will be used for and if the advantages outweigh the disadvantage. You then decide which other file format will be better.
What else should I consider when designing?
It is good to consider the use of the file, and that will help decide the color format to use. Artwork for print will do better with CMYK and artwork for screens will be better in RGB. These too will help decide which file format is used. JPEG is better for RGB raster images on a screen. The PDF file format is great for a vector which is better for CMYK for print.
Which of these file formats is the most used?
Well based on the number of screens used to display and the need for transmitting images over the web, JPEG is the most used file format. JPEG is good for sending on those messaging apps for phones and tablets. These devices are usually small and do not require large files. Note that some of these messaging apps will compress a file that is already compressed so the file may not be that good of quality if you want to download and use it again.
Why is JPEG the most used image file format?
A JPEG is a standardized lossy compression mechanism for digital images. Digital cameras compress raw photographs as JPEG images to make the files smaller in size. It is the most common file format for photo storage. JPEGs became popular as they save more storage space compared to older formats such as Bitmap. However, the JPEG file format compresses the image a lot so it damages the file. This makes JPEG less desirable for files that need to be of high print quality.
Which image format is of the highest quality?
TIFF (Tag Image File Format) is the highest quality image format for commercial purposes. Photographers and graphic designers consider it, and it is widely accepted worldwide.
What could cause an image file to not open?
Image files can have trouble opening if there is a problem with the file format or the image file has become corrupted. You can try to fix this by changing the extension. Changing the extension will change the file format and may cause the file to open. you change the file format by going to a folder on your computer then click View then go to Show then go to File Name Extension. you will be prompted to choose Ok or Cancel. Note that allowing the file extension to show can cause it to be accidentally deleted and that will cause files to be inaccessible.