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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 0:06
  • The Primary File Formats in Photoshop Elements 0:44
    • PSD
    • JPEG
    • PNG
    • Formats for Saving
    • GIF
    • PDF
    • TIFF
    • Photo Project Format
  • Lesson Summary 10:12

Transcription: File Formats

Hi, everyone--Mike Brown here again; welcome back to's Adobe Photoshop Elements Beginning and Intermediate course!0000

In the previous lesson, we talked about image sizing, resizing, canvas sizing, document sizes, and preparing your image in size for output to various different...perhaps print, perhaps Web, perhaps just back into your computer's hard drive.0006

But, what format are you going to save the files in when you output them?0025

In this lesson, we're going to look at the Adobe Photoshop Elements file formats, explained; the various formats available for opening and saving and which ones you should use.0031

Let's get started; here is a list of the primary file formats that you might be using in Photoshop Elements.0042

The first and foremost that you're going to use, whether you open a raw file, whether you open a jpeg, whether you save one out as a Photoshop file or reopen it as a Photoshop file...0056

For example, right here...this is a .psd, .psd, .psd, .psd, .psd, and one .jpg; all of the .psd's are Photoshop format.0070

This format is absolutely lossless; it loses no details whatsoever; it supports all layers and channels, effects...everything that you do, when you save it and reopen it, you get it 100% the way you saved it.0085

It saves a fairly large file, but that is your working file format.0102

Let's go ahead a put up a layer and do a little discussion; that is the working format for Photoshop Elements.0106

Photoshop .psd--primarily, you will do that.0116

Now, remember, we talked about jpeg, way back--the difference between a jpeg and a raw file; jpeg is a lossy compression format, and when you save it, it compresses and loses data.0120

When you open it back up, it has to fill in the gaps, and it kind of degrades a little bit.0136

Then, when you save it again, it throws away a little data, and after two or three times of opening a jpeg and saving it back as a jpeg, you will notice some degradation.0142

But, jpeg is the most common image format for cameras, and for the Web and computer image displays.0154

It does not support layers or transparency; in other words, if you have created a jpeg--let's say you designed a logo for a website--and it's against a transparent background, when you save it as a jpeg, it turns that transparent background into white.0163

However, for images, jpeg is the best file format for the Web, and also for sending around and for visually looking at, it's the best, so it's the most common format.0183

A lot of times, you will open a file that was a jpeg out of the camera, work on it, save it as a Photoshop file, and at the same time, take it down in size and save it back out as a jpeg for Web usage, or for--if you have a client in a graphics design house or an advertising agency, you might save them the jpeg, just as a rough idea, so they can see what it looks like--easily transferable.0198

That is what jpegs are--the most commonly-used one--but remember, they are lossy compression.0225

I want to move down to this one right down here, called .png.0231

It's basically a jpeg; it has all of the same attributes as a jpeg; it's a compression format; it does lose a little bit--not very much--not as much as jpeg--but the most important thing: it supports 8-bit, which is 256 colors, which is good for graphics, or 24-bit, which is a full 16.7 million colors, just like jpeg and a Photoshop file.0238

It also supports transparency--it's wonderful for Web design; if you're overlaying logos, or pieces on top of pieces, where you have a file that is just the image, let's say, against the transparency--a small one--and you want to drop it in, save it as a .png; it automatically preserves the transparency.0264

It's a little bit larger than the jpeg; it doesn't compress as much; therefore, it doesn't lose as much; but .png is also very popular for Web design--a really cool format.0288

I want to show you, before we go to the next one: if you go to your File menu, and go to the Save as, you will get this dialogue box right here.0303

You're going to save it in a place...we'll talk about this in detail in the next lesson on saving; but the dropdown menu for the formats--here they all are.0315

I have scratched out two of them, .bmp and .pxr; in my 22 years as a Photoshop and digital artist, I have never had to use them for any reason; the most common ones that you will use are the Photoshop format, Photoshop project format, a pdf, jpeg, and a tiff; .png, probably, and .gif, if you're doing graphic design.0325

Let's go back to the formats and start from the top down.0350

GIF, G-I-F: a very cool format (let's underline those; we've finished that); a .gif only supports 256 colors; it's a compression file like jpeg, but it doesn't support 16 million colors like jpeg; it's a great format for Web graphics with solid colors.0355

It compresses them down; it's only 256 colors, but it pulls it down to a very, very tiny file, so that it open quickly; and if you're working designing websites or putting pictures up on websites, the key is: you want them to open quickly and look good.0377

You use jpegs for images, and you use gifs for graphics--very cool.0394

Now, we're going to drop down (we're bouncing around here a little bit--I put these in the order that they were in the dropdown menu); let's talk about .pdf for a moment.0403

A PDF is independent of software or hardware; it can be read with Adobe Reader by anybody, on any computer.0413

It can be set for a read-only or a print-only, and it supports text, images, all of the graphics that you would normally's a wonderful way to send your graphics or whatever you may have--images--out to someone for viewing or for printing, but they can't mess with the file.0422

That is what a PDF is good for, and besides, it can be read on don't have to save it specifically for a computer; anybody with a computer that has Adobe Reader can read it, download it, and print it; PDF--pretty cool.0448

All right, we're going to go to the next commonly-used one, called .tiff, T-I-F-F; it supports all of the same Photoshop attributes that .psd files do: layers, can also be saved with a flattened version, so that it can be opened in software that cannot open layered files--it's kind of cool.0463

Now, .tiff saves as a slightly larger file than a Photoshop file, and it's principally used for CMYK printing; if you're sending your file off to a lithographer who prints it CMYK, for large jobs for print, you would most commonly deliver the file, rather than a Photoshop file, as a .tiff file.0485

That is principally what they are used for, but you can save your images as a .tiff instead of a .psd and open them back up, and they will look just as good in Photoshop--just a little bit larger; better to use the Photoshop file.0508

We're down to the very last one, which is the Photo Project format; this is exclusive to Elements--if you go to the Create menu over here, and we create a photo book, greeting cards, a photo calendar--things that have multiple pages, and that have templates that you fill in images with, it can be saved out as Photoshop files, but the best way to save them is what is called the Photo Project format.0522

It is exactly made for these creations: it saves the pages in the right order, so that printers can work on them; it is the perfect format, all ready to go; that is Photo Project format.0553

It is used for photo books, calendars...created projects.0569

There you have all of the definitions of the various formats; there is the dialogue box, and again, there they are; you Save, Save as, and choose your format.0573

Principally, you're going to be working with the Photoshop format (let's put in an image on top of that)...predominantly, you'll be working with Photoshop, jpeg, and tiff most of the time, and if you are in graphics, .png and .gif, and you may work in PDFs if you're working with ad agencies, and your Photo Project format.0586

There you have a good tour of the various formats available for opening and for saving your images and which ones to use for the various different usages.0613

Let's go ahead and delete all of that stuff, and I'm going to leave this zoomed up one more time, so that you can get a good look at this.0625

Stop your video, if you wish, and define what each of the file formats in Photoshop Elements is.0635

I'll see you back in the next lesson, and we will discuss putting the Image Size, Resize, and the formats together with saving out to output and saving your files.0643

I'll see you back in the next lesson!0655