Native File Formats

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Some image-editing programs offer a proprietary imaging format, also called a native format because it is native to one brand of software. Typical examples include PSD, which is available with Photoshop and Elements 2. Others include CPP (Corel PHOTO-PAINT), UFO (Ulead PhotoImpact), and PSP (Paint Shop Pro). You might decide to use the native format while adjusting the images in the pertinent software.

Working with adjustment layers is an advanced image-editing technique described in Chapter 11. It involves creating special layers that contain instructions for adjusting the image. Because the layer contains no pixels, you can make adjustments without damaging the actual image. While working with a "layered" image, you want keep the layers intact when closing a file, so you can later try different interpretations with your image-editing software. That will call for saving the file in a suitable format, one that supports this feature.

The advantages of a native format depend on the image editor used; review your software owner's manual for specifics. If you own Photoshop 7, CS, or Elements 2, there is no reason to work with the Adobe PSD format because the key features of these programs support the TIFF format. If you are using an earlier version of the Adobe software, you'll need to work in PSD if you want to save a file with adjustment layers intact because you cannot save a "layered" file as a TIFF. (None of the image-editing programs provide layers support in JPEG format.)

Most image editors do not provide any options for reducing the size of a file that you save in the native format. This can create problems when you're working with layers (see Figure 10.9), as discussed in Chapter 11, because the file size can be massive: three, four, or

Figure 10.9: Most of the advanced image editors include a feature for creating adjustment layers. If you want to save layered images, do so in a format that supports layers.

Figure 10.9: Most of the advanced image editors include a feature for creating adjustment layers. If you want to save layered images, do so in a format that supports layers.

more times larger than a conventional image file. Although Adobe programs automatically apply some slight compression when saving layered PSD files, the files remain large, consuming great amounts of hard-drive storage capacity.

If you use an image editor's native format, remember this: when sending an image file to others, on a CD perhaps, save it as a TIFF unless the recipient is using an image editor that supports the format that you are using.

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Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.

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