25 Replies Latest reply: May 7, 2015 12:08 PM by oweniverson RSS

    Viewing PSD thumbnails...

    jyeager11 Community Member



      So sick of not being able to view PSD thumbnails, not even from the regular "OPEN FILE" dialog in Photoshop CS6.


      Besides 3rd party commercial software like Mystic Thumbs, what solutions are out there for me?



        • 1. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
          Noel Carboni Community Member

          Honestly, there's nothing wrong with commercial software when it's GOOD.


          I happen to like the FastPictureViewer codec pack, myself.  Not only does it provide thumbnails but previews as well (i.e., it fully integrates into Explorer).  They even make an attempt at compositing multi-layer PSD files that aren't saved with Max Compatibility.


          Not only can you see into .PSD files, but also raw files and pretty much every other imge type.  Plus the fact that it's commercial, supported software means that your next new camera's raw files will be supported too, when it comes out.





          • 2. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
            Silkrooster MVP

            Figure this one out. The psd and tiff file with a thumnail are back in 2005 the ones without are newer. My guess is the problem is not with microsoft after all, its the header of the file thats broken. According to this attachment, the thumbnail is not being saved in the header any more. BTW I am using windows 7 pro.


            psd thumbnail.png

            • 3. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
              Silkrooster MVP

              This displays the same in both photoshop CS6 open dialog box and windows explorer and I did not add any codec.

              • 4. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                Noel Carboni Community Member

                Nothing about the thumbnails is generated or influenced directly by Photoshop in a Windows system.  There is no activity by Photoshop - no "saving a thumbnail in the header" - that has any bearing on Windows thumbnails.  They are generated purely by Explorer asking a codec to open the file and look around inside.  Explorer then may cache the result.


                It's possible whatever codec you're using is only able to see into files saved with Maximize Compatibility turned on.  That setting causes a merged composite image to be saved in the PSD file. 


                If you turn off Maximize Compatibility, it may STILL be that you have saved a file with a single Background layer, in which case many codecs will still generate an image, because they can understand the simple PSD file.


                But in the case of a multi-layer document in a PSD file, your codec may not even attempt to composite the layers.  That's one thing I like about the FPV pack - they DO make an attempt to composite the layers, and frankly it's usually a pretty good result.



                • 5. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                  Silkrooster MVP

                  Hmm, interesting, I assumed photoshop saved a thumbnail in the header because it states so in the preferences. Must be some other app added the codec, because I didn't.

                  • 6. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                    gener7 MVP

                    Another vote for FPV codec. I wish I had known about it earlier. Get it, install it and get on with your work. It's only $14.95 now.

                    • 7. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                      nickna12 Community Member

                      +1 for FPV Codec.  Works well and shows Corel Painter riff thumbnails too.

                      • 8. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                        Noel Carboni Community Member

                        Silkrooster wrote:


                        Must be some other app added the codec, because I didn't.


                        Is it an old system?  At one time, a loooong time ago, Adobe supplied a codec but that hasn't been around for a long time.


                        But if you want to check, what you can do is run the free Autoruns tool from Microsoft SysInternals.  Run Autoruns, and look in the Codecs section.  There, in a a couple of sections labeled "...\Instance" you will see all the codecs you have installed.







                        • 9. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                          jyeager11 Community Member

                          Alright, you guys convinced me. FPV Codec Pack it is ($15)


                          I can't help but feel Adobe somehow dropped the ball here, though.

                          • 10. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                            Noel Carboni Community Member

                            Sometimes it's horses for courses.  Adobe was never able to make their codec work as well as FPV's does.


                            Honestly I don't know why they don't offer the 3rd party companies some $$$ to buy their intellectual property or even just license it.  Being able to make the computer more pictoral (by displaying thumbnails and previews for virtually all file types) IS something that provides a lot of value.


                            Putting my businessman's hat on...


                            If a codec pack were to cost Adobe, say, $10 a copy, and assuming a Photoshop perpetual license upgrade costs $200 (round numbers), Adobe would have to see, what, 5% more sales to cover that cost, right?  Would one in twenty more people buy Photoshop if it provided this functionality?  Would existing customers be 5% more happy (and thus reduce support cost)?


                            Before you answer that 5% seems like kind of a big number, consider the very long threads here, at Photoshop.com, and other places where people have complained about the loss of thumbnail previews in the File - Open dialog box.



                            • 11. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                              jyeager11 Community Member

                              To say nothing of the fact that we USED TO be able to view PSD thumbnails in Windows just by installing Photoshop.


                              So this doesn't even feel like value added, it feels like value lost. I'm simply re-establishing the value lost by giving my money to a 3rd party company.


                              It all seems so absurd.

                              • 12. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                                Noel Carboni Community Member

                                Think of it not so much as having to pay for something that Adobe once provided as gaining the ability to see thumbnails and previews for Raw files, which Adobe never provided (except in Bridge - I guess I'm not alone in not wanting to run Bridge).



