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External Editor File Format. TIFF vs. PSD #1
William Campbell's picture
by William Campbell
October 18, 2012 - 3:31pm

I've been using PSD to send images from Aperture to PhotoShop Elements, Pixelmator, etc. I recently purchased topaz Adjust and installed the required Topaz Fusion Express 2. First try however reported an error, which meant I had to use TIFF as my external editor file format. So, my questions are what do you gain or lose using each format? Given I may use both PSE and Topaz, should I just commit to TIFF? Again, am I losing anything by doing so — other than disk space because TIFFs are larger?

Thanks for your help.


Chris Hoch's picture
by Chris Hoch
October 18, 2012 - 3:41pm

From what I can tell there is no quality difference just compatibility issues between applications. Tiff is more widely used than PSD.

I use tiff as I round trip in to snapseed.

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
October 18, 2012 - 5:02pm

Agreed, There is no difference in quality of the image files between TIFF and PSDPSD is actually a variant on TIFF that was designed to work just a bit more efficiently with Photoshop … as to file sizes, they will also vary based upon content, types of layers used, etc. Sometimes PSD will actually be larger than TIFF for some images … it’s really a “six of one and a half dozen of the other” situation … both file types will work well for you and most often comes down to a situational personal preference …

gfsymon's picture
by gfsymon
October 19, 2012 - 7:11am

Photoshop makes a PSD for any file you open in it (or I suppose a PSB if it’s a huge file). This is stored as an invisible file on the PS scratch disk.

William Campbell's picture
by William Campbell
October 19, 2012 - 5:51pm

Thanks everyone. This is all good to know. I think I’ll switch my Aperture preference to just use TIFF for external file editors. Thanks again.

PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
October 20, 2012 - 3:02pm

I regularly switch back and forth. If I’m doing any layering work in PSD that I want to keep, then needless to say it has to be in PSD format. But as you’ve discovered, many plugins will only handle TIF.

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