Edit graphics and create incredible images with Photoshop Document (PSD) files — the native file format of Adobe Photoshop. Find out more about the history and uses of this file format.
What is a PSD file?
PSD files are the native file format of Adobe Photoshop. You’ve probably seen files with the .psd extension format, especially if you’ve been an Adobe Photoshop user. Most commonly used by designers and artists, Photoshop Documents are powerful tools for image data storage and creation.
- A PSD can store multiple layers, images and objects, often in high resolution, making it the industry-standard for creatives.
- A PSD can support up to 30,000 pixels in height and width, giving these files an impressive range for both image depth and colour spread.
Advantages of PSD files.
- PSDs can retain up to 30,000 pixels in both height and width, meaning they store a large amount of colour and image quality information for their size.
- They’re one of the few image files that are editable across multiple layers, meaning several images can be overlaid and manipulated individually.
- PSDs are easy to import into other Adobe products, like Illustrator or Premiere Pro.
Disadvantages of PSD files.
- As the native file format of Photoshop, you’ll typically only use PSDs if you’re an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber.
- Depending on how you use them, PSDs can get large — up to two gigabytes — which might make them a challenge to store, send or transport.
- PSDs aren’t natively supported by operating systems like Windows and macOS without the use of Creative Cloud software.
How to open a PSD file.
You’ll need additional software, such as Creative Cloud, to open and edit PSD files. While Illustrator or Premiere Pro will open and display PSDs, you’ll need Photoshop to edit the original file.
Similar to Windows users, macOS users will need access to Creative Cloud to edit PSD files. The Preview app in macOS enables you to open and view PSD files by default, though you won’t be able to edit the image. To open in Preview:
- Select the PSD you want to open.
- Double-click the chosen file.
- Open the PSD in Preview.
How to create and edit a PSD file.
When you’ve finished editing your file in Adobe Photoshop, simply hit Save As under File to save your work as a PSD.
Whenever you want to edit your design again, just head back to Photoshop and the File drop-down menu. From there, select Open and search for the PSD in question. Double-click the file and it will automatically open in Photoshop, all ready for editing.