How to export highest quality image in Photoshop

After you've gone through all the hard work of creating an image in Photoshop, it's time to save and export it so you can actually use it. This should be the simple part, right? Not exactly. Photoshop allows you to save your image in multiple different formats and parameters, each which offers its own unique benefits. That said, regardless of in which format you choose to save your image, there are two factors that will determine whether or not you're exporting the highest quality image format from Photoshop.

  • Resolution: How high or low of a resolution you need all depends on how you plan to use your image. If you just need image files for blogs or email, lower resolution is better. However, if you plan to use your images in a magazine spread or photo gallery, try to get your images as high resolution as possible. Learn more about how to make a picture high res with Photoshop here.
  • Compression: Compression occurs when a file size shrinks because of how it is saved. There are lossy file formats, which reduce the quality of the image the more the file is compressed and there are lossless file formats, which can be compressed without reducing image quality. For instance, JPEG is lossy while RAW is lossless.

If you plan to use your image for print, save as a PDF. Photoshop PDF supports vector images which means the image will not lose its quality when scaled up or down. Upon printing, the image will appear the same on paper as it did in the program.

If you plan to use your image on the web, export your photo by going to "File"→"Export"→"Save for Web" (May appear as SFW). This will open the SFW window. If you are working with a photo, save as a JPEG format, as this is best for web. If you wish to export a banner, logo or other graphic, GFI is the recommended format.

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