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File Types and Formats Supported by Photoshop CS5

written by: Nicholas•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 4/28/2010

Considering purchasing Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, but want to make sure that its compatible with all of the image formats that you commonly use? This article covers the supported file types, and briefly describes each format. Learn more about Adobe CS5 Photoshop.

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    More Compatibility

    Photoshop CS5 

    Being one of the more expensive image editors on the market, one would expect Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended to have overall great image format compatibility. For the most part, Photoshop CS5 does provide good image format compatibility, and will work with 95% of popular image formats out there. Before we get started on the supported file types, it should be mentioned that Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended is different from the standard Adobe Photoshop CS5. You can learn about the differences between Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended and Adobe Photoshop CS5 here.

    Photoshop CS5 Extended is definitely not a cheap program. An upgrade from CS4 costs $349, and a full CS5 Extended version costs $999. Before deciding to purchase, you may want to make sure that Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, or Adobe Photoshop CS5, offers the compatibility you are looking for in an image editor. Here are the most common and popular Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended supported file types.

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    Photoshop Format (PSD)

    This one is obvious, but should be noted. Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended supports PSD files, or Photoshop formatted files. The key to Photoshop PSD files is, they preserve all editing capabilities, layer information, and channel information. Thus, you can create a project in Adobe Photoshop CS5, save it as a PSD file, and exit the Photoshop application. The PSD file will preserve all project customizations, allowing you to pick up where you left off, next time you work on a project.

    If you choose to save a project as a different image format, such as .JPEG, Adobe Photoshop CS5 will not be able to save layers, channels and customizations. Thus, when you reopen the project (if not saved as PSD), your entire image will be merged and you will be unable to edit layers, drag items, move text, etc.

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    Joing Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)

    JPEG images are among the most popular and widely used web image formats. Notably, JPEG images are capable of rendering full color palettes and ranges, making them ideal for picture and photos that will be uploaded to websites. The JPEG format provides an accurate color range. Although great for photos, the JPEG format is not always suitable for logos, drawings and vector art due to compression ratio.

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    Portable Networks Graphic (PNG)

    PNG files are one of the newer web supported file formats. Notably, PNG files have great resizing capabilities and compression ratios. Thus, they are among the most flexible of Photoshop supported file types. PNG files are accurate in color, but tend to take up more space than JPEG files.

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    Graphic Interchange Format (GIF)

    GIF format, or Graphic Interchange Format, is one of the most limited of all Photoshop CS5 supported file types. Above, we mentioned that JPEG images have the capability to render full color palettes and ranges. GIF files do not. Instead, GIF files have a maximum range of 256 colors. GIF formats are not good for photos, but are good for light animations, sketches and vector graphics.

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    Even More Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended Supported File Types

    Aside from the formats listed above, Adobe Photoshop CS5 is also capable of handling:

    • BMP (Bitmap)
    • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
    • PDF (Portable Document Format)
    • PICT (PCT, PIC)
    • PXR (Pixar)
    • Raw (RAW)
    • Targa (TGA)
    • Scitex (SCT)