Photoshop Top 40
Illustration by John Hersey

1. Open and Save


Photoshop Top 40

with Deke McClelland

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: 1. Open and Save

(Music playing) Deke's Photoshop? Deke's Photoshop? Top 40! #1. All right gang, it's time for feature #1, Open and Save. Now on the face of it, you might think I'm nuts. Granted Open and Save are essential. You can't get anything done without them, but so are Close, Preferences and a lot of other boring commands. But in Photoshop Open and Save are special. Unlike other applications which save to one proprietary file format and export to others with losses in translation. Photoshop supports every image format of consequence. Client needs a PDF, here you go. Printer needs TIF, manufacturer needs EPS, grandma needs JPG, done, done and done.
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Top 40
7h 13m Intermediate Dec 21, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

There's nothing people love more than lists, and Photoshop Top 40 offers a great one, highlighting the best features in Photoshop. Deke McClelland counts down to #1, detailing one great feature after another in this popular digital imaging application. The videos cover tools, commands, and concepts, emphasizing what's really important in Photoshop.

Topics include:
  • Assembling multiple pieces of artwork with layer comps
  • Creating a black-and-white image from a color photograph
  • Merging multiple channels to create an alpha channel with calculations
  • Selecting images with the Pen tool
  • Masking images using the Brush tool
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

1. Open and Save

(Music playing) Deke's Photoshop? Deke's Photoshop? Top 40! #1. All right gang, it's time for feature #1, Open and Save. Now on the face of it, you might think I'm nuts. Granted Open and Save are essential. You can't get anything done without them, but so are Close, Preferences and a lot of other boring commands. But in Photoshop Open and Save are special. Unlike other applications which save to one proprietary file format and export to others with losses in translation. Photoshop supports every image format of consequence. Client needs a PDF, here you go. Printer needs TIF, manufacturer needs EPS, grandma needs JPG, done, done and done.

The upshot is that you can satisfy everybody's needs starting with your own, and if that's not as good as it gets, I don't know what is. Feature #1 is actually a combination of two commands Open and Save. Now in case I'm hearing a couple of you groan, just think about how essential these commands are. You could get nothing done, if you couldn't load an image into Photoshop and you wouldn't make much progress, if you couldn't save your changes. Now you might argue in return. Well, that's the way it is with any application Deke. So if you were doing a Microsoft Word Top 40 Series, you'd have to include Open and Save and I would argue, no, I wouldn't.

There is a big difference here. Photoshop uniquely serves the purposes of the image, so think about it. If you're building up an image whether it's a layered composition or a flat image file, you can save to the PSD file format, you can save to TIFF, you can save the JPG, EPS, PDF, all kinds of different file formats and you save. You use the Save command to do it. You don't have to use an Export command. And then, Photoshop can turn around and open every single one of those files too. It doesn't have the kinds of problems that other applications have opening foreign file formats or even old versions of its own file format.

Also if this were another program, you would start a project by going to the New command. That's where you started new document or a new project file. You might use Open to open a template. Otherwise, you're just going to use the Open command to open stuff that you started in the past. That's not the way it is in Photoshop. In Photoshop, you almost always use the Open command or you're opening some image file from disk as opposed to creating something new, and it could be a file that Photoshop has never seen before, in fact, it frequently is. So these are very different commands. Basically, the image is native where Photoshop is concerned.

As long as it's got pixels in it, Photoshop can Open and Save that file. It is amazing how flexible this program is. All right, so let's take a look at a few issues related to opening and saving. I'm going to switch over here to this folder I've got opened, because this is the most popular tech-support question that we get that I'm involved in at least with and that is we provide files to people, layered PSD files often times, and some of you'll try to double-click on that file at the desktop and it opens in a wrong program. And then they are completely lost.

So that's the File Type Association error. It's not very common on the Mac. It does happen. It's very common on the PC and here is how you get around it. You go ahead and find yourself a PSD file on disk either on a Mac or the PC. You right-click and choose Properties. On the Mac, you need to choose the Get Info command and you could do that by pressing Command+I if you like. Then you go ahead and locate this Opens with feature right there and you click Change here on the PC. It works a little differently on the Mac. Then you find yourself the application.

You may have the Browse for it. You may have to click this down pointing arrowhead here on the PC to find it. You never know. Hopefully, you'll just find it right there because Browse will send you looking through your Program Files folder. But anyway, grab Photoshop, click OK and then you've re-associated the proper application, click the Apply button if need be. Click OK in my case and we're done. So that's one way to get things open. I can now just double-click on one of these files and they'll open up inside of Photoshop. Something else I could do is I could browse the images inside the Bridge.

So if you're working inside of Photoshop, you go to the File menu and you choose this command right there, Browse in Bridge, Ctrl+Alt+O, Command+Option+O on the Mac. The Bridge is a separate application. It ships long with every version of Photoshop. There you can actually see previews of your images and then you could double-click on them to open them up. It's very unlikely that you'll have any problems there in terms of File Type Association Errors, but if you do, you can press Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac in order to bring up the Preferences dialog box, switchover to File Type Associations, scroll your way down to the offending file format.

There are a lot of them here. There is the PSD file format there and then just choose the program that you want to associate with that format. Click OK and you're done. Alight, now let's go back to Photoshop. Why don't we? And let's talk about the Save command. Now what I want to do is I want to show you how to save to the big three file formats. And by the big three, I mean PSD, the native PSD file format. TIFF, which is owned by Adobe by the way and does support layers and we'll investigate that for a minute or two. And then JPEG, which is great for saving out flat files.

So here I am working on that layered composition that I showed you in feature #2, the Layers palette. And the original image of course, you may recall comes to us from Jason Stitt. I did all this other stuff to the image of course. Now let's say I want to save out my changes. So I'll go up to the File menu and I'll choose Save As or I can press Ctrl+Shift+S or Command+Shift+S on the Mac. Now I've previously saved this image as a TIFF image. We'll come back to that in a moment. If I were saving out a layered composition, I would typically go to the Photoshop Document Format, which is going to be a very first file format in the list, which is good, because a lot of them begin with Photoshop.

So it could get pretty confusing if you had to sift in alphabetical order. But there is the Photoshop Format. The great thing about the Photoshop Format is it saves alpha channels, feature #15. Of course, it saves layers, feature #2 I guess, and it saves the ICC Profile, feature #10 Color Settings. And that's essential that you go ahead and save that profile along with the image. Definitely, you have that checkbox on. Use Lowercase Extension is totally up to you. You do not want to turn on As a Copy, if you want to create a direct link between the image that you're working on and the file on disk.

I'm just going to go ahead and call this image something like Avatar modifications or something along those lines and it ends with PSD. We want to make sure that extension is on there even on the Mac. You Macintosh people who don't use file extensions, one day you're going to be very sorry about that. Make sure that they're on there, the three character extension and click on the Save button. And you have saved out your changes but you will see this. By default you'll see this Maximize Compatibility checkbox, which is asking you, Do you want to go ahead and save a flat version of your image along with all the layers.

With very few exceptions you don't, unless you're working with Lightroom and you pass your PSD files back and forth between Lightroom and Photoshop or you're trying to bring your PSD files into something like Premiere. Then you need to have Maximize Compatibility turned on. Otherwise you really should have it turned off because it makes your files a lot smaller, if this is turned off. And the files will still be compatible with Photoshop and the Bridge and Illustrator and InDesign and a bunch of other Adobe programs. So life will be good. It won't be compatible with Microsoft Word, who cares.

All right, so you click OK. Now if you don't want this warning to come up every time you save a layered PSD, then you press Ctrl+K, Command+K on the Mac to bring up the Preferences dialog box. You click on File Handling and you set this option right there, Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility to Never go away and then you click OK. All right, so that's how you save a native PSD file. It includes lossless compression by the way, the Photoshop Format does, which is great because it keeps your file sizes relatively small.

Even better in terms of compression is TIFF, the next format I'm going to show you, but TIFF always goes ahead and does a compatibility number. So it always saves a flat version of the image along with. So you're going to get bigger files, which is why I only use TIFF for flat files. Also that way, I know when I see a TIFF image that it is a flat file, meaning that it just has the background layer. It can support alpha channels. So you can go ahead and include alpha channels along with if you want to. And TIFF would be if I'm handing the image off to be laid out inside of an InDesign document or to be commercially reproduced, something along those lines.

So in order to save this image, I'm going to go to the File menu. I'll choose Save As once again, and as I said, I would use TIF for flat images. This one happened to contain layers so I'll just show you how it works when there are layers involved. I'll ho ahead and choose the TIFF File Format from the list and notice that alpha channels and layers are turned on. So fine, all the same checkboxes are on. Essentially, do not turn on As a Copy, if you don't want to ruin the link. Click Save and up would come the TIFF Options dialogue box. This is something you don't see with Photoshop because you have a lot more control over how the TIFF image is saved, specifically the compression.

