Skip to main content

art & design

Basics of Adobe CC: Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign

Lesson 17 of 23

Save files & Understand file formats in Photoshop

Jason Hoppe

Basics of Adobe CC: Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign

Jason Hoppe

most popular art & design

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

17. Save files & Understand file formats in Photoshop

Lesson Info

Save files & Understand file formats in Photoshop

Now, you have to save your files, because, when you're done with these files, what do you do? So, anytime that I go in, and I wanna save a file, when I have a file that has lots of layers on it like this, if I ever wanna get back in here, and use this file to go ahead and make any other changes, I don't wanna save this in anything but a Photoshop file. A Photoshop file is going to give me full editing capabilities. I have all my layers here, so if I wanna save this, I go into the file menu, choose save as, and I wanna save this as a Photoshop file, with all of its layers. If I go in, and I save this as anything else, like a JPEG, layers is no longer available, which means those layers that you have are gone, it's not that you can't select them, it will literally bake this together. If you save and close this file, you're done. There is no getting those layers back. Okay? Finished. So, if I want this with all of its editing capabilities, I save this as a layered Photoshop file. When I d...

o that, and I have any type of transparency here, and I wanna use this in any other Adobe application, and a lot of other applications now, it will recognize the transparent background as a layered Photoshop file. Problem is, I can't use a layered Photoshop file for anything that I do for the web. Nothing in HDML understands what a Photoshop file is, but I still want my file to be totally saved, and editable, and have this. So, what some people do, is they go in, and they're like, oh, I wanna save this as a JPEG, and I know that when I save this as a JPEG, I can't have any layers. So, they go to their layers panel, and click on their cheese grater, and they say, okay, I wanna flatten my image, which will go in, and it flattens and bakes everything down, I do this, and then I save this as a JPEG, because I know I can't save a JPEG with layers, and then they forget, and they close this file, and they're done. Word of advice, don't ever go into your layers panel, and flatten your content. People are like, but you have to. No you don't. If you wanna go in, and you wanna save any file, and you have it flattened, virtually any other method that you have here, or any other format here, will save it as a flattened non-layered file. Okay? JPEG, PNG, GIF, almost all of these. That's what it does. Because if I wanna save this as a JPEG, it goes through, and it saves it as a JPEG here, and it changes the file extension, so I can't save over that Photoshop file. Okay? That way I basically guarantee myself that I'm not doing this. I see a lot of people do this. They flatten the file, they forget about it, they come back, they close out of Photoshop, and they're like, yep, save, save, save, save, save. Done. Forget it. Don't do it. You can always do Save as, because, if I have this Photoshop file, and I save this on the desktop, like so, there it is. Okay? There's my Photoshop file. If I go under File, Save as, and I'd to save this as a JPEG, immediately, it saves it as a copy. It also doesn't save it as layers. It's automatically gonna flatten this file, prevents me from flattening it, and accidentally saving over it, and I can guarantee you, you will. It has happened. I've done it once. I'll never do it again. That's how it works. Now, the problem with saving something as a JPEG. When I save something as a JPEG, I can never have transparency, so any transparency I built in the file is gone. JPEGs are always completely flat, never have a transparent file. And then I get into my quality options. JPEGS are great because they retain the full color spectrum, and you can take a big file, you can shove it into a small package, you can email it, put it on the web, everything. So, you got a 5000 megabyte file, you compress it, and it ends up being two kilobytes, and it goes through like that, and you can put it in an email, and people love them. The problem with the JPEG is, is that they are what's called lossy compression. So, when I save the JPEG options, people are like, oh, I want maximum quality, and it goes from zero to 12, I have to no idea what zero to 12 actually means, whatever. Okay? It actually doesn't mean anything. And it's like, oh, I want maximum quality. Let me tell you what maximum quality is. It is not the maximum quality of the file, it's the maximum quality that the JPEG will allow. JPEGs, by default, are lossy compression, and if you've ever taken a piece of paper that's nice and smooth, and you wrinkle it, you can never unwrinkle that piece of paper, no matter how hard you try. That's a JPEG. With maximum quality, you'll see some of those wrinkles. With minimum quality, you're gonna see all the wrinkles. The lower the quality, the more it throws away, and the less quality you have, but the faster it loads. Awesome. But, you're always gonna have that sacrifice. So, I'm gonna save this as a very low quality JPEG. Zero. And I'm gonna go ahead and do that, and then I'm gonna open that file back up from my desktop, and I'm gonna open this up, and I'm gonna see what that actually looks like. And I look at that, and it's like, oh my gosh, look at those crispity crunchety edges, I mean, you could cut yourself on that. This is what a JPEG does, and what you're seeing, is you're seeing JPEG compression lines, that are literally the wrinkles in this photograph. There is no way of getting rid of these. Every time you open a JPEG, and you do something with it, and you save it down, you're always losing quality. But it makes a really small file size, so you put it on a website, and load a medium quality, loads really fast, looks decent on your phone, 'cause it's gonna be, what, this big. So, it's not a problem. But you're gonna end up with a file that's going to be far less quality. So, whenever I'm doing anything with this, and you can see all those boxes right there, those aren't pixels, folks, okay? Those are the pixels in here, but these huge boxes, this is the JPEG compression lines, okay? This is done. I cannot get this back. It's finished. It's kaput. It's ruined. It's dead. It's gone. It's never coming back. Did I mention it was dead? Gone? Never coming back? Yeah. So, when you are saving a file for use for print, I would strongly recommend against using a JPEG as an image. If you have to use a JPEG, or you get one, make sure that it's saved with maximum quality. Maximum quality does not mean the maximum quality the image can be, it means the maximum JPEG will allow, which is eh quality. If I wanna have something that's always gonna be good quality, I'm never gonna save it as a JPEG, I'm always gonna save it as a Photoshop file, because I don't wanna have the hassle of ruining the file, and then trying to fix what I can't fix. So, if I wanna use it for print, I'm gonna leave it as a layered Photoshop file like this, and now when I look at this, it's like, oh