9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 28, 2017 5:31 PM by Trevor.Dennis

    TIFF vs PSD




      I am new to Photoshop. Can you please tell me what is better to use nowadays - TIFF or PSD?


      I read lots of (relatively old) discussions and somebody tells PSD can store lots of Photoshop actions data than TIFF. But others say TIFF can do the same and is cross-platform.


      So what to choose:

      a) for photos - without layers

      b) for web graphics - with layers


      Thanks a lot,


        • 1. Re: TIFF vs PSD
          Sahil.Chawla Adobe Employee

          Hi Jiri,


          The main difference between a psd and a tiff is based on the size limit.
          PSD size limit is 2GB,

          Tiff can handle more than 2GB.


          You can use both files for both web graphics and photos but it depends on the size document on which format you should use.




          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: TIFF vs PSD
            Derek Cross Adobe Community Professional

            You may get various answers to this!

            I suggest you work in PSD in RGB color mode, and keep your layered file in case you have to do more work on it subsequently (i.e. don't flatten it).

            Safe the PSD as a JPG and make copies for use in other applications – vary the size and resolution depending on the image use, e.g. whether it's for printing or for the web.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: TIFF vs PSD
              Derek Cross Adobe Community Professional

              You can't use native PSD or TIFF on web pages, only JPG, PNG or GIF.

              • 4. Re: TIFF vs PSD
                jiříp92587069 Level 1

                I'm sorry, I know about exports to .jpg, .png etc.


                But I need to save original file too, for later changes. And I don't know which is better for this purpose - TIFF or PSD. I read that TIFF doesn't support some Photoshop stuff, but lots of people say that doesn't matter. So do you thing I lose something when I save image made in Photoshop, with layers, in TIFF?


                By the way, Photoshop automatically save as .tif and not .tiff - is it OK?



                • 5. Re: TIFF vs PSD
                  Derek Cross Adobe Community Professional

                  As mentioned, save as native Photoshop file – PSD. You can place these in InDesign and round-trip.

                  • 6. Re: TIFF vs PSD
                    gener7 Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Photoshop will save tiff files with the .tif extension. Usually some prefer layered PSD as the Master file and and  a flattened tiff when handing off files to others for print or use in non-Adobe applications.


                    PSD vs Tiff is repeatedly brought up in the forums. Here is an informative thread:


                    Should I Use Tiff or PSD

                    • 7. Re: TIFF vs PSD
                      davescm Adobe Community Professional


                      I use PSD. See attached link which states "To preserve all Photoshop features (layers, effects, masks, and so on), save a copy of your image in Photoshop format (PSD)."



                      That said, I not heard anyone who uses TIFF have an issue with it



                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: TIFF vs PSD
                        D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        I think it's probably a toss-up. I settled on PSD at some point and just continued.


                        More important than file type, is the distinction between archive master files and targeted copies for specific purposes. Keep the former, discard the latter when done. Make new copies as needed from the master files.


                        It's always a good idea to keep your master files as open and future-editable as possible, which means keep layers, masks, high bit-depth, sufficiently large color space - any property you might or might not need later on. You never know. Within reason, of course. It's no crime to flatten files if you're confident you won't lose anything.

                        • 9. Re: TIFF vs PSD
                          Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

                          This comes up a couple of times a year in this forum, and we have had input from the likes of Chris Cox and Jeff Schewe.  IIRC Chris came down on the side of PSD, but Jeff is a strong advocate for TIFF in this Luminous Landscape thread.  Personally I prefer PSD, but I have no specific reason other than it being a native Adobe format.  PSD also works with Displacement Maps (so long as you have backward compatibility set to Always in Preferences).  TIFF is not mentioned in that respect in Preferences, so I assume it is not relevant.


                          Other threads on the subject from one year ago

                          PSD/PSB vs TIFF


                          Three years

                          Saving as tiff vs psd?


                          Seven Years

                          .TIFF vs. .PSD for archiving


                          I can't find the thread with Chris Cox and Jeff Schewe, but if anyone else can track it down I'd appreciate it.