You want to make sure that Image Compression is set to LZW. It is not by default. By default, it set to None. That's a bad idea. Set it to LZW that's going to give you much smaller files. It's really going to work magic on compressing your alpha channels, which is a really good thing. It's lossless compression. It doesn't harm a single pixel inside the image. Next, Pixel Order, leave it set to Interleaved. Don't worry about that one. Don't touch it though either because the other option can mess it up for other applications. Byte Order doesn't really matter these days. I typically use PC under Windows and Macintosh on a Mac, but it really doesn't matter if you mix and match all the applications that support TIFF and support both varieties.

You don't want an Image Pyramid and then layer compression. You're only going to see these options, if you're working inside of a layered image. RLE tends to be the better way to work, because it provides faster saves but you can experiment with ZIP as well. Then click OK and you'll get this warning that says including layers will increase file size, which is like well, now you tell me. I've already gone through two other dialog boxes before you give me this message. I'm supposed to cancel out and just pretend I didn't spend three minutes working through all this. No, just say Don't show again and then click OK. Then if you change your mind, you decide you want to flatten the image, you could choose save after that.

All right, now let's check out JPEG. JPEG is a great file format for archiving flat continuous tone images. It does provide lossy compression, so pixels are rewritten. But you can set things so it does as little damage as possible. It does not however in any way, shape or form support alpha channels or layers. So what do you do about that? Well, you can just save off a copy if you want to. Go to the File menu, choose Save As once again, always Save As. Export is for totally different reasons. We're going to be doing Save As all the time here.

Choose Save As, then go to the Format and choose JPEG this time around and notice Photoshop automatically turns off alpha channels and layers, gives you warnings, telling you these options do not get saved along with JPEG files. And As a copy gets turned on automatically and dimmed, so you can't turn it off. That's just Photoshop's way of showing you that this is the only way it can make this thing happen. Let's go ahead and name this file Something completely different, so that we have a different File name associated with it. I'll go ahead and click Save and up comes this dialog box asking as what kind of Image Quality we would like to save.

Now I recommend you crank this up to the highest which is 12. That is going to give you bigger files but it's also going to give you better files. There is no reason to skimp on Quality here inside of a JPEG file, unless you are saving out just the copy. The whole reason you're saving it out is to email it to somebody. Then you can go ahead and reduce the Quality. You'll see a little Preview of the file size that's not necessarily going to be absolutely the file size, but it'll give you a sense of how big the file will be. Then you can choose either the Baseline Options.

I typically turn on Baseline Optimized because it will generally give me smaller files. This actually controls the lossless compression that's on the top of the lossy compression. You don't want Progressive by the way. Anyway, I'm going to crank this back up to 12 and I'm going to click OK in order to save off the image. Now recall that I went ahead and called it Something completely different. That's not the name of this file. It still called Avatar modifications.tif. There is no link between the file that I have opened and the JPEG file on disk. Therefore if I wanted to update that JPEG file in the future, I would have to choose Save As and write over it.

So just something to bear in mind, until you go ahead and flatten the image, then you could save it off as a JPEG and have a link to that opened image here in Photoshop. That is not only the end of feature #1, Open and Save, that is the end of Photoshop Top 40. Babies, we are done, but I want you to bear in mind, we have tons of really great training inside the lynda .com Online Training Library. So definitely check it out if you get a chance. And finally, don't be thinking this is the end of Deke plus podcasting.

We got more ready and waiting in the wings. Please join us, and thank you so much for your time.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop Top 40 .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: Is there a way to batch convert an entire folder of photos from the RBG color mode to the CMYK color mode without having to open and convert each individual image?
A: In the Actions panel in Photoshop, create an action that converts an image from RGB to CMYK. Then link to that action from File > Automate > Batch inside Photoshop.
Next, in the Bridge, select a folder of images. Choose Tools > Photoshop > Batch. Select the action inside the ensuing dialog box.
Or, in Photoshop, select File > Automate > Batch, and select the action and the folder inside the dialog box.
See also: Photoshop CS2 Actions & Automation, Chapter 2 “Action Essentials.”
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Photoshop Top 40.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.