                                • 13. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                                  Silkrooster MVP

                                  Looks like a cool app. To bad Microsft decided to make it harder to find the codecs. Anyway, the system is Approx. a year old. Its possible another app installed the codec with it.


                                  OK, downloaded and ran it. The only thing I can think of which I totally forgot about was the Canon Raw codec. Other than that just Microsoft is listed.


                                  Ah, jeesh I overlooked it, the psd codec is from Microft apparently it came on my system. It's dated 2010 which would explain why 2012 files don't display, but the 2007 should have. Must be behind a version when they created it.


                                  Anyway, here is the screen grabs...





                                  • 14. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                                    Noel Carboni Community Member

                                    That's interesting.  Now you mention it, I think Microsoft made a codec for PSD that came as part of a package (I forget the name); perhaps your PC maker included that package.


                                    If you save a PSD file right now with Maximize Compatibility set, do you see a thumbnail?



                                    • 15. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                                      Silkrooster MVP

                                      No tried it. but Im having other issues, if you recall, I was getting the blue screen that I thought was the video card driver. Come to find out it was the new virtual wifi port that Microsoft sneekedly added to my system. Making sure its disabled stops the blue-screen. But now I think I have hard drive issues, I am finding 32 bit drivers missing. BTW thanks for the head up on that app, that really helped point me in the somewhat right direction on figuring out my lock ups. But each time I think I have an CS6 app open at the time, I can't recall for each time, but it is close.

                                      So a virus, a bad sector or and adobe bug. Take your pick and spin the wheel, wheeee....

                                      Anyway, I am taking time away from the OP, so Next week I may start a new thread depending on what I find out. Man I am glad I have backup drives. What worries me though, is what got backed up what files maybe corrupted or missing. Ouch.

                                      • 16. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                                        jmyler Community Member

                                        I also feel like Adobe kind of is trying to sweep this one under the rug and hope no one notices. I mean I just realized today that the latest version of Illustrator has a preview window when you click on a AI file in the open dialog, why can't photoshop? It makes me think the excuses that it's the OS creator's fault that have been previously levied don't carry that much weight.

                                        • 17. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...

                                          Add to the mix that OSX has had native GOOD support for psd previews forever and this is a bag of frustration. I do think it is Adobe's responsibility to provide OS support for their proprietary file formats. And no, that god-awful pretend file browser does nothing to bridge (see what im doing here?) the gap - makes one more angry than just not having previews at all. It is not that $14.95 is a lot of money but that the principle of it is just wrong. Adobe isn't one guy programming something in his garage, so little room for excuse.

                                          • 18. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                                            Jen-ny Community Member

                                            This is so frustrating. I don't know about codec and what not. I do object to paying out more money to a 3rd party when this should be basic. I use Paintshop Pro X4 and there is no problem whatsoever viewing it's thumbnails when browsing. And that can be with as much work and layers, masks or whatever on it as any Photoshop file. BUT it costs a quarter of the price. In fact Paintshop pro beats photoshop in so many other areas.

                                            It's annoying considering the price difference.

                                            • 20. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...

                                              Tried sageThumbs and it works fine.

                                              • 21. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                                                rickster56 Community Member

                                                This problem should be looked at by Adobe if so many of us are wanting it.  It is in their own Photoshop software and other vendors know how to do it so why can't Photoshop programmers just copy that?  In programming there are many ways to reach the same end and it doesn't have to be a violation of intellectual property.  Just choose to resolve the users' need and put a couple of people on it.  We should not have to pay for it.

                                                • 22. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                                                  twisted mister

                                                  ^^They want you to use Bridge

                                                  • 23. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                                                    oweniverson Community Member

                                                    ^^which is asinine. i hear ya, but it's a ridiculous stance that you can't use your OS's thumbnail viewer for common graphic formats.


                                                    that said, SageThumbs worked great, but now with Photoshop version 20141204.r.310 x64 it seems that Adobe may have changed the structure again. PSDs created with this version show only as blanks. I've opened a ticket with SageThumbs about the issue too.


                                                    thanks Adobe! i can no longer buy a copy of your software and sit on it for as long as i find it useful, but i have to pay monthly forever and now i have to install Bridge to view thumbnails.


                                                    Maybe i just go back to CS2 for free and cancel my CC account.

                                                    • 25. Re: Viewing PSD thumbnails...
                                                      oweniverson Community Member

                                                      EDIT: i just realized i must have set the "maximize compatibility" option to "never" at some point and not remembered i did so. enabling compatibility (always) generates the thumbs (or at least SageThumbs now shows them)


                                                      it might be fine, but i'm not looking to pay for something that should be free (or at least be paid for from either my OS or my monthly subscription to CC)


                                                      i'm hoping that SageThumbs just needs to do some tweaks and not that Adobe specifically is making thumbs unreadable outside of their app garden.