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Let's talk about the primary file formats that you'll be using to save your images, starting with the native PSD or Photoshop Document format. And it features a pencil sketch I created years ago inside this over rot frame. And altogether we have a total of 10 layers inside of this document. Also worth noting is the file size, if you take a look at this doc information in the lower left corner of the window, you'll see two values divided by a slash. The first value shows you how big the image would be in RAM if it were a flat image file with no layers whatsoever.
The second much larger value shows you how big the image is in RAM including all of its layers. This image consumes more than 430MB of RAM, making it our biggest image so far. When you're creating layered compositions, whether they are big or not, you want to make sure to save at least one version of that file to the native PSD document, and of course preferably back up that file to a different hard drive as well. This file is already been saved to the PSD format, but let's imagine we want to make a few changes.
For example, I'm going to click on that top text layer and Shift+Click on the next layer down, and notice by the way, that its name is truncated currently, but if I hover that dot, dot, dot, I can see the name of the layer is plate. And by the way, those little hints are a new feature in Photoshop CS6. But let's say I don't want that name plate, so I'll just go ahead and press the Backspace key or the Delete key on a Mac in order to get rid of those layers. Then with sepia selected, I'll move down the list until I'm hovering over this layer called back and I'll Shift+ Click on it, so in all we have five layers selected here at the top and that represents this group of layers right there including the frame and the pencil sketch.
And now I'll press Ctrl+Zero or Command+Zero to zoom out. And let's say I want to center this group of layers inside the canvas, so I'll press Ctrl+A or Command+A on a Mac to select the entire image. I'll switch to the Move tool here at the top of the toolbox. And then I'll go up to my Alignment options and click on the second icon in Align vertical centers in order to produce that effect. And then finally, I'll zoom back in a little bit. And notice this layer right there called royal violet; I'll turn it on in order to convert the background from green to purple.
Now let's go ahead and save our changes. Now I could go to the File menu and choose the Save command, but then were I to close the file of course, I would end up loosing that name plate. So what I tend to do instead, if I'm ever even the least bit curious and I might want to come back to an effect I've created in the past, I'll go ahead and choose Save As to save an alternate version of the file. It consumes additional disk space of course, but it can really end up saving your neck later. You have a keyboard shortcut for this command which is Ctrl+Shift+S or Command+Shift+S on a Mac.
And it brings up this Save As dialog box. Make sure that format is set to Photoshop, that is .PSD, if not go ahead and select it from the list. And then I'm going to rename my file Violet variation, I've already created that file in advance, so I'll just Click on it to lift that name. And then I want to make sure that all of the check boxes except for As a Copy are turned on. So what can happen sometimes in Photoshop is you've got an alpha channel, that is a saved selection or mask, we'll see those later.
But when you got to save the file for some reason the Alpha Channels check box is turned off. If that happens and you see this little alert message then As a Copy would go on. It's not what you want. We'll see how As a Copy works in the next movie. But when saving the PSD file you want all check boxes on so that you're saving every single thing that you can. Then go ahead and click the Save button. In my case Photoshop will ask me if I want to overwrite the existing file, I'm going to say OK because it's the exact same file I'm saving right now. Then very likely you'll get this alert message that asks you if you want to Maximize Compatibility and a check box is turned on by default.
Here's what's going on, if you leave the check box on, then Photoshop goes ahead and saves a flat version of the image along with all the layers, which makes the file more compatible with programs other than Photoshop. It has nothing to do with Photoshop whatsoever. What it does have to do with is Lightroom and Premiere and some non-Adobe applications. If you're working the Lightroom for example and you want to be able to preview your PSD files, then you have to leave this check box on. But if you don't use Lightroom or Premiere; for example, you use Illustrator, or InDesign, or Bridge, or any of the other Creative Suite applications, or you're exclusively interested in being able to open up your layered files inside Photoshop, then turn this check box off and your files will be much smaller.
For example, where this file is concerned with the check box off, it takes up 329 megs of room on disk, and that's down from 395 right now in memory, the reason being that Photoshop automatically applies some lossless compression, nothing to worry about. However if I turn this check box on, the file size grows to 434 megabytes, that's more than 100 megs and that's a 32% increase. It can be as much as a 50% increase.
So you can lose space on your hard drive very quickly if you leave this check box on when you don't need it. I'm going to go ahead and turn it off and then I'll click OK. And you may have to wait a moment for the save to initiate. Notice this saving message down here on the lower left corner of the screen, right now it's saying Saving 0%, now it's going. One more note, let's say you don't want to maximize compatibility in the future, and you don't want to see that alert message every time either. Then press Ctrl+K or Command+K on a Mac to bring up the Preferences dialog box.
Switch to File Handling over here on the left-hand side of the screen, drop down to this Option, Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility. Right now it's set to Ask, that's why we saw the alert message. If you want it to always save because you're working with Lightroom, then change it to Always. If you want it to Never Save, which is my preference then set it to Never. And by the way, every PSD file that I'm providing to you and every PSD file that I have ever provided in my history of training people has been saved with Never, so that I get smaller file sizes.
And now I'll go ahead and Click OK to make that change. And that's how you save a layered document to the native PSD file format here in Photoshop.
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