Saving images in different formats using Adobe Photoshop

This tutorial will demonstrate how to use Adobe Photoshop to save images in different image formats, such as .jpeg, .gif, .png, etc.  While this tutorial was created using Photoshop CS2 (version 9.0), there are only minor user interface changes from version 6.0 and above, and you may use this tutorial for versions 6.0 and above.

  1. First, open the file you wish to save as another format in Photoshop.  If you have several images to convert, you may wish to make a new folder to save your images in as well.  To open a file, you may either press “ctrl + o” on the PC or “command + o” on the Mac, or you may click on the “file” button on the upper left corner of the Photoshop window, and select “open”. 

    1. You can then navigate to the file you wish to work with. 


  1. Once you have opened the file you wish to work with, click on the “file” button once again, and select “save as”.  Alternately, you may press “shift + control + o” on PC, or “shift + command + o” on the Mac.  This will bring up the “save as” prompt.  This will allow you to save a new version of the image in a different format without overwriting or erasing the original file. 

    1. Underneath the file name, you will see the current format of the file; in this case, the original file is a “.tiff” file, which is a good archival format for an image, but whose file size is far too large for usage in PowerPoint or the web.  Because of this, we will save a version of the file for use in applications like PowerPoint or to post on a website in “.jpeg” format.  Note: you may also use this process to convert a “.jpeg” image into a non “lossy” file format such as “.tiff” (for an explanation of file formats and their different properties, see the tech tip regarding image file formats).  To select a different file format to save the file as, click on the black, downward facing arrow to the right of the file format.  This will bring up a listing of all formats Photoshop may convert the file to.  For this tutorial, select “.jpeg”, and click “save”. 
  1. Next, you will be presented with options regarding how you wish to save the .jpeg file.  These different settings affect the overall image quality and file size of the .jpeg. 

  1. For our purposes, a quality of 8 or so should be more than adequate for your presentation needs.  For slightly better image quality, you may select “Baseline Optimized” or “Progressive” (which will also allow you to select how many scans, or image analyses, Photoshop makes of the original image; the more scans, the better the image quality).  Below these options, you will see the files resultant size based on the settings you have selected for the image, as well as the amount of time it would take an internet browser to load the image at various download speeds.  Once you have found a quality and file size balance to your liking, click “OK” in the upper right corner.  This will save the new version of the file in its new file format.
  2. You can repeat this process for any file format you wish to save the document as.  For archival images, we recommend a lossless format such as “.TIF”.  For usage on the web, use “.JPG”, “.GIF”, or “.PNG”.  For more information, please see our tutorial on saving images for the web.
Prepared by the ET Partners Program, IET Mediaworks and UC Davis