PSD file extension is most commonly associated with a Photoshop Document, a proprietary format developed by Adobe for storing layered images. PSD files are not commonly found by end users, as their use is usually restricted to design and development environments.
PSD is the default file format of Adobe Photoshop, which allows images to be saved whilst retaining fully editable layering. As a result, PSD files are usually only used in design environments where an image may need to be modified. Final images are usually stored in alternative formats such as File extension TIFF, File extension PNG or File extension JPG depending on how they are to be used. Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard application for the manipulation of bitmap images, and as a result the PSD file format is widely used and to an extent supported by rival applications.
PSD files store images in layers, with each layer comprising of separate raster or vector images, effects or filters. Layers within PSD files may also contain masks, colour spaces, transparency, alpha channels, text or clipping paths. These are stacked on top of one another, allowing elements to be placed or effects applied on top of the original image. Each layer is referenced by a name and description which can be altered to reflect its contents, making PSD files easy to work with, even if they are worked on by multiple designers. PSD files are most frequently encountered in the design industry, though they are also widely used to distribute editable image files such as web page templates over the Internet.
Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Elements can be used to open PSD files on both the Windows and Mac platforms. Corel Paint Shop Pro and ACDSee Photo Manager can also be used to open PSD files in Windows, though some features of the document may not be fully supported.
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