Place Photoshop images in other applications

  1. Photoshop User Guide
  2. Introduction to Photoshop
    1. Dream it. Make it.
    2. What's new in Photoshop
    3. Edit your first photo
    4. Create documents
    5. Photoshop | Common Questions
    6. Photoshop system requirements
    7. Migrate presets, actions, and settings
    8. Get to know Photoshop
  3. Photoshop and Adobe services
    1. Photoshop and Adobe Stock
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries
    3. Creative Cloud Libraries in Photoshop
    4. Grid and guides
    5. Creating actions
    6. Undo and history
    7. Default keyboard shortcuts
    8. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    9. Use the Touch Bar with Photoshop
    10. Use the Capture in-app extension in Photoshop
  4. Photoshop on the iPad
    1. Photoshop on the iPad | Common questions
    2. Get to know the workspace
    3. System requirements | Photoshop on the iPad
    4. Create, open, and export cloud documents
    5. Add photos
    6. Work with layers
    7. Draw and paint with brushes
    8. Make selections and add masks
    9. Retouch your composites
    10. Work with adjustment layers
    11. Adjust the tonality of your composite with Curves
    12. Apply transform operations
    13. Crop and rotate your composites
    14. Rotate, pan, zoom, and reset the canvas
    15. Work with Type layers
    16. Work with Photoshop and Lightroom
    17. Get missing fonts in Photoshop on the iPad
    18. Japanese Text in Photoshop on the iPad
    19. Manage app settings
    20. Touch shortcuts and gestures
    21. Keyboard shortcuts
    22. System requirements 1.x | Photoshop on the iPad
    23. System requirements 2.x | Photoshop on the iPad
    24. Edit your image size
    25. Livestream as you create in Photoshop on the iPad
    26. Correct imperfections with the Healing Brush
    27. Create brushes in Capture and use them in Photoshop
  5. Photoshop on the web
    1. Photoshop on the web | Common questions    
    2. Introduction to the workspace
    3. System requirements | Photoshop on the web
    4. Keyboard shortcuts | Photoshop on the web
    5. Supported file types | Photoshop on the web
    6. Open and work with cloud documents
    7. Collaborate with stakeholders
    8. Apply limited edits to your cloud documents
  6. Cloud documents
    1. Photoshop cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Photoshop cloud documents | Workflow questions
    3. Manage and work with cloud documents in Photoshop
    4. Upgrade cloud storage for Photoshop
    5. Unable to create or save a cloud document
    6. Solve Photoshop cloud document errors
    7. Collect cloud document sync logs
    8. Share access and edit your cloud documents
  7. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Create documents
    3. Use the Touch Bar with Photoshop
    4. Microsoft Dial support in Photoshop
    5. Tool galleries
    6. Performance preferences
    7. Use tools
    8. Touch gestures
    9. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    10. Technology previews
    11. Metadata and notes
    12. Quickly share your creations
    13. Place Photoshop images in other applications
    14. Preferences
    15. Default keyboard shortcuts
    16. Rulers
    17. Show or hide non-printing Extras
    18. Specify columns for an image
    19. Undo and history
    20. Panels and menus
    21. Place files
    22. Position elements with snapping
    23. Position with the Ruler tool
    24. Presets
    25. Customize keyboard shortcuts
    26. Grid and guides
  8. Web, screen, and app design
    1. Photoshop for design
    2. Artboards
    3. Export files in Photoshop
    4. Device Preview
    5. Copy CSS from layers
    6. Slice web pages
    7. HTML options for slices
    8. Modify slice layout
    9. Work with web graphics
    10. Create web photo galleries
  9. Image and color basics
    1. How to resize images
    2. Work with raster and vector images
    3. Image size and resolution
    4. Acquire images from cameras and scanners
    5. Create, open, and import images
    6. View images
    7. Invalid JPEG Marker error | Opening images
    8. Viewing multiple images
    9. Customize color pickers and swatches
    10. High dynamic range images
    11. Match colors in your image
    12. Convert between color modes
    13. Color modes
    14. Erase parts of an image
    15. Blending modes
    16. Choose colors
    17. Customize indexed color tables
    18. Image information
    19. Distort filters are unavailable
    20. About color
    21. Color and monochrome adjustments using channels
    22. Choose colors in the Color and Swatches panels
    23. Sample
    24. Color mode or Image mode
    25. Color cast
    26. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    27. Add swatches from HTML CSS and SVG
    28. Bit depth and preferences
  10. Layers
    1. Layer basics
    2. Nondestructive editing
    3. Create and manage layers and groups
    4. Select, group, and link layers
    5. Place images into frames
    6. Layer opacity and blending
    7. Mask layers
    8. Apply Smart Filters
    9. Layer comps
    10. Move, stack, and lock layers
    11. Mask layers with vector masks
    12. Manage layers and groups
    13. Layer effects and styles
    14. Edit layer masks
    15. Extract assets
    16. Reveal layers with clipping masks
    17. Generate image assets from layers
    18. Work with Smart Objects
    19. Blending modes
    20. Combine multiple images into a group portrait
    21. Combine images with Auto-Blend Layers
    22. Align and distribute layers
    23. Copy CSS from layers
    24. Load selections from a layer or layer mask's boundaries
    25. Knockout to reveal content from other layers
    26. Layer
    27. Flattening
    28. Composite
    29. Background
  11. Selections
    1. Select and Mask workspace
    2. Make quick selections
    3. Get started with selections
    4. Select with the marquee tools
    5. Select with the lasso tools
    6. Select a color range in an image
    7. Adjust pixel selections
    8. Convert between paths and selection borders
    9. Channel basics
    10. Move, copy, and delete selected pixels
    11. Create a temporary quick mask
    12. Save selections and alpha channel masks
    13. Select the image areas in focus
    14. Duplicate, split, and merge channels
    15. Channel calculations
    16. Selection
    17. Bounding box
  12. Image adjustments
    1. Perspective warp
    2. Reduce camera shake blurring
    3. Healing brush examples
    4. Export color lookup tables
    5. Adjust image sharpness and blur
    6. Understand color adjustments
    7. Apply a Brightness/Contrast adjustment
    8. Adjust shadow and highlight detail
    9. Levels adjustment
    10. Adjust hue and saturation
    11. Adjust vibrance
    12. Adjust color saturation in image areas
    13. Make quick tonal adjustments
    14. Apply special color effects to images
    15. Enhance your image with color balance adjustments
    16. High dynamic range images
    17. View histograms and pixel values
    18. Match colors in your image
    19. How to crop and straighten photos
    20. Convert a color image to black and white
    21. Adjustment and fill layers
    22. Curves adjustment
    23. Blending modes
    24. Target images for press
    25. Adjust color and tone with Levels and Curves eyedroppers
    26. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    27. Filter
    28. Blur
    29. Dodge or burn image areas
    30. Make selective color adjustments
    31. Replace object colors
  13. Adobe Camera Raw
    1. Camera Raw system requirements
    2. What's new in Camera Raw
    3. Introduction to Camera Raw
    4. Create panoramas
    5. Supported lenses
    6. Vignette, grain, and dehaze effects in Camera Raw
    7. Default keyboard shortcuts
    8. Automatic perspective correction in Camera Raw
    9. How to make non-destructive edits in Camera Raw
    10. Radial Filter in Camera Raw
    11. Manage Camera Raw settings
    12. Open, process, and save images in Camera Raw
    13. Repair images with the Enhanced Spot Removal tool in Camera Raw
    14. Rotate, crop, and adjust images
    15. Adjust color rendering in Camera Raw
    16. Feature summary | Adobe Camera Raw | 2018 releases
    17. New features summary
    18. Process versions in Camera Raw
    19. Make local adjustments in Camera Raw
  14. Image repair and restoration
    1. Remove objects from your photos with Content-Aware Fill
    2. Content-Aware Patch and Move
    3. Retouch and repair photos
    4. Correct image distortion and noise
