The PSD File Format

What is a PSD?

So, what is a PSD file used for? PSD files are the primary format for artwork and images created in Adobe Photoshop. This is a favorite working format for designers and photographers. But beware, opening and editing a psd will require the Adobe Photoshop to be installed on your computer.


Photoshop was created in 1988 and since has become the de facto industry standard for editing raster graphics. Raster graphics are made up on thousands of tiny dots. Photoshop was originally created to aid photographers in editing photos, but has since become a powerful design tool. Photoshop is commonly used by photographers, print designers, web designers, and artists.

Photoshop allows users to create multiple layers of images and effect within a design. Saving the file as a psd will allow future designers to have access to each layer and all of the effects. Photoshop also has robust export features, allowing psd files to be saved as jpgs, gif, tiffs, pngs, and many more. It is important to not that when a psd is exported, the editable layers are “flattened.” exported images will not be editable.

Psds are not commonly used for delivery. Instead they are a type of working format that preserves future editing capabilities.

What is a PSD File Used For:

  • Psds are the the right choice when you need to preserve editing capabilities in Adobe Photoshop.
  • Psds are a good choice for sharing work between designers.

Photoshop is a proprietary software made by adobe. You can learn more online.