Photoshop Wiki
Photoshop Wiki

An image format is the digital representation of an image, relative to its respective standard, and allows images to be transferred and manipulated in the form of files. Image formats are distinguished by their filetype extension.

Photoshop traditionally uses the PSD format as a native format, with the newer PSB format allowing for larger images. With very few exceptions, Photoshop deals almost entirely with raster formats.

Key considerations of image formats[]

The different image formats available offer various advantages and disadvantages. Choosing between the different formats is a critical—if simple—decision for images that will be used outside of Photoshop or print.

File size[]

Most formats intended for online use are designed to minimize filesize, and thus conserve "bandwidth". This is commonly achieved using compression, and occasionally through "lossy" compression schemes that trim image data according to knowledge from studies on human perception. Such formats may also prohibit the use of layers, high color depths, or other features.


Though it is more common for other image editors to be compatible with PSD format, Photoshop can use some formats designed for other uses. One example is the BMP format, typically used by Windows for full-color purposes.

Photoshop is capable of editing all the formats commonly used on the Internet.


The Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) is notable for being a common format that retains many of the features available in PSD.

The GIF format is a common format for animated graphics.


Some formats allow for transparency, either as a key color in an indexed palette, or as an alpha channel.

Additional data[]

Image formats can sometimes carry non-image data along with the image:

Image formats used by Photoshop[]

Native formats[]

  • PSD _Photoshop Data File
  • PSB - Photoshop Large

Limited-color formats[]

  • GIF - Compuserve Graphics Image Format
  • PNG 8 - Portable Network Graphics (8-bit color)

Full-color formats[]

  • JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Graphics
  • JP2/JPX - JPEG 2000 wavelet-based format
  • PNG 24 - Portable Network Graphics (24-bit color)
  • BMP - Windows bitmap
  • PICT - Apple QuickTime Picture

Digital camera formats[]

Photoshop can manipulate raw images from a digital camera through Camera RAW:

  • RAW - Various raw image formats used by digital camera makers
    • DNG - Adobe Digital Negative format
    • CRW - Canon RAW
    • NEF - Nikon RAW

Special-purpose formats[]

  • ICNS - Apple icon
  • ICO - Windows icon
  • TIFF - Tagged Image File Format

Non-raster formats[]

Certain non-raster formats can be imported into Photoshop for special purposes:

  • AI - Adobe Illustrator
  • EPS - Encapsulated PostScript
  • PDF - Adobe Portable Document Format
  • SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics

Formats available through plug-ins[]

Certain formats require installation of a plug-in to be accessible by Photoshop: