Understanding Template Formats

December 15, 2016

Utilizing digital scrapbooking templates is a great way to spark your creativity and save time.  Templates typically come in several different formats: PSD, TIFF, PNG, and sometimes PAGE.  Let’s take a look at how these files differ from one another, in order to answer the question: “Do I need to keep all format types when I download a template?”

PSD Files:

The .psd file extension indicates that the file is layered and was made specifically for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.  If you do not have either one of these programs (and do not plan on getting them in the future), you do not need to keep this file. Delete it to save space on your hard drive.

TIFF Files (Tag Image File Format):

The .tiff file extension indicates that the file is layered.  The TIFF is a “cross-platform” file, commonly used in desktop publishing, faxing, and other types of software, including Photoshop.  The difference between a layered PSD and a layered TIFF file is the amount of compression used when the file is saved.  When saved correctly, a TIFF file is typically smaller than a PSD file. Both files will open in Photoshop, and once opened in the program, you will not be able to tell the difference.  When you have a template with both PSD and TIFF files, compare their size. You may delete the larger file if you wish to save hard drive space.

PNG Files (Portable Network Graphics): 

The .png extension indicates that a file is a single layer file, typically (but not always) with transparent areas. They can be used in any graphics program. If your editing software does not utilize PSD or TIFF files, you should be able to use the PNG files. You will need to open each PNG file and place each one on your working document to “build” the template.

PAGE Files:

The .page extension is a file that is used in the Artisan software program. You may delete this file if you do not have that software program.

JPG Files (Joint Photographic Expert Group:

The .jpg extension is a file we are probably all familiar with, and is the most common format used for photographs. JPG files may be included for preview purposes.  Windows will not show previews of .psd files, but will show previews of .tiff files. If you do not need the JPG files for preview purposes, you may delete them.

Template Example:

Below is a screenshot of contents of what my Droplet Templates (Pocket Scrapping Templates) 01 pack includes. There is a folder for the PAGE and PNG files.  I have the View in Windows set to “Detail,” so we can see the difference in the file size of the PSD and TIFF files.  The size of the PSD file, for template 1, is 4.994 KB and for the TIFF is 1,655 KB. Although a KB file isn’t especially large, the fact that the PSD is over 3 times as large as the TIFF file is significant.

The entire file size of this pack, including the PNG, PACK, PSD, TIFF files, along with the TOU and Preview, is 47.1 MB. If I delete everything except the TIFF files, the TOU, and the preview (which would suit my scrapping needs), I reduce the file size to 6.1 MB.  That is a lot of saved hard drive space!


Consider how many templates you have in your digi-stash, and how much hard drive space you may save by deleting the files you do not need. It may well be worth your time!

Karen Schulz Designs    | Ginger Scraps   | Oscraps

And if you aren’t familiar with the new Drag & Drop feature for Photoshop Elements, I created tutorial explaining this fun feature and you can watch it on the Karen Schulz Designs YouTube channel.


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  1. Sheila Phillips

    Thank you so much for this information. I’ve seen the page files for a long time and had no idea what they were! A while back I did go through my templates and deleted the psd files to save space, but it seemed that the tiff files worked a bit different when I started using them.

    • Karen

      HI Sheila, good for you! Do you know how much room you saved? Did you keep track of it?

  2. Peggy S

    I always use tiff files. They are usually about half the file size of psd files and I have never had any issue working with them in any version of PSE. In fact, if a designer doesn’t include the tiff, I convert it to tiff in PSE checking the layers box, then using LZW compression, Interleaved, IBM PC (for me), and Zip. Then I can see the preview too, now that psd thumbnails are not supported. In fact, I am saving many of my layouts as tiff files instead of psd and have had no problem going back and doing whatever I want to them. Some designers save the tiff with the wrong settings and they are really big, but you can re-save them to make them smaller. Another thing that helps with file size is to simplify each layer before saving.

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