10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 4, 2013 8:53 AM by Kurt Lang

    Can we please stop the insanity of Maximum Compatibility now?

    Kurt Lang Level 1

      It's original purpose is long, long ago dead. The only thing it does now is to dramatically increase the size of your .psd and .psb files.

       

      The following image was saved out of Photoshop CC once with Maximum Compatibility on, and then again with it off. It's a simple two layer file with a shot of some fall trees as the background layer, and a floating white circle above that. Here's the typical result:

       

      Screen shot 2013-07-03 at 12.47.58 PM.png

       

      The left image is with Max Comp off. As expected, there is no desktop icon or preview. Then the insane part:

       

      Screen shot 2013-07-03 at 12.47.30 PM.png

       

      Really?! 18 extra MB just for the sake of an icon and preview? It only gets worse as you go up in file size. I have a client file in .psd format that is 200.6 MB with Max Comp off. With it on, the size balloons to 376.5 MB.

       

      Yes, I know why it does this, but why are we still catering to users of Photoshop 2.5 or older? We are far, FAR past the need to embed a hidden flattened high res image of a layered photo. This ridiculous waste of storage space is why any professional print shop I know of, or have worked for have this option OFF on all of their stations. Nobody in their right mind has it on.

       

      Problem: Way too many apps other than Adobe's rely on this hidden image to produce an icon view of the file. Such as Phase One's Media Pro (formerly Microsoft Expression Media, formerly iView Media Pro). Eliminating it altogether isn't a feasible solution.

       

      Solution: Instead of saving a high res flattened image, save an icon/preview sized flattened image (example: no larger than 256 pixels square), and save it to the same location in a .psd or .psb file structure's location, and with the same tag.

       

      Everyone's happy. We can all leave Max Comp on, get an icon/preview of your .psd and .psb files, the files only take up about an extra 200KB of space instead of megabytes, and would be fully backward compatible.

       

      PS CC of course is not the only version of PS affected by this size difference. It goes all the way back to the original version 3 (not CS3).

        • 1. Re: Can we please stop the insanity of Maximum Compatibility now?
          Level 7

          >> It's original purpose is long, long ago dead.

          Nope.  This isn't just about older versions of Photoshop.

           

          As long as other applications only read the flattened composite, it is necessary to include the flattened composite.

          If anything, there's good reason to always have the composite available and never turn it off.

          • 2. Re: Can we please stop the insanity of Maximum Compatibility now?
            Kurt Lang Level 1

            Alrighty then. How about a fourth option for those who do not need a high res composite? In addition to Always, Never and Ask, add Always - Small. What do you think? I know a lot of people who would love to see such an option. Selfishly, I would certainly would be one of them.

            • 3. Re: Can we please stop the insanity of Maximum Compatibility now?
              Level 7

              Sorry, but the size of the composite and the size of the layers must match.

              • 4. Re: Can we please stop the insanity of Maximum Compatibility now?
                Kurt Lang Level 1

                Drat! Well, we'll just have to leave it off then. We work on hundreds of high res images a month (sometimes weekly) as a prepress provider. Giving up terabytes of extra space for both near line and archival purposes, simply for the purpose of an icon and preview is not a good enough reason to have the option as Always.

                • 5. Re: Can we please stop the insanity of Maximum Compatibility now?
                  Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                  Kurt, that'a the name of the game.  If we find we need more storage as we move forward, then give your self more storage.  It is easy to do, and not that expensive nowadays.  And if you work in a prepress business, then they should have a big raid array you can all access.   I have 14Tb on the system I'm using, because of video and backups, and I don't feel I have spent much getting there.  Hmmm... You have got me started now.  My first computer, a BBC Micro, had 16kb RAM and 1.44mb floppy drives.  I can remember a PC World article Guy Kewney wrote >30 years ago, where he was justifying the rediculous 400Mb HDD he was using on a new system.  I wonder where we'll be in another 30 years?

                  • 6. Re: Can we please stop the insanity of Maximum Compatibility now?
                    Noel Carboni Level 8

                    Kurt, if the only reason you see for the option is for an icon and preview, then you may well be jusitifed in deconfiguring it.

                     

                    Some folks have actual applications they rely on that need to be able to open the composite from the PSD file.

                     

                    As my own work environment contains few such cases, I deconfigure the option myself.  Instead I've striven to choose new workflow options and find new software that reads the layered files.  For example, the FastPictureViewer Codec Pack I use reads and composites layers.  It has some limits, especially with the new shape layers, but it often gets the compositing process right, which enables not only thumbnails but previews in various Windows dialogs.

                     

                    Of course you recognize I'm talking about PC vs. your Mac, but the concepts apply equally well.  Determine what you can't do with images saved without flattened composites, then see if you can find ways around those shortcomings.

                     

                    -Noel

                    • 7. Re: Can we please stop the insanity of Maximum Compatibility now?
                      Silkrooster Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Even some of the other Adobe apps require the maximum compability just to read the psd file.

                      • 8. Re: Can we please stop the insanity of Maximum Compatibility now?
                        Kurt Lang Level 1

                        Haha! Boy, does that bring back memories. My first computer was an IBM XT clone with 640kb of RAM and a 5¼" 360k floppy drive. And (woo-hoo!) a 30 MB hard drive. What in the world was I going to do with all that space?!

                         

                        I would guess that's where a lot of our dislike of this file bloating of .psd and .psb files comes from. You had to be very conscious of disk usage back then. Can I squeeze these files onto a 360k disk?

                         

                        As you note, storage is cheap, so that's not the issue. The much larger problem for us is transfer time. In the post above where a .psd almost doubled from 200 MB to 376 MB, we're of course talking double the time to get these images to a client's FTP site. Like most most home users and small companies, we don't have a T1 line, so upload speeds are way slower than download. To try and speed things up, we'll put multiple items going to the client in a Stuffit X file (way better compression than .zip). But even so, the Stuffit file is still something like 1.5 GB. That's takes a couple of hours to upload. Tack on all of the otherwise completely useless hidden composite images to those .psd files, and the upload has now extended to almost 4 hours. Not acceptable on either end.

                        • 9. Re: Can we please stop the insanity of Maximum Compatibility now?
                          Kurt Lang Level 1

                          Kurt, if the only reason you see for the option is for an icon and preview, then you may well be justified in deconfiguring it.

                          Yes, that is the only loss for our purposes, or our clients. We'll be keeping it off unless something changes.

                          Some folks have actual applications they rely on that need to be able to open the composite from the PSD file.

                          I'm happy to say then we (as yet) have none of those. All Adobe apps will work with non Max Comp .psd and .psb files as is. InDesign will complain that the file you're placing was saved without Max Comp, but then places and shows the image correctly anyway.

                          • 10. Re: Can we please stop the insanity of Maximum Compatibility now?
                            Kurt Lang Level 1

                            Even some of the other Adobe apps require the maximum compatibility just to read the psd file.

                            I haven't run across that with any of Adobe's apps. Not in the CS6 Master Collection, or the CC suite. Could you site an example so I can see if I can replicate the problem?