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Adobe Photoshop is more than just an image editing application—it is a foundational staple in all the visual arts, from print design, to photography, to web design, to motion graphics and 3D graphics. In this course, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins covers the basics of Photoshop. Learn about the components of visual images, making selections, color correcting, fixing images, outputting images, and much more. This course uses Photoshop CS6, but the information presented is applicable to all versions of the application.
One of the most common questions that I get, is what file format should I use when I'm working with my images? Well, if you are actually working on your images, then you'll want to use the PSD file type. That's the Photoshop Document, that's what PSD stands for. That file type, that's Photoshop's native file format. And that'll preserve all of your layers, your adjustment layers, and all that kind of stuff that's stored in that document. But if you're working with other people, you might not be able to get away with using a PSD file.
So, let me show you some other alternatives when you're working in different situations. If I go to File, we could choose Save For Web. So, if you're going for the web, in any regards, you'll want to use Save For Web. But I'm going to assume for this tutorial, that you're not going to be doing that, so I'm going to choose Save As. Actually, don't worry about Export, it's Save As. And when we look at the format here at the drop down, Photoshop, you'll see that we tons for formats. And this is I think, why people ask that question so often because it can be overwhelming seeing all these different file types and not knowing what they do.
But the thing is that a lot of these are just really outdated and old. They're here just for, you know, to be compatible with old stuff. Like you really don't need to be worrying about them. Now, let me give you a few that it's kind of good to be aware of. large document format, for example, this sounds really generic but this is actually a Photoshop file, it's larger than 2 GB. So, if you get a really big print-sized document with tons and tons of layers, it's very possible that it will go over 2 GB. And if it does, Photoshop will not allow you to save it as a PSD, you'll need to save it as a PSB. I think of it as Photoshop big and that is the large document format. Another thing that's good to be aware of are formats typically used for printing. EPS, for example, is very common.
Better still, is Photoshop PDF. That is a great one for printing. And also Photoshop DCS 2.0. These are also used frequently for printing, although again, PDF really is becoming the standard. TIF is another really high quality image format. If you're not going to export your image with a bunch of layers and whatnot and you want to just kind of collapse it and send the image to a printer, TIF is the industry standard and its perfect quality, a really great file format to use.
And in the print industry, again, TIF is the gold standard. And actually TIF files are pretty powerful, they can have layers and a few other basic features. but you don't want to save your work in Photoshop. So, you want your work file to always be a PSD, then you want to export a copy as a TIF or any of these other formats as well. So, those are pretty much the big ones. Of course, there's the PNG, pronounced ping and JPEG and even GIF that we do for the web. But other than that, that's pretty much the really common formats that are used.
And again, I can't stress enough that whenever you get your formats, let's say somebody gives you a bunch of JPEGs and TIFFs to work with, then you want to put them into a Photoshop document and work on that and then, export to one of these other file formats. So, you never want to, let's say, get a JPEG and then work on the JPEG and then save it out as a JPEG again, you want to get the JPEG, and immediately save it as a Photoshop document. And then, you could export that as a JPEG, as a copy, not ever saving over that master Photoshop document.
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