Saving Layouts for Web and Print
Lisa here again wrapping up our Digital Scrapbooking Basics series with a few tidbits on saving your work so that you can share it in print or on-line.
So, the Photoshop/Photoshop Elements native layered document format is a .PSD file. And there is actually another option for saving your layered files. Why would I want to save my file in any other format than a .PSD file? Well, as a PC user, the .PSD file thumbnails are not viewable in Windows Explorer. You only get the standard Adobe icon for them. Enter the .tif file, or TIFF format. This can also be a layered file and reportedly can be read by other programs, but I’ve never really had a need to do this.
PSD file Pros and Cons
PSD is the native file format for Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. PS/PSE opens and saves PSD files quicker. These layered files are quite large, and PC users can’t view the thumbnail images using Windows Explorer
TIFF file Pros and Cons
There are two main benefits to using TIFF files (at least on a PC). 1) The thumbnail images are viewable in Windows Explorer and 2) The file sizes are generally about 40% smaller when using the settings that I’ll share below. For example, I did a comparison on one of my most recent layouts. The the PSD file is 305MB, whereas, the TIFF file is 187MB. On the flip side, it does take a bit longer to save and open these files.
Settings for layered TIFF files
In the File-> Save As Dialog box, select the file type as TIFF (*.tif, *.tiff). In the Image Compression section of the dialog box, choose LZW; choose Byte Order as Mac or PC; and in the Layer Compression section, choose ZIP.
What about sharing and printing?
So, you probably noticed that those layered files are some pretty big files. You’d like to share your work on-line, right? Most galleries have size restrictions for the maximum file you can upload to their gallery. You probably also want to print it at some point in time and you may want to use one of the popular print services to do that. Most of them will require a .jpg file. There are certainly ways to do this from within PS/PSE and there are even some actions out there that will save all the different formats for you. My personal workflow, makes use of Lightroom to help take care of some of the mechanics of this process.
Before we move on, I always, always, always keep my layered file. I have numerous times found errors (small typos and even something text running off the element or over a ribbon, layers out of order, etc.) By keeping my layered file, I can easily go in and fix those things. It is very easy to create a new jpg for printing, not so easy to create a new layered file. So, I will end up with a layered TIFF file that I can go back and edit, a low-resolution JPG file for web sharing (700 x 700 px @ 72PPI), and a high-resolution JPG for printing (3600 3600 px @ 300PPI).
Using Lightroom Publishing
Lightroom has some publication features that actually make creating these different formats very easy once you set them up. Of course, you need Lightroom for this, and you’ll need to have your layouts imported to your Lightroom catalog.
You will find various “services” that you can set up under the Publish Services heading in the left hand panel. For my two different JPG versions, I’m just creating two different options in the publish to hard drive. I click on the add Publish Service and go to Publishing Manager. I’m going to choose Add, via Hard Drive. I’ll name this one Layouts for Print. I’ll choose the export folder, for Filename I choose not to rename, and then in File Settings make sure to choose JPEG, sRGB color (for most print services) and make sure quality is set to 100. In the Image Sizing, make sure all boxes are unchecked, I type in 300 for resolution. I do not choose Output Sharpening, but you may choose to. I minimize embedded data for my print version files. Deselect watermarking.
For my web-size JPGs, I set up another publish service to hard drive. In File settings, I use maximum size of 250KB for my web gallery JPGs. For Image Sizing, I check Resize to Fit and select short edge from the drop down. I enter 700 pixels and resolution as 72.
Now that you have those two services set up, creating those different jpg files is very easy. From your library, select the layouts that you want to publish. Drag and drop them to the services you want, then highlight each service and click on publish. You can also publish directly to some sites like Facebook and Flickr by connecting your account.
For those of you that don’t have Lightroom, Photoshop makes it very easy to save your layouts in different file sizes and formats as well. And once you devise a system, you could just create an action to do it for you.
The first step is to save your finished Photoshop document. Go to File > Save. The next step would be to save the file as a JPEG. Go to File > Save As and in the dialog box that pops up, select JPEG from the Format drop down menu. This full resolution JPEG is the file you would upload for printing.
To save for web, first, create another copy of it with a different name. Once you have done this, the next step would be to flatten your image. Layer > Flatten Image. Then change the image size. Go to Image > Image Size. You can set up a preset to save the following settings:
To save it as a preset, click where it says Fit To and scroll down to Save Preset and name your new preset. Then, the next time you want to save a new image size, you just need to select it from the list. Next, you can sharpen your image. Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. You can adjust it to your liking, but the settings I use are:
The final step is to Save for Web. File > Save for Web. From the window that pops up, select the drop down arrow in the top right corner and scroll down to Optimize to File Size.
In the box that pops up, select a file size that is accepted by the majority of galleries that you upload to. It will automatically optimize the quality to the file size you selected. Then click Save. And that’s all there is to it. Since there are many steps in this process, it may be a good idea to create an action to record these steps. Or, you could pick up this free action from Paislee Press.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our little series on some of the digi scrapbooking basics. See the entire series here. If there is something you have a burning desire to know, please ask us in the comments or on the general forum. You might just see an answer here on the blog in the future.