Optimising the file sizes of your digital scrapbooking layouts is a great way to keep your overall file storage space somewhat under control. It also enables you to easily see the image contents of Photoshop® .PSDs when you are viewing the thumbnails in Windows Explorer®. For ALL Photoshop users, one of the best ways to do that is to save your files as .TIFs instead of in the native Photoshop .PSD file format. In this quick and easy tutorial we run through the steps to convert your digital scrapbook layouts into .TIF format.
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Taking a step backwards for one moment … if you are confused about what file format and file types means, there is a previous blog post in this series that explains them in more detail: What are file types? Why are they important?
Further clarification: we are also talking about the layered .PSD layout design files here, NOT the flattened .JPG file (nor .PNG files). Once a layout has been flattened and saved out in that form there is limited ability to make any further changes to the elements that were combined to create the layout.
So what does to “optimise file size” mean?
Essentially to optimise the file size means to reduce the size of files whilst retaining the essential capabilities and properties of the file. That can include functions like editable photo layers, editable layers containing special image information like brushes, adjustment layers which are special types of layers within the file, layer style layers like drop shadows.
Then there are things like layer masks and fully editable text layers and there could also be a whole bunch of other things on layers in your file that you want to keep.
I gotta say, from digiscrapping in the trenches over the years, that in my experience has been there is nothing worse than saving a layout as a flattened .JPG and then discovering later that you have a typo AND you’ve ended up spelling your son’s name wrong! AND you accidentally saved the .PSD as a flattened layout too!
True story! I did that! 8D
The following method is my preferred way of saving my work; I have saved all my layouts, and my design files too for that matter, in .TIF format since at least 2007. I was prompted to make the conversion from .PSD to .TIF because I had totally run out of hard+drive space. I reduced my files overall by half.
Many seasoned digiscrappers using Photoshop® swear by this method for the simple reason that it works with great effect.
The following tutorial was written whilst using Adobe Photoshop CS4. However, the basic interface commands are pretty much the same across all versions of Photoshop® Creative Cloud® as well as very similar in Photoshop® Elements from version 2 upwards. The workspace that you see on screen looks a little different to the Adobe® out-of-the-box workspace because I tweaked and customised it to help my "visual thinking" ~ you can customise and save yours too. 8D
Saving in .TIF is easy peasy so the following tutorial is super short and super sweet.
Step 1: Click on File > Save As
This will open the Save As options dialogue box so that you can specify the file format that you want to use to save your file in a .TIF version.
Step 2: Choose Format > TIFF
Click on the Format drop down list and select TIFF (*.TIF; *.TIFF) from the list, then type in the name you want to call your file in the File name field.
This lets Photoshop know which particular file format dialogue box to bring up in the next step so that you can specify exactly how you want Photoshop to save the file.
Step 3: Choose the TIFF File Options
Select the following parameters on the TIFF Options dialogue box: LZW, Interleaved, either IMB PC or Macintosh and ZIP.
These specific setting parameters will ensure that your file is saved in a way that is as small as possible whilst still retaining all the layers and the complex lossless image information in your file.
Lossless image information means that every time you save and re-save the file in .TIF format the clarity and integrity of the image will be retained. In fact, resaving a .TIF in another one of the lossless file formats, for example in .PNG format, will also retain the image’s clarity and integrity.
You have just saved your first size optimised file in .TIF format.
To demonstrate how effective this method is in reducing file sizes take a look at this side by side before and after comparison image:
Do you like the decorative swirls featured in the layout used in this tutorial?
Awesome! … here ’tis! Enjoy!
Anita Richards Design | Embellishments | Friendship :: Swirls
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Do you think you will use this method to trim away transparent and empty pixels from your .PNG files? How did you go with it or why not? It would be great to know your thoughts on this so please feel free to post in the comments below or message via the Contact page.