    5. Basic troubleshooting steps to fix most issues
  15. Image transformations
    1. Transform objects
    2. Adjust crop, rotation, and canvas size
    3. How to crop and straighten photos
    4. Create and edit panoramic images
    5. Warp images, shapes, and paths
    6. Vanishing Point
    7. Use the Liquify filter
    8. Content-aware scaling
    9. Transform images, shapes, and paths
    10. Warp
    11. Transform
    12. Panorama
  16. Drawing and painting
    1. Paint symmetrical patterns
    2. Draw rectangles and modify stroke options
    3. About drawing
    4. Draw and edit shapes
    5. Painting tools
    6. Create and modify brushes
    7. Blending modes
    8. Add color to paths
    9. Edit paths
    10. Paint with the Mixer Brush
    11. Brush presets
    12. Gradients
    13. Fill and stroke selections, layers, and paths
    14. Draw with the Pen tools
    15. Create patterns
    16. Generate a pattern using the Pattern Maker
    17. Manage paths
    18. Manage pattern libraries and presets
    19. Draw or paint with a graphics tablet
    20. Create textured brushes
    21. Add dynamic elements to brushes
    22. Gradient
    23. Paint stylized strokes with the Art History Brush
    24. Paint with a pattern
    25. Sync presets on multiple devices
  17. Text
    1. Work with OpenType SVG fonts
    2. Format characters
    3. Format paragraphs
    4. How to create type effects
    5. Edit text
    6. Line and character spacing
    7. Arabic and Hebrew type
    8. Fonts
    9. Troubleshoot fonts
    10. Asian type
    11. Create type
    12. Text Engine error using Type tool in Photoshop | Windows 8
    13. World-Ready composer for Asian Scripts
    14. How to add and edit text in Photoshop
  18. Video and animation
    1. Video editing in Photoshop
    2. Edit video and animation layers
    3. Video and animation overview
    4. Preview video and animations
    5. Paint frames in video layers
    6. Import video files and image sequences
    7. Create frame animations
    8. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    9. Create timeline animations
    10. Create images for video
  19. Filters and effects
    1. Use the Liquify filter
    2. Use the Blur Gallery
    3. Filter basics
    4. Filter effects reference
    5. Add Lighting Effects
    6. Use the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
    7. Use the Oil Paint filter
    8. Layer effects and styles
    9. Apply specific filters
    10. Smudge image areas
  20. Saving and exporting
    1. Save files in graphics formats
    2. Save your files in Photoshop
    3. File formats
    4. Save and export video and animations
    5. Save PDF files
    6. Digimarc copyright protection
  21. Printing
    1. Print 3D objects
    2. Print from Photoshop
    3. Print with color management
    4. Contact Sheets and PDF Presentations
    5. Print photos in a picture package layout
    6. Print spot colors
    7. Duotones
    8. Print images to a commercial printing press
    9. Improve color prints from Photoshop
    10. Troubleshoot printing problems | Photoshop
  22. Automation
    1. Creating actions
    2. Create data-driven graphics
    3. Scripting
    4. Process a batch of files
    5. Play and manage actions
    6. Add conditional actions
    7. About actions and the Actions panel
    8. Record tools in actions
    9. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    10. Photoshop UI toolkit for plug-ins and scripts
  23. 3D and technical imaging
    1. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    2. Print 3D objects
    3. 3D painting
    4. 3D panel enhancements | Photoshop
    5. Essential 3D concepts and tools
    6. 3D rendering and saving
    7. Create 3D objects and animations
    8. Image stacks
    9. 3D workflow
    10. Measurement
    11. DICOM files
    12. Photoshop and MATLAB
    13. Count objects in an image
    14. Combine and convert 3D objects
    15. 3D texture editing
    16. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    17. 3D panel settings
  24. Color Management
    1. Understanding color management
    2. Keeping colors consistent
    3. Color settings
    4. Work with color profiles
    5. Color-managing documents for online viewing
    6. Color-managing documents when printing
    7. Color-managing imported images
    8. Proofing colors

