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File Formats

You've probably noticed by now that a lot of this book focuses on prepress; nonetheless, we've done our best to include vital information for those whose output is continuous-tone film or the computer screen. Most people use Photoshop to prepare images that they're going to take elsewhere, be it PageMaker, Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, the World Wide Web, or whatever. The file format in which you save your file depends on where it's headed.

In the past, we've always advised that, while you're working on an image in Photoshop, you should save the file in Photoshop's native file format (PSD). But since few other applications besides Adobe's can read these files, you generally need to save your finished images in some other format before transferring them to a page layout, presentation, or multimedia application. Most people have developed the habit of keeping a layered version of the file in Photoshop format, and saving flattened versions in other formats to export to other applications.


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