Skip navigation
Currently Being Moderated

How to Import Vector Identified Files into Photoshop Without Losing Quality

Jun 22, 2012 4:27 PM

Tags: #cs4 #illustrator #photoshop #cs5 #help #color #pdf #adobe #cs5.5 #png #64-bit #images #graphics #layers #eps #scores #vector #quality #cs6 #pse9 #pse #photoshop_cs5 #pse8 #pse10 #tiff #svg #cs6_beta #photoshop_cs6_beta #bmp #sheet_music #sibelius #sibelius_7



I am creating a series of music worksheets on photoshop. I have created some music scores in a music writing software called Sibelius 7. It has the capability to export the sheet music graphics in the following forms: .pdf, .eps, .bmp, .tiff, .png, .svg .


However, I have tried to 'place' each of them into my photoshop file to see which one will work. But on saving the photoshop document as a .pdf with any of the graphics formats, the vector quality of the image has been lost, as it pixelates on zooming in. I have also tried to import an .svg file into adobe illustrator to save it as an .ai file and then import that into photoshop, but the image is again pixelated.


I don't really know what is happening, as I am essentially trying to import a file that is a vector (or at least does not pixelate on zooming) into photoshop, hoping for the same qualities to be retained, but it is being lost for some reason.


What should I do?


Thank you.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2012 7:27 PM   in reply to rajennagar

    Not surprised that no one has replied.


    Why on Earth are you trying to do this in Photoshop and not in InDesign or at least in Illustrator? 

    Mark as:
  • JJMack
    5,971 posts
    Jan 9, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2012 8:46 PM   in reply to rajennagar

    I would think Photoshop is not the right choice for what you want to do.  Photoshop has at best limited vector support.  You may want to do a search for Fonts, Shapes and brushes for music scoring.

    If your vector file can be open in Photoshop in a vector format Photoshop should be able yo scale it well.  If you "Place" it in a Photoshop document using menu File>Place do not scale it with the transform dialog during place or later with free transform (ctrl+T) that will scale it like a raster layer not as vectors.  Instead try double clicking on the layser's smart object icon in the layer in the layers palette. This will open the embedded object in photoshop in a temp work document scale it using menu Image>Image Size if the object is all vector graphics Photoshop will scale it well. When you have the size you want. Use menu File>Save then File>Close no save.  During the File>Save Photosgop will update the embedded object used to open the wor document with the updates made to the temp work document.

    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 22, 2012 10:04 PM   in reply to JJMack

    I had to do a quick test. I knew ai files would boot illustrator from photoshop's smart object. But I did not know that you could with a pdf or eps file. I must have been around long enough to assume that photoshop renders all vectors as raster. But thats not necessarilly the case any more.

    But in order for photoshop to use a vector file as a smart object, it looks like you have to place the file, not open it.


    I guess it just one of those things, you normally don't think about much, just do it out of habit.

    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 23, 2012 4:17 AM   in reply to rajennagar

    However, other vectors, such as the text and font are still retained, but its just the music vector graphics which is lost.

    If the notes are vector in a pdf converted with Illustrator then they stay vector …

    So have you used a pixel format?

    Or have you instead of converting placed the pdfs and/or applied transparency in any form to them (Blend Modes other than Normal, reduced Transparency, Effects …)?


    Could you please post a screenshot of the ai-file with the expanded Layers Panel visible and one of the resulting pdf where the items have been rasterized?

    Mark as:
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 23, 2012 4:42 AM   in reply to rajennagar

    That’s as expected.

    Vector Smart Objects retain the vector data inside themselves but exist as pixels in the psd.

    You should probably not involve Photoshop at all in this task but perform it in Illustrator if you want vector output.


    There is of course an option to create vector output from Photoshop and that is to paste the paths into Photoshop and use them as Vector Masks on (Solid Color) Layers, but that may be more trouble than it’s worth.

    Mark as:

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Answers + Points = Status

  • 10 points awarded for Correct Answers
  • 5 points awarded for Helpful Answers
  • 10,000+ points
  • 1,001-10,000 points
  • 501-1,000 points
  • 5-500 points