What is PSD?

PSD is a very common development term. It is an important part of web design. In this article, we are going to explain the term PSD and its characteristics and use in web design.

A PSD stands for Photoshop design file. It is Photoshop document technically that is proprietary file type from Adobe. Adobe Photoshop is the software that is used for designing.

PSD files are opened with Adobe Photoshop. They are also edited in it. But they can also be opened in much non-Adobe software too. Such as:

  • GIMP,
  • Corel’s PaintShop Pro.

But there is a problem, the other products that are not Adobe, they cannot work on the complex PSD layers and actually edit like Photoshop. The advanced features may not be recognized as well. So the use of Photoshop is highly recommended and allowed to be accessed by the users and developers that are involved in the project.

If you just want to view the PSD file as an image where you cannot see the layers inside then simply use the free program, Apple’s QuickTime, which has a picture viewer. In this, you cannot edit the PSD file. It is just to view the PSD file as an image.

How to create a website within a PSD file?

If you want to convert the PSD file to a website then you have to “Slice” it and it is converted into HTML code by a web developer. Simply a PSD file can be “sliced” to be used as a website by converting it from PSD to HTML/ CSS by a professional web developer.

There are online conversion services that turn PSD to HTML. An example is The Site Slinger. They take the PSD file and return HTML/CSS.

There are other file types that can also be used by web designers. But the PSD file type is highly recommended otherwise you need to convert the other file types to PSD format.

Qualities of PSD

  • A good PSD contains complex layers and it is very well organized.
  • Uses folders and layer to display different pages.
  • The animation states are also designed, button states are also included.

Technical characteristics

  • The PSD file type can support all image modes. This is the reason for its high usage rate. The images modes can be Bitmap, Grayscale, Duotone, Indexed Color, RGB, CMYK, Lab, and Multichannel.
  • The .PSB format supports clipping paths, channels, transparency information, and multi-level layers. Other formats only present “flat images”.
  • The PSD file is layered and these layers are very useful for future editing purpose. You can re-edit the design. You have to work on each layer one by one. This does not affect the other part of the design.
  • If you want to present different versions of the same design, you can use the “layer comps” feature too.
  • Photoshop converts the PSD files to other formats like PNG, JPG, JPEG, etc. So you can use the design for web graphics etc.

There is also an extension for the photoshop files. This extension is.PSB.

  • .PSB stands for “Photoshop Big”.
  • Adobe product claims that it has characteristic that this large document format can support up to 30,000 pixels in all dimensions.

In.PSB all features of the Photoshop design are supported. The feature such as:

  • Layers
  • Effects
  • Filters

It allows you to save a high dynamic range. The range that it can save is up to 32-bits-per-channel images as PSB files. But if you are saving a document in.PSB format then it means that you can only access the document through Photoshop CS. PSD to WordPress conversion can also be done.

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