Saving Images

In Photoshop saving images is essential and varies depending on what you want to do. Learn all about saving images in Photoshop in this free lesson.

Introduction

Video: Saving Images

Launch "Saving Images" video!

In Photoshop, saving works a bit differently from most other applications. Instead of working with one main file type—such as .docx in Microsoft Word—Photoshop offers a variety of ways to save your images. In this lesson, we'll talk about the different saving options in Photoshop, along with some common reasons to save files in different formats.

If you'd like to follow along, you can download our example file.

Saving options

When you save a file in Photoshop, you'll have many different saving options and file formats to choose from:

In the image below, you can see three different versions of an image file: the original JPEG file, an edited PSD version, and a final JPEG version that's been resized and saved for Web. You can see that the Web version has a much smaller file size than the original or PSD versions:

Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop CC

Ultimately, the saving option you choose will depend on what you need to do with the image. Let's take a look at a couple of different scenarios to see why you might choose different saving options.

Scenario 1

Let's suppose you're asked to create a new header image for a company website. You've been given a photo to include, and you need to add some text with the company name. Because you'll likely edit and revise this type of project, you'll want to save it as a PSD file. This way, you can easily continue editing the file later on. And because it will eventually be posted online, you'll also want to use Save for Web to create a new JPEG version of the finished image.

Scenario 2

Let’s say you're planning to share some photos from a recent vacation with your friends. You'd just like to make some quick adjustments in Photoshop—such as cropping and rotating—before sharing them. In this case, you could open the original image files in Photoshop, make the necessary adjustments, then save a new version of the edited photos as JPEGs. Because none of these edits are too complicated, you probably don’t need to save a separate PSD version of each image.

As you can see, the saving option you choose will vary from project to project. Before you save an image, take a moment to consider what type of files you'll need. As you start to gain more experience with Photoshop, this process will begin to feel quick and natural.

Using Save As

You'll use the Save As command to save files in the PSD format, as well as other common formats like JPEG and PNG.

To save a file with Save As:

  1. With the image open in Photoshop, select Fileright-arrowSave As.
    Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop CC
  2. A dialog box will appear. Type the desired file name, then choose a location for the file. You'll want to use a new file name to avoid accidentally overwriting the original file.


    Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop CC
  3. Click the Format menu and choose the desired file format. In our example, we'll save this image as a JPEG file. If you're saving as a PSD file, make sure the Layers option is checked. However, most other formats won't allow you to select this option.


    Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop CC
  4. Click Save.
  5. Some file formats, such as JPEG and TIFF, will give you additional options when saving. Select the desired quality level, then click OK to save the image.
    Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop CC

If you've already saved your project as a PSD file, you can select Fileright-arrowSave or press Ctrl+S (Command+S on a Mac) to save your progress at any time. However, if you're working with another format such as JPEG, we recommend using Save As to avoid overwriting your original file.

Open the example file in Photoshop and then try saving in different file formats, such as PSD and JPEG. Notice how the PSD format preserves the individual layers, while the JPEG format does not.

Using Save for Web

When you use the Save for Web feature, you'll need to make a few decisions about the image you're saving:

Drag the slider in the interactive below to adjust the jpeg compression quality. Remember, higher quality levels will also increase the file size. Try to find a setting that looks good while keeping the file size relatively small.

To save for the web:

  1. Select Fileright-arrowSave for Web.
    Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop CC
  2. The Save for Web dialog box will appear. Select the desired file type and quality level.
    Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop CC
  3. If needed, resize the image by typing the desired dimensions under Image Size. When you enter the new image width, the height should be adjusted automatically to maintain the original aspect ratio.
  4. If desired, you can use the 2-Up view to compare the original image with a preview of the new version. This is an easy way to make sure you haven't lost too much quality from the original version. Note the file size in the bottom-left corner of each preview window.


    Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop CC
  5. Click Save. A new dialog box will appear. Type the desired file name and choose a location for the file, then click Save. You'll want to use a new file name to avoid accidentally overwriting the original file.
    Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop CC

Open the example file in Photoshop and use Save for Web to save a new version of the image. Try out different file formats and quality settings to see how they affect the image's quality and file size.