yeah, that's what I wanna keep. If you wanna keep it that way, stay away from a JPEG. But any image that we put on the web, has gotta be as a JPEG. Totally fine. You know, because, if we compress it less, it's gonna look good, load quickly, we're all good. But there are times when I need to get logos, and stuff onto the web from an illustrator file that I've done, or I've done type, and I need to put it on the web, and I have to save it as some type of Photoshop format, okay? And it's gotta be a GIF, or a PNG, or a JPEG, or something like that, that's what I need. So, I've created my bakery logo, and I'm gonna into the Photoshop file, and I'm gonna choose open, I'm gonna open up my bakery logo, it's gonna open it up here, and I'm gonna open it up, and I want the best quality for it. Well, this is gonna be for the web, folks. The maximum quality I'm ever gonna get is 72 pixels per inch. I don't care, what, you wanna go ahead and make it, and how awesome it is, if this is gonna end up for the web, 72 pixels per inch in RGB color. That's as good as it gets. Period. So, there's my file. There it is. It looks nice at that size, 'cause we don't ever zoom in anything on the web. I mean, we look at it pretty much as a static object. Now, I wanna go in, and I wanna save this file for the web. It's not an image, so I certainly do not wanna save this as a JPEG, or else it's gonna go and get all the crispety crunchety edges on there, and it's gonna look like extra crispy fried chicken. Great for fried chicken, horrible for graphics. So, I can go through, and Photoshop has an export here, where we can save for the web, and what's great about this is I can actually see the quality of what I'm exporting out. And this is just save for the web. If I'm gonna use this for print, or anything else, I'm gonna save right from my Photoshop file, save it as a layered Photoshop file, retain all of its editing capabilities, and its transparencies. But this, I need to save for the web, I need to know how this looks. If I just go into the File menu, and choose save as a PNG or a GIF, I have no idea what I'm doing, but I save this, and I can open this up. And I'm gonna have this two up here, so I can see my original right here, and I can see this right here. A GIF and a PNG are both going to be what they call index colors. It's gonna take my entire image, or logo, or type, and it's gonna break it out into the 256 most used colors. One, cuts down on the number of colors, which is why I never wanna use a GIF or a PNG for an image, 'cause I'm limited to a maximum of 256 colors. But with a logo here, it looks great. And if I look at my logo, it's like, wow that looks really good. If I save this as a JPEG, and I have a really low quality, that's what my logo turns out to be. Yeah, that bad. That's horrible. I mean, good grief. Can you imagine catching your finger on that one? No way. But, we save it as a PNG, and all of a sudden, it's like, wow, that's great. Benefits of a PNG and a GIF, if you start off with a transparent background, you end up with a transparent background. Awesome. So, any type, or logo, or solid color that you're gonna use for the web, save it as a PNG, go through the File menu, export, save for web, choose your PNG or your GIF right there, and either one's going to work. You can save that, and now you'll have a logo that is going to retain its quality, and its colors for anything that you do for the web. PNGs and GIFs are only for the web, only because it breaks it down into a very limited set of colors. Don't save these for print. These are not for print. If you wanna have something for print, do it in Photoshop with the full spectrum, full everything. But people are like, yeah, but I get transparency. You get transparency when you save it as a Photoshop file. Okay? PNGs are specifically for the web, or any light emanating device. They are not for print. There we have it. What questions do we have? So, one question, Kathy Calis asked, when would you use a TIF, when would you save it to a TIF file? So, interesting, because TIFs have been around for a long time, and a TIF file, you can definitely tell if somebody's been in the business like two or three, or five or 20 or 30 years. Back in the day, when we had a lot of different application manufacturers out there, we had three or four or five different ones, a TIF was one of the only ways where you could save a file that could then be imported into all of the other files very easily. And so, we would go in, and we would take our Photoshop file, we'd save it as a TIF, because back when we had Aldis, and we had Macromedia, they had proprietary file formats. Well, now that Adobe pretty much owns everything, using a TIF isn't really necessary, but you can use a TIF, and if I were to take my Photoshop file, go under file, save as, I could save this as a TIF, and I could have all my layers and everything together, and then I could simply place the file. There's no real advantage to this. Plus, if I save it as a TIF, I no longer have my transparent backgrounds. So, can I use a TIF? Sure. Do I need to? No. You could just save it as a Photoshop file. If you want to. People are like, yeah, but, you know, I use a TIF for everything. And it's like, okay, you can use a Photoshop file for everything, plus you get the transparent background, and you have all your layers. You could have that with a TIF. You can have all your layers, you can have it fully editable Photoshop file, as well, but you don't get transparency, even though you have a transparent file, you don't get the transparency. Well, yeah, but I wanna use it in other applications. Okay, then save it as a JPEG, or save it as a PNG, or save it as something different. But, even in today's world, a lot of people don't know that you can actually use a layered Photoshop file in, like, a PowerPoint presentation, and retain its transparency. So, I don't know of any advantage of using a TIF, other than this. This is the one thing that a TIF does, that no other file does. If I go in, and I take my image here, and I convert this to gray scale, which I shouldn't do. And I save this as a TIF. So, I'm gonna save this shirt as a TIF. And this is the only thing that a TIF will allow me to do. Can't do this with any other file. I save that. There it is. If I jump over to In Design, and I create a new file, and I place that TIF file in my document, again I can only do this with a TIF, if I select that image, I'm actually able to go in, and I'm able to change the pixels of that TIF file, and this only works with a TIF file, when I place it in. Okay? So, the one percent of the one percent of the one percent, with half of the one percent, that's what you can do. What do we use this for? Line drawings, sketching that we do in Photoshop, and I'd like to bring it in, and use it as an overlay in something in In Design, where I've got some type, you know, drawing, or some type of overlay, and I wanna make it white in In Design, I can save it as a black TIF, and what's ever white becomes completely transparent, then I can go in and use it as an overlay on it to kind of create a neat effect. That's about it. So, you can, but the last time I used this was to show somebody how you could go ahead and use a TIF. To show you how much I actually use this.

