Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustration by Richard Downs

Saving layers to PSD


Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

Video: Saving layers to PSD

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.
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  1. 19m 15s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 27s
    2. Opening from the Windows desktop
      4m 7s
    3. Opening from the Macintosh Finder
      4m 9s
    4. Opening from Photoshop or Bridge
      2m 45s
    5. Opening an image from Mini Bridge
      1m 16s
    6. Opening through Camera Raw
      2m 32s
    7. Closing one image and Closing All
      1m 59s
  2. 38m 14s
    1. Navigating your image
    2. The dark vs. the light interface
      3m 12s
    3. Navigating tabs and windows
      4m 32s
    4. Panels and workspaces
      4m 27s
    5. Zooming incrementally
      4m 29s
    6. Zooming continuously
      2m 43s
    7. Entering a custom zoom value
      2m 25s
    8. Scrolling and panning images
      2m 31s
    9. Rotating and resetting the view
      2m 11s
    10. Cycling between screen modes
      3m 10s
    11. Using the Navigator panel
      3m 38s
    12. Adjusting a few screen prefs
      4m 16s
  3. 45m 58s
    1. Digital imaging fundamentals
      1m 45s
    2. Image size and resolution
      3m 3s
    3. The Image Size command
      3m 27s
    4. Common resolution standards
      3m 20s
    5. Upsampling vs. real pixels
      4m 36s
    6. Changing the print size
      6m 16s
    7. Downsampling for print
      4m 12s
    8. Downsampling for email
      3m 11s
    9. The interpolation settings
      5m 22s
    10. Downsampling advice
      4m 36s
    11. Upsampling advice
      6m 10s
  4. 53m 18s
    1. The layered composition
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing the Layers panel
      4m 13s
    3. Adding, scaling, and aligning layers
      5m 27s
    4. Dragging and dropping layers
      4m 36s
    5. Stack, reveal, and rename
      2m 58s
    6. Opacity, history, and blend mode
      6m 5s
    7. Duplicating a selected portion of a layer
      5m 32s
    8. Applying a clipping mask
      3m 58s
    9. Blending inside a clipping mask
      4m 10s
    10. Finishing off your artwork
      3m 13s
    11. Creating a new layer and background
      4m 24s
    12. Layering tips and tricks
      7m 2s
  5. 26m 19s
    1. The art of saving
    2. Four things to know about saving
      6m 0s
    3. Saving layers to PSD
      6m 38s
    4. Saving print images to TIFF
      4m 48s
    5. Saving an interactive image to PNG
      3m 41s
    6. Saving a flat photo to JPEG
      4m 18s
  6. 19m 36s
    1. Honing in on your image
      1m 43s
    2. The new and improved Crop tool
      3m 35s
    3. Editing your last crop
      3m 1s
    4. Straightening a crooked image
      2m 29s
    5. Filling in missing details
      6m 44s
    6. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
  7. 42m 6s
    1. First, there is brightness
      2m 12s
    2. How luminance works
      4m 18s
    3. The three Auto commands
      3m 27s
    4. Automatic brightness and contrast
      3m 19s
    5. The Brightness/Contrast command
      2m 47s
    6. The dynamic adjustment layer
      4m 5s
    7. Editing adjustment layers
      3m 52s
    8. Isolating an adjustment with a layer mask
      3m 31s
    9. Introducing the histogram
      4m 58s
    10. Measuring an adjustment
      3m 34s
    11. Using the Shadows/Highlights command
      6m 3s
  8. 44m 34s
    1. And second, there is color
      1m 31s
    2. Identifying a color cast
      3m 34s
    3. Correcting a color cast automatically
      3m 57s
    4. Changing the color balance
      6m 10s
    5. Compensating with Photo Filter
      3m 11s
    6. Adjusting color intensity with Vibrance
      3m 29s
    7. Correcting color cast in Camera Raw
      5m 46s
    8. The Hue/Saturation command
      5m 26s
    9. Summoning colors where none exist
      4m 9s
    10. Making more color with Vibrance
      4m 27s
    11. Making a quick-and-dirty sepia tone
      2m 54s
  9. 55m 47s
    1. Making selective modifications
      1m 11s
    2. The geometric Marquee tools
      6m 1s
    3. Aligning one image element to another
      4m 59s
    4. The freeform Lasso tools
      3m 59s
    5. Polygonal Lasso tool and Quick Mask
      5m 19s
    6. Cropping one selection inside another
      6m 15s
    7. Creating rays of light
      4m 44s
    8. Quick Selection and Similar
      4m 11s
    9. Making it better with Refine Edge
      4m 56s
    10. Integrating image elements
      2m 39s
    11. Magic Wand and Grow
      5m 17s
    12. Refine, integrate, and complete
      6m 16s
  10. 53m 49s
    1. Your best face forward
      1m 0s
    2. Content-Aware Fill
      6m 11s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      5m 36s
    4. The more capable "standard" Healing Brush
      5m 55s
    5. Meet the Clone Source panel
      3m 53s
    6. Caps Lock and Fade
      4m 57s
    7. The Dodge and Burn tools
      5m 1s
    8. Adjusting color with the Brush tool
      6m 35s
    9. Smoothing skin textures
      5m 58s
    10. Brightening teeth
      4m 0s
    11. Intensifying eyes
      4m 43s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
6h 39m Beginner Apr 26, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals is a concise and focused introduction to the key features in Photoshop, presented by long-time author and Adobe veteran Deke McClelland. This course covers the image editing process from the very beginning and progresses through the concepts and techniques that every photographer or graphic designer should know. Deke explains digital imaging fundamentals, such as resolution vs. size and the effects of downsampling. He explains how to use layers to edit an image nondestructively and organize those edits in an easy-to-read way, and introduces techniques such as cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast, correcting and changing color, and retouching and healing images. These lessons distill the vast assortment of tools and options to a refined set of skills that will get you working inside Photoshop with confidence.

Topics include:
  • Opening an image from Photoshop, Bridge, or Camera Raw
  • Navigating, zooming, panning, and rotating the canvas
  • Adding, deleting, and merging layers
  • Saving your progress and understanding file formats
  • Cropping and straightening
  • Adjusting brightness and contrast
  • Identifying and correcting a color cast
  • Making and editing selections
  • Enhancing portraits by retouching skin, teeth, and eyes
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Saving layers to PSD

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals .

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Q: Where can I learn more about graphic design?
A: Discover more on this topic by visiting graphic design on
Q: When I double click the welcome.psd file included with the exercise files, I get the following error message:

"Some text layers contain fonts that are missing. These layers will need to have the missing fonts replaced before they can be used for vector based output."

Unlike the TIF and JPEG files which display and open correctly, all the icons for PSD files are blank but other than the welcome.psd file, they seem to open correctly without the error message. Is this a problem that I should address (perhaps re-download the files or find the missing fonts)?
A: The TIFF and JPEG files are flat, so they don't contain fonts and the operating system can interpret them (and generate thumbnails) without help from Photoshop. The PSD files have two issues:

First, they may contain editable text complete with font info. The files are designed with fonts that ship with Photoshop, so you don't get error messages, but Adobe sells some versions of Photoshop without fonts. This may be your issue.

Second, the PSD files contain no flat previews. This makes for smaller files, but it means the operating system, Mac or Windows, cannot generate previews. That won't effect your experience in Photoshop, but it does mean you can't see the file until you open it.
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