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Is this program supposed to be able to display .psd files?

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  • Is this program supposed to be able to display .psd files?

    I asked the question in the company chat box 2 days ago. They were offline at the time but said that someone would get back to me... which they haven't. It took 3 days to process my forum login, and now that I'm here I've done a search for it. Oddly this doesn't seem to have come up here either though it is hard to tell. The forum search engine will not allow "psd" as a standalone query and if I make it psd files, even with quotes around the psd, it will return every thread that has the word "files" in it. So no joy there, either.

    I started out trialling the Home edition. The first thing I noted was that it couldn't show .mov or other video files, nor could it show .psds. I did a more detailed comparison and installed a trial of Ultimate instead. That fixed the issue with the video files.

    Ultimate still can't see my OM-5 raw files; the OM-1 is supported but not the OM-5, so I submitted a sample image to have it added. I would hope that this will turn out to be a timing issue.

    However... it still can't see .psds. All I get is a white rectangle.

    Click image for larger version

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    Since I have a LOT of Photoshop files, and since I intend to keep using PS (out of familiarity, not love), ACDSee really isn't going to work for me if it can't preview .psds. (Also if it can't preview OM-5 files but as I said I expect that's a timing issue.)

    And yes, I do indeed have the .psd plugin in place.
    Click image for larger version

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    Is this a known issue or is something missing in my setup?


  • #2

    Yes, in Ultimate 2023 shows .psd as a supported format, and I'm able to view .psd files here.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	PSD thumbnails.jpg Views:	30 Size:	130.8 KB ID:	64339

    However the .psd files I have are all quite old files, circa 2003. (I moved away from PS many years ago).

    Whilst the thumbnails are showing up correctly here, some of these .psd files which open in Affinity Photo 2 as multi-layer, only open as a single flattened layer in Ultimate's Edit Mode.

    Perhaps it depends on the content of the .psd files or the settings used to save them.

    Edit: I've also tried with a mult-layer composition present in Edit mode, exporting as a psd file. The exported psd opens as a flattened single layer image in both ACDSee and Affinity 2.
    Last edited by Greyfox; 03-14-2023, 05:39 PM.


    • #3
      I am using Ultimate 2021 and have no problem seeing thumbnails for .psd files.
      I don't work with them in ACDSee, but I can definitely see what the top visible layer is.
      I create .psd files with Photoshop Elements and Gimp.


      • #4
        I got a response from ACDSee asking me to send it to support, but I've figured out what it is. For the future reference of anyone else in this boat I'll post it here, along with the search expression "psd files not displaying".

        Photoshop has more "under the hood" settings than Paris has catacombs, and the majority of its users probably have no idea what most of them do / were intended to do / may have done 32 versions ago. I include myself in that. However one that I WAS aware of, and which came to mind when I saw the responses above (thank you Greyfox, thank you Colorworks) was this one under (in Windows) Edit -> Preferences -> File Handling...; "Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility" which has the settings "Ask" (which I believe is the default, but it's a lie because it doesn't ask if you've previously clicked the "Don't Show Again" checkbox), "Always" or "Never".

        Click image for larger version

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        I suspect that most people will just agree to do it and check the checkbox in the Ask dialog to never show it again.

        I, knowing what it does, had it set to "Never" because:
        (a) If you are ONLY working in Bridge and PS, you don't need it; and
        (b) The file sizes, oh gods, the file sizes.

        Let's take, for example, the shot in the example below. The original .orf (Olympus Raw, although it's from the OM-5 which is not yet supported, hint, hint ACDSee programmers) is 16 bit, 5184*3888 pixels, 18.4 Meg in size.

        If I open that and do nothing beyond converting it to 8 bit and save it as a .psd. and do NOT select maximum compatibility, I'll still see the image in ACDSee. The size will, quite "normally" for Photoshop, expand hugely to 53.8 Meg. (230128_073156_P1280001_NoModsNoMaxCap8Bit.psd)

        If I add a Brightness/Contrast and signature layer and save it again leaving maximum compatibility turned off, it expands slightly to 54.86Meg (230128_073156_P1280001). This is obscenely bloated, but expected for Photoshop. However I cannot see the thumbnail any longer.

        HOWEVER! If I save a copy of that file with the adjustment layers but with maximum compatibility enabled, I can see the thumbnail. The price I pay, however, is that "obscenely bloated" becomes "grotesquely disk gobbling" and the size pretty much doubles to a bit over 103 meg (230128_073156_P1280001_MaxCap.psd) because essentially it's doubling up on the data in the image just to show you the thumbnail.

        You really don't want to know what happens when Smart Objects are involved, save that Western Digital start rubbing their hands together in glee.

        Click image for larger version

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        This is not ACDSee's doing. The dialog in question is enlightening:

        Click image for larger version

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        Turning off Maximize Compatibility may interfere with the ... files IN OTHER APPLICATIONS. In other words, the file representation itself, which would be used by, say, Bridge, is not exposed. For "other applications" (including but not limited to ACDSee) they can only see the thumbnail if the file size is almost doubled to store a copy of the image. The only exception is when the image is nothing more than a copy of the original file resaved without significant modification in .psd format.

        So... I could use it and see the .psds but it would come at a heavy disk price, ALTHOUGH a general idea of what is in the image would be right next door in the RAW file that the .psd was created from.