Open PSD File – What is and How to View – Format and Programs

File type: Photoshop Format


If you are familiar with Adobe Photoshop, you would be aware that data on the program is normally saved as a PSD file extension.

PSD files are also referred to as Adobe Photoshop Document files. This file format was developed by Adobe and it is a default files extension for Adobe Photoshop and similar Adobe programs.

A PSD file extension can comprise of a single picture or it may be made up of a variety of objects, images, text and filters. These files can contain more complex data, such as; multiple shapes, layers, transparency and vector paths.

Although the images contained within a PSD can be viewed as a collective, they can all be edited independently.

The PSD extension is used in documents created using the Adobe Photoshop software. The Adobe Photoshop application is the most commonly used editing program for professional images.

This program may include adjustment layers, image layers, annotation notes, layer masks, keywords, files information, as well as other specific elements of Adobe Photoshop.

It uses several mime types such as zz-application/zz-winassoc-psd, application/psd, application/photoshop, image/psd, image/x-photoshop and image/photoshop.


How to open PSD Files


Category: Raster Image Files
File format: Open Source
Open with Windows: ACD Systems Canvas, Corel Paint Shop Pro, Adobe Photoshop, ACDSee Photo Manager, Adobe Photoshop Elements
Open with Linux: N/A
The Adobe PhotoShop application supports CMYK, RGB, monochrome, grayscale, indexed color, duotone, multichannel color modes and Lab color. The PSD extension and file format is commonly used as the PSD may be read by Windows and Macintosh computers.
Generally, these files are shared by image editors and desktop publishers as in-progress graphics. They are also not used much for graphic files distributed to end-users.

Apps for Opening


If you are a graphic illustrator, then using applications such as Corel’s PaintShop Pro, CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Photoshop to work with, should appeal to you. These are graphic editor programs and can be used to extract, view and edit PSD.

Alternatively, if you are into audiovisual editing and you use applications like Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Illustrator. You should also know that these programs can be used to open PSD files as well.

However, while the programs highlighted are great for opening and editing PSD, they are not necessarily free software applications.


Free Apps


There are free apps that do not only open PSD files, but can also be used to edit and even convert the files.


These free apps include;

  • GIMP: GIMP is another free to download photo-editing program that you can use to open PSD files. However, you should note that this app is not as advanced as Adobe Photoshop and therefore has limited features and editing tools.
  • Photopea: Photopea is an online photo-editing app that is also free to use. This program runs on your web browser and offers a variety of web-based editing tools. With this web-based program, you will be able to view and edit every single layer of the opened PSD. Photopea allows you to have edited PSD saved on your PC. You can then open the saved files using a PSD viewing program on your computer, such as; Apple’s QuickTime Picture Viewer or a PSD Viewer.
  • NET: Along with Paint.NET PSD plugin, this free photo editor app can be used to open as well as edit PSD files to a certain extent.


Converting saved PSD Files


In a situation where you intend using your saved PSD in the same way as typical picture files, you first need to convert it. If you want to upload a PSD image file on a website, it would also be advisable that you convert it. This is because data saved in PSD file format is not accepted on most websites.


Converting Using Adobe Photoshop


Converting a PSD file using the Adobe Photoshop program involves the following;

  • Click on the “File” menu.
  • Go to the “Save As” option and click it.
  • Select the format you would like to save the PSD files as (i.e. JPEG, WEBP, GIF, PNG and SVG).


Converting using other Applications

 With other programs like the ones mentioned above (GIMP, Photopea and Paint.NET), you can also convert a PSD file to another format.

Typically, you just have to go to the “File” drop-down menu of the application, then click “Export”. You will then save and export the PSD file as another selected format.