Many users have expressed concerns that their Photoshop files were somehow being held hostage by Adobe. Of course, we’ve listed a lot of other apps that work with Photoshop. But here’s a new workflow I just figured out.

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1. Open your file in Photoshop.

2. Choose File > Save As.

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3. From the format menu choose Photoshop PDF.

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4. Choose the option to Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities.


The file can be opened in the free Adobe Reader application and printed. Many other apps can easily convert PDF files too.

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When you open the Photoshop PDF file in Photoshop… all the layers are intact.

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The PDF file is slightly larger, but not substantial.


There is no difference between the files as far as image quality. To test I placed the PDF and the PSD on top of each other in Photoshop.


When setting the top layer to Difference mode, no pixels showed as being modified.

So this seems to work well as an alternative for those who are concerned about access to their files if they dropped their use of Photoshop.

Dave Cross also has a good article on cross version compatibility of Photoshop files.