Photoshop Elements can save images in several file formats, depending on how you plan to use them. If you are working with web images, the Save For Web command provides many options for optimizing images. To convert several images to the same file format, or the same size and resolution, use the Process Multiple Files command.

After you edit an image in Photoshop Elements, ensure that you save it. To ensure that all the image data is preserved, save regular images in Photoshop (PSD) format. Multiple-page creations are always saved in Photo Creations (PSE) format. These formats don’t compress your image data.

Save your photos in PSD format (instead of JPEG), unless you plan to share your photos or use them in a web page. Each time you save in JPEG format, the image data is compressed, potentially causing some data to be lost. You may start to notice reduced image quality after saving the file as a JPEG 2‑3 times. The disadvantage of saving in PSD format is that the file size increases significantly because the file is not compressed.



File formats for saving

Photoshop Elements can save images in the following file formats:


A standard Windows image format. You can specify either Windows or OS/2 format and a bit depth for the image. For 4‑bit and 8‑bit images using Windows format, you can also specify RLE compression.

CompuServe GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)

Commonly used to display graphics and small animations in web pages. GIF is a compressed format designed to minimize file size and transfer time. GIF supports only 8‑bit color images (256 or fewer colors). You can also save an image as a GIF file using the Save For Web command.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

Used to save photographs, JPEG format retains all color information in an image but compresses file size by selectively discarding data. You can choose the level of compression. Higher compression results in lower image quality and a smaller file size; lower compression results in better image quality and a larger file size. JPEG is a standard format for displaying images over the web.

Photoshop (PSD)

 The standard Photoshop Elements format for images. You should generally use this format for edited images to save your work and preserve all your image data and layers in a single page file.

Photo Creations Format (PSE)

The standard Photoshop Elements format for multiple page creations. You should generally use this format for photo creations to save your work and preserve all your image data and layers in a multiple page file.

Photoshop PDF (Portable Document Format)

A cross-platform and cross-application file format. PDF files accurately display and preserve fonts, page layouts, and both vector and bitmap graphics.


PDF and PDP are the same except that PDPs are opened in Adobe Photoshop® and PDFs are opened in Acrobat.


Used for exchanging files with Pixar image computers. Pixar workstations are designed for high-end graphics applications, such as those used for three-dimensional images and animation. Pixar format supports RGB and grayscale images.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

Used for lossless compression and for displaying images on the web. Unlike GIF, PNG supports 24‑bit images and produces background transparency without jagged edges; however, some web browsers do not support PNG images. PNG preserves transparency in grayscale and RGB images.

TIFF (Tagged-Image File Format)

Used to exchange files between applications and computer platforms. TIFF is a flexible bitmap image format supported by most paint, image-editing, and page-layout applications. Most desktop scanners can produce TIFF files.


In addition, Photoshop Elements can open files in several other older formats: Pixel Paint, Portable Bit Map, SGI RGB, Soft Image, Wavefront RLA, and ElectricImage.

You can set options for saving image files, such as the format, and whether to include the saved file in the Elements Organizer catalog or to preserve layers in an image. Depending on the format you select, other options may be available to set.

Change file-saving options

  • In the Photoshop Elements, choose File > Save.
  • To change file-saving options, such as the filename or format, choose File > Save As, set any of the above file-saving options, and then click Save.


    Some file formats open another dialog box with additional options.

    File Name-

    Specifies the filename for the saved image.


    Specifies the file format for the saved image.

    Include In the Elements Organizer-

    Includes the saved file in your catalog so that it displays in the Photo Browser. Note that some file formats supported in the Edit workspace are not supported in the Elements Organizer. If you save a file in one of these formats, like EPS, this option is unavailable.

    Save In Version Set with Original-

    Saves the file, then adds it to a version set in the Photo Browser to keep the different versions of the image organized. This option is unavailable unless Include In The Organizer is selected.


    Preserves all layers in the image. If this option is disabled or unavailable, there are no layers in the image. A warning icon at the Layers check box indicates that the layers in your image will be flattened or merged for the selected format. In some formats, all layers are merged. To preserve layers, select another format.

    As a Copy-

    Saves a copy of the file while keeping the current file open. The copy is saved to the folder containing the currently open file.

    ICC Profile-

    Embed a color profile in the image for certain formats.


    Saves thumbnail data for the file. This option is available when the Ask When Saving option for Image Previews is set in the Preferences dialog box.

    Use Lower Case Extension-

    Makes the file extension lowercase.