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.PSD File Extension

File TypeAdobe Photoshop Document

DeveloperAdobe Systems
4.4 (178 Votes) Thanks for voting!
Rare Uncommon Average Common Very Common
CategoryRaster Image Files


This file is saved in a binary format, which requires a specific program to read its contents.

What is a PSD file?

A PSD file is an image file created by Adobe Photoshop, a professional image-editing program often used to enhance digital photos and create web graphics.  It is the native format used to save files in Photoshop.  PSD files may include image layers, adjustment layers, layer masks, annotation, file information, keywords, and other Photoshop-specific elements.

More Information

You can modify PSD layers and other elements such as images. shapes, text, and effects. The PSD format supports RGB, CMYK, grayscale, monochrome, duotone, indexed color, Lab color, and multichannel color modes.  The color mode can be changed within the Image → Mode submenu. When you are ready to publish the image, you can export it to standard image formats such as .JPEG, .GIF, and .PNG.

While PSD files are saved in a proprietary format, they can be opened directly with Apple Preview, which is included with OS X.  They can also be opened by media programs included with Windows if the correct codec, such as the Ardfry PSD codec, is installed.  Examples include Windows Explorer, Windows Photo Viewer, and Windows Media Center.

What is the data structure of a PSD file?

The Photoshop file format is separated into five major parts:

  1. File Header - contains the basic properties of the image such as the version, number of channels in the image, number of bits per channel, pixel height and width of the image, and the color mode of the file (bitmap, grayscale, RGB, CMYK, Multichannel, indexed, duotone, and lab).
  2. Color Mode Data - specifies the length of the color data, which is set to 0 unless the color mode is indexed or duotone as specified in the file header.  If this is the case, the color data for indexed color and duotone images is also stored in this section.
  3. Image Resources - specifies the length of the image resource section and the image resources, which is a series of blocks each with a resource ID that indicates the type of data stored in the block.  These blocks are used to store non-pixel data associated with the image, such as pen or pencil tool paths.
  4. Layer and Mask Information - contains information about layers and masks, which includes the number of layers, channels in the layers, blending ranges, adjustment layer keys, effects layers, and mask parameters.
  5. Image Data - contains the actual image data and the data compression method and the image pixel data.  Different compression methods may be raw image data, RLE compression, Zip without prediction, or Zip with prediction.
Open and view .PSD files with File Viewer Plus.
Programs that open PSD files
File Viewer Plus
Adobe Photoshop CC 2015
Adobe Photoshop Elements
Adobe Illustrator CC 2015
Adobe InDesign CC 2015
Apple QuickTime Player
CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8
Corel PaintShop Pro X9
Corel Painter 2017
ACD Systems ACDSee 19
ACD Systems Canvas X 16
MAGIX Xara Designer Pro X11
Adobe Photoshop CC 2015
Adobe Photoshop Elements
Adobe Illustrator CC 2015
Adobe InDesign CC 2015
Snap Converter
Apple Preview
Corel Painter 2017
Pixelmator 3
Autodesk Pixlr
Pixelmator 2
File Viewer for Android
Updated 8/11/2016

.PSD Extension Information

This page contains information about the file extension PSD and its known file associations. Our goal is to help you understand what a *.psd file is and how to open it.

The Adobe Photoshop Document file type, file format description, and programs listed on this page have been individually researched and verified by the FileInfo team. We strive for 100% accuracy and do not publish any information we have not verified.

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