PSD is a bitmap data file format and is the native file format to the graphics editing software, Adobe Photoshop. It carries the extension, .psd. It is also known as the Photoshop format.
Adobe Photoshop is a multifunctional graphics processing software in which PSD is able to save data while preserving layers, channels and other Adobe Photoshop functions. Therefore, when graphics are being edited in Adobe Photoshop, during the editing process the information is saved as a PSD file. After editing, the PSD file is normally saved as a TIFF or EPS file for printing or a JPEG, PNG or GIF file for web use. When the file is saved in those formats, the layer, channel and other information is lost so the best practice is to retain the PSD file as well. The same principle applies no matter what graphics software is being used. The editing is done in the native format of the graphics processing software and that file is retained after editing.
Adobe Systems software used in design and multimedia creation is diverse and includes Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Flash. With strengthened interoperability between each of the software, they are able to open the others’ native format files and retain the inherent functions. From that point of view, the PSD file format can be described as worth using.
However, with the advance functionality when multiple layers are used, this type of file format can grow large. Therefore, it is inadvisable to use PSD in its native format to place for a large number of graphics in Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator.
- These are the screens you see in Adobe Photoshop when you save a PSD file (top) and the corresponding options (bottom). PSD format retains alpha channels, layers, and other Adobe Photoshop editing functionality. If you select a non-PSD file format, you might lose some of that functionality or end up saving a duplicate. In cases where the PSD file might need to be opened in a different version of Photoshop or a different application altogether, check the "Maximize PSD File Compatibility" in the File Handling dialog box.
- Adobe Photoshop features "layer" functionality, which lets you manage images, text, and other components individually. In PSD format, you can retain image layers, text layers (which let you edit text as text), adjustment layers (which can make adjustments to layers and color balance, etc.), and more.
- Adobe Photoshop features "channel" functionality, which lets you manage color mode information (RGB in the image above) and other information individually. In PSD format, you can retain color channels, alpha channels (used for saving and creating selected areas), layer masks (which control the display areas of specific layers), and more.