Open PSD File

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Raster Image Container File Formats

You probably are familiar with raster image formats like JPEG, PNG, GIF or BMP. These formats store images as a set of pixels with every pixel in the image and its color stored in the file. The data in these formats is efficiently compressed which makes them great for transferring images over the network, storing images as resources in applications, etc. Still these formats do not have enough capabilities for advanced image editing features like the ones Adobe Photoshop, GIMP or Paint.NET provide. In order to store certain image editing data like layers, brushes, vector masks, color schemes more advanced formats are needed. Below we will describe some of them.


Photoshop Document (PSD) format is one of the oldest raster image container file formats. It was first introduced in Adobe Photoshop in 1990 and since then became one of the most popular image file formats for professional image editing. PSD file can store images up to 30,000x30,000 pixels and PSB files also supported by Adobe Photoshop can store even bigger images up to 300,000x300,000 pixels. Besides that, PSD files can store editing history for Undo/Redo functionality, raster and vector layers, vector masks, layer blending options, color profiles and many more. Many applications can read PSD files, but preferable software is Adobe Photoshop since it supports all of the complex PSD features.


Experimental Computing Facility (XCF) file format is a native container file format for GIMP. GIMP is a raster image free open-source file editor with rich raster image editing capabilities. XCF file format supports many features similar to PSD files including layers, vector paths, curves, guides, selection details and more. Many of the XCF features match what PSD files support but due to differences in software there are certain incompatibilities when opening PSD files in GIMP or XCF files in Adobe Photoshop.

XCF is also used as a container file format by Seashore and CinePaint software packages.


Paint.NET drawing (PDN) file format is a native raster image container file format used by Paint.NET software. PDN is a compressed serialized .NET file which includes information about edited image stored as Paint.NET drawing object.

Paint.NET and GIMP are able to read PDN file format and convert it to other container formats.