Understanding Template Formats

You’ve downloaded a template with various file formats. Do you need to keep them all?

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):

A   .tiff  file extension 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 in megabytes than a PSD file. This does not affect the physical size of the document. For example, a saved 12″x12″ document saved as a PSD and a TIFF will still be a 12″x12″ document when opened, even though their file size (megabyte size) may be different.  When you have a template with both PSD and TIFF files, megabyte size. Delete the larger sized 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. If you are a Photoshop user and use PSD or TIFF files, you do not need to kee the PNG files.

PAGE Files:

The .page extension is a file that is used in the Artisan software program. If this format is included and you do not use the Artisan software, you may delete this file.

NOTE: If a designer has not saved a TIFF file with LZW Image Compression and with ZIP Layer Compression, it will typically be larger in megabyte size than a PSD file.  When deciding which file size to keep, a PSD or a TIFF, check the image size to be sure the TIFF file was saved with these options and, is indeed, smaller than the PSD file. It usually is, but it’s always a good idea to check.


Comments (4)

  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.

    December 15, 2016 at 11:42 am
    • Karen

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

      December 15, 2016 at 2:57 pm
  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.

    December 15, 2016 at 6:46 pm
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