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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Adobe Photoshop CS6
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File Formats

  • PSD - Photoshop format. Saves EVERYTHING - no losses, no compression. The BIG DOG!
  • JPEG - lossy compression format - good for the web and non - precision usages
  • PDF - good for making image and text presentations
  • GIF - has only 256 colors - but great for web graphics - file sizes are very small!
  • PNG - similar to a JPEG but allows for transparency - good for web images that can be laid on top of others cleanly.

File Formats

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:07
  • The Primary File Formats in Photoshop 0:41
    • PSD
    • TIFF
    • JPEG
    • PNG
    • GIF
    • PDF
    • DNG

Transcription: File Formats

Hi everyone, Michael Brown back again.0000

Welcome back to's Adobe Photoshop CS6 course.0003

We've wrapped up Camera Raw, and now it's time to get started learning the specifics of Photoshop, but before we go right into it, I want to talk to you briefly about file formats.0008

There are several formats, we've already talked somewhat about jpeg and raw and how they differ.0022

I want to show you the primary formats that you will encounter with Photoshop, what they are and how they work, so let's get started!0029

Here are the primary, and I say primary, there's a lot more as you pull down...if you go to save this file, for example, under the save menu under format, there is a huge list here you see of formats, but of all these formats there are only a principal few that we will use 99.9% of the time, so let's talk about most of them.0042

The most commonly used one that you're going to deal with is the .psd and I want you to see up here in the title bar for this file which is a Photoshop file--its file format's EDUC.psd, that's your suffix that indicates the format.0071

Let's go take a look at some other ones here.0090

Here's a .jpg format right there...let's see if they have anything else in this particular one...let's take a look at some others...these are all psd files here--you notice there's a few jpegs in there--here's some tifs, .tif is a different format so you see various different formats used but they're always the suffix dot, whatever the format is.0093

Alright, let's cancel out of that, I don't know how we got into the Camera Raw again, but that shows you your various formats.0122

Dot psd...the native Photoshop format, it supports all layers, it supports all the channels (channels being transparency) when you compress it you lose absolutely no data whatsoever--it is the number one format you will be working with, with your images.0132

No matter what the usage, no matter what the final format that you're going to use it for, whether it be any of these, I highly recommend and I always save out a psd file--that means I have all the data, all the layers, all the information 100% I can always open that file up and save it as another file, I'll have the original psd and also have another file.0155

You always want to keep that psd file, number one.0182

OK, that takes care of the Photoshop.0186

The second one is tif, you just saw some tifs, .tif or .tiff, it has been around actually longer than Photoshop, it supports all the same Photoshop attributes including layers and channels.0189

They can also be saved with a flattened version so that software that can't deal with layered files can still open the tif up even though they will only have the flattened version.0204

This file tifs are used principally for CMYK printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, black, those are the big printers, lithographers, they always use tifs in CMYK, even though the Photoshop file will work you're normally working in RGB.0216

What you will do to generate a tif is you'll take you Photoshop file, you'll convert that over to a CMYK format mode, do some color corrections because there's fall off in the color space, and save it out as a tif, and off it goes to the printer, that's what your tifs are.0235

Sometimes you'll get a tif in, you'll open it up and it'll be just fine working it and saving it back as a Photoshop file.0254

The third and actually, probably the most common of all file formats is jpeg: J, P, E, G, .jpg.0260

As we've talked about, I've showed you comparisons between a jpeg file which you shoot from your camera versus a raw file: R, A, W, which has all the information.0271

Jpeg is a Lossy compression format, that when you save it, it actually compresses it and throws away some of the data, and when you reopen it, the computer has to figure out how to fill up those areas and if you remember in the first Camera Raw lesson, you can see a direct comparison between a jpeg right out of your camera that has some minor correction but it is a jpeg, versus a raw file--you can already see that the resolution quality and the data has been degraded somewhat because of the Lossy compression.0283

However, this is the perfect file for the internet or for emails--almost every single photographic image that you see on the web is a jpeg, so you'll be using this a lot.0318

The one drawback of a jpeg--it does not support either layers, or transparency.0332

If you're working on a Photoshop file, and you're designing a logo, let's say, that's going to go on a webpage, and you have the logo on a separate layer, and the entire background is transparent.0338

When you save that as a jpeg, the transparency will be turned into pure white.0349

Now, you say "OK, that's a drawback"--the solution to that is the next format called png, ping.0356

It's basically a jpeg format that supports transparency--when it's saved out it compresses, and it's a slightly larger file than a jpeg, but it does allow transparency so it makes it great for web design when you have transparent areas.0364

That's your png files.0380

Gif is also a file format that is used principally for the web; it only has 256 colors where all of the other four here can be saved out in either 8...psd and tif can be either 8, 16 or 32 bit, which has 16 million or more.0382

Jpeg is 16 million, png the same, gif is only 256--it's perfect for web graphics when you have solid colors, it allows you to compress that file down to a real, tiny little image so it opens very quickly, and still looks good.0402

It's not good for photographic images.0418

Pdf is independent of software or hardware, it can be read with an Adobe Reader, and set either to read both, or read only a print only, and it can contain text and either both vector and raster images.0422

You're not going to work much with pdfs, the only time you're going to be doing this is you're going to send them out perhaps to a client, so that they read it and so that you can make the pdf, as we pointed out in Bridge, you work your files, then you go to Bridge, you combine them along with text files, and output as a pdf.0438

And the final most commonly used is the dng, all of the raw formats--it is a raw format.0460

Now, RAW is not a specific format, raw images, even though it shoots in raw.0468

For example, if you saw my Nikon images (let me see if I can pull up a Bridge real quickly and show you) that in images always say .nef or let's see if we have a .nrw in here...if I shot anything else--the guy at Union Station--you notice .nrw, that is the raw format for my P7100 Nikon and the other Nikon is .nef.0473

So even Nikon for each of their cameras, they create a new raw format.0496

Dot CR is Canon's prefixes, so there's a whole raft of raw formats--dng is an attempt to create a universal digital negative raw format, it's gaining popularity but it's still not there, you might be able to use it for some situations--I have yet to find a specific client that has ever asked for it.0522

Most of the time you will work with psd, tif, jpeg, png, gifs and sometimes you'll output in pdfs, as well as a dng.0549

That wraps up the principal file formats that you're going to encounter and use in Photoshop CS6 or any of the earlier versions of Photoshop too in that matter, so let's get on and move further into Photoshop in the next lesson.0560