Class Description

The Adobe® Creative Cloud is a robust set of tools that can answer any number of design needs. It can, however, seem confusing to the new user in terms of when to use what program for which project. Jason Hoppe, an Adobe Certified Expert and trusted CreativeLive instructor, is ready to clarify the process and help you dive into each of the Creative Cloud design tools.

He will teach you how to integrate Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe llustrator® and Adobe InDesign® into a more streamlined and easy to follow workflow, as well as:

  • When and why to use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign 
  • How to create shapes and lines in Illustrator
  • Manipulating images and basic color correction in Adobe Photoshop
  • Build multiple pages and layouts in Adobe Indesign
The class also comes with 13 in-depth Quick Reference Guide Bonus Materials and downloadable assets so you can follow right along with Jason step-by-step.

Learn how Adobe Creative Cloud can empower your design sensibility, work more efficiently, and save you time. 

Don't have Adobe Creative Cloud yet? Get it now and save 20% so you can follow along with the course!

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015, Adobe Illustrator CC 2015, Adobe InDesign CC 2015

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Color in InDesign

InDesign Basics

InDesign Images and links

Photoshop Basics Shortcuts

Photoshop Color Correction

Photoshop Layers

Photoshop Selections Basics

Photoshop Terminology

Shapes Paths Guides InDesign

Type in InDesign

Illustrator Shortcuts

Shapes & Pathfinder in Illustrator

Photoshop Assets

Illustrator Assets

InDesign Assets


Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


user 1398976626171314

Such an important overview that clarifies and simplifies each piece of software and its role in achieving a beautiful and organized end result. Love Jason's brilliant and funny style and I appreciate his going into the "whys" of the software design evolution so it's not just memorizing methods but truly understanding what you can do even with a eye to the future changes. Fascinating, fun and empowering! My first Creative Live purchase!

Renee Hamilton

Enjoying this class immensely. Havent used illustrator properly for a while but this class is refreshing my memory. Its so awesome and it makes illustrator seem so easy! Wow wow wow! Thank you Jason and Creative live

Corrine Radergraham

WOW!! Jason is a very engaging instructor. It's obvious that he knows the programs inside and out. He imparts a tremendous amount of excellent material in a very short time, he makes sense and he is well-spoken with a sense of humor and he doesn't get lost in the materials and have to bungle his way out, very well prepared. I've been using PS and IA for the past several years on and off and currently have 6 on my computer but looking at going to CC in the near future. Even with that experience, he provided tips and tricks for both that were very enlightening in using them more productively. I'm not so familiar with ID and I now feel that I have a working knowledge of all three programs. I've taken Adobe classes taught by other instructors and found them rather boring to drag myself through. Jason is not boring in the least! So if you aren't familiar with these programs or are even curious about them and want an excellent overview, I totally recommend that you take this class. You will definitely not be sorry and will get your money's worth. I took this when it was offered on air free of charge. The only down of taking it free is that there are downloadable materials that are only available by purchase which sound excellent and I would like to have them, but I want to take one of Jason's other classes and can't justify the expense of this class only for the downloads, because I am familiar with the programs and would be unlikely to actually watch the class again, and there is his interactive pdf class that I am really looking forward to......5 stars and all thumbs up for Jason's instruction!