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Thursday, July 19, 2007

September 2007 HelpLine

Play Nicely With Photoshop Files

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Q) Often, I work with transparencies, making  a montage by cutting parts of a photo in Photoshop and mixing them with other shots. Sometimes, I can't see them in other programs such as ACDSee or Bryce. Instead of the picture with the transparency, I see a black square in which it says: "This layered Photoshop file was not saved with a composite image!" I just can't figure out what I did wrong and why it's different from my other transparencies! How can I change these files into "composites"? I'd immensely appreciate your tips to resolve this problem!

Charles G.
Via the Internet

A) This is a common problem when trying to open up Photoshop files with third-party applications. While a piece of software might specify that it can support Photoshop (.psd) files, you have to make sure that you first save the files properly in Photoshop.

Before I explain how to solve this problem, let's deal with why your problem seems to be intermittent. My guess is that some of your files have layers and some do not. If the file doesn't have any layers (it has been flattened), then there's a good chance that other applications will be able to use the file if they support .psds.

If your file has layers, you must make sure you save the file properly. If you save a Photoshop file in the .psd format, during the save process, after you have selected the location and file name and clicked OK, a Photoshop Format Options dialog box should pop up with a single check box labeled "Maximize Compatibility." Make sure that's checked, and click OK. Your file is then saved so that other applications can read it.

If you don't see the dialog box, adjust your Photoshop preferences. Go to Preferences/File Handling, and find the drop-down menu labeled "Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility," which has three options: Never, Always and Ask. I recommend you set it for Ask. This way you can control which files have maximum compatibility. The file will be larger with compatibility turned on.


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