Photoshop provides a number of features to help you use images in other applications. Because of the tight integration between Adobe products, many Adobe applications can directly import Photoshop (PSD) format files and use Photoshop features like layers, layer styles, masks, transparency, and effects.

Prepare images for page-layout programs

How you prepare an image for a page-layout program depends upon the file formats the program recognizes:

  • Adobe InDesign 2.0 and later can place Photoshop PSD files. You do not need to save or export your Photoshop image to a different file format. Transparent areas are displayed and printed as expected.

  • Most other page-layout programs require you to save the image as a TIFF or EPS file. However, if the image contains fully transparent areas, you must first define those areas using a clipping path. Check the documentation for your page-layout program to determine the best format for importing Photoshop images.

If the page-layout program cannot place Photoshop PSD files, follow these steps:

  1. If your image contains a transparent background or areas that you want to be transparent, create a clipping path around the opaque areas of the image. Even if you have deleted the background around the image, you must define the area with a clipping path before converting the file to TIFF or EPS format. Otherwise, areas that are transparent may appear as white in the page-layout program.
  2. Choose File > Save As.
  3. In the Save As dialog box, choose the appropriate format from the Format menu. The format you choose depends on the final output for the document. For printing to non-PostScript printers, choose TIFF. For printing to PostScript printers, choose Photoshop EPS. Then click Save.
  4. In the TIFF Options or EPS Options dialog box, set the following options. Leave any remaining options at their default settings, and click OK.
    • TIFF Options dialog box: set Image Compression to None.

    • EPS Options dialog box (Windows): set Preview to TIFF (8 bits/pixel) and Encoding to ASCII85.

    • EPS Options dialog box (Mac OS): set Preview to Mac (8 bits/pixel) and Encoding to ASCII85.


    If the layout program displays transparent areas as white, try printing the document. Some layout programs do not display clipping paths properly but print them as expected.

Use Photoshop artwork in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator can both open or place Photoshop files; you do not need to save or export your Photoshop image to a different file format. If you place an image into an open Illustrator file, you can incorporate the image as if it were any other element in the artwork, or you can maintain a link to the original file. Although you can’t edit a linked image within Illustrator, you can jump back to Photoshop, using the Edit Original command, to revise it. Once saved, any changes you make are reflected in the version in Illustrator.

  1. If the image file is open in Photoshop, save it as a Photoshop (PSD) file, and close the file.
  2. In Adobe Illustrator, do one of the following:
    • To open the file directly in Illustrator, choose File > Open. Locate the image in the Open File dialog box, and click Open.

    • To incorporate the image into an existing Illustrator file, choose File > Place. Locate the file in the Place dialog box, make sure the Link option is not selected, and click Place.

    • To place the image into a file but maintain a link to the original, choose File > Place. In the Place dialog box, locate the file, select the Link option, and click Place. Illustrator centers the image in the open illustration. A red X through the image indicates it is linked and not editable.

  3. If you opened or placed the image without linking, the Photoshop Import dialog box appears. Choose the appropriate option as follows, and click OK:
    • Convert Photoshop Layers To Objects to convert the layers to Illustrator objects. This option preserves masks, blending modes, transparency, and (optionally) slices and image maps. However, it does not support Photoshop adjustment layers and layer effects.

    • Flatten Photoshop Layers To A Single Image to merge all the layers into a single layer. This option preserves the look of the image, but you can no longer edit individual layers.

Create transparency using image clipping paths

You can use image clipping paths to define transparent areas in images you place in page-layout applications. In addition, Mac OS users can embed Photoshop images in many word-processor files.

You may want to use only part of a Photoshop image when printing it or placing it in another application. For example, you may want to use a foreground object and exclude the background. An image clipping path lets you isolate the foreground object and make everything else transparent when the image is printed or placed in another application.


Paths are vector-based; therefore, they have hard edges. You cannot preserve the softness of a feathered edge, such as in a shadow, when creating an image clipping path.

Photoshop With and without clipping path
Image imported into Illustrator or InDesign without image clipping path (left), and with image clipping path (right)

  1. Draw a work path that defines the area of the image you want to show.

    If you’ve already selected the area of the image you want to show, you can convert the selection to a work path. See Convert a selection to a path for instructions.

  2. In the Paths panel, save the work path as a path.
  3. Choose Clipping Path from the Paths panel menu, set the following options, and click OK:
    • For Path, choose the path you want to save.

    • For Flatness, leave the flatness value blank to print the image using the printer’s default value. If you experience printing errors, enter a flatness value to determine how the PostScript interpreter approximates the curve. The lower the flatness value, the greater the number of straight lines used to draw the curve and the more accurate the curve. Values can range from 0.2 to 100. In general, a flatness setting from 8 to 10 is recommended for high-resolution printing (1200 dpi to 2400 dpi), and a setting from 1 to 3 for low-resolution printing (300 dpi to 600 dpi).

  4. If you plan to print the file using process colors, convert the file to CMYK mode.
  5. Save the file by doing one of the following:
    • To print the file using a PostScript printer, save in Photoshop EPS, DCS, or PDF format.

    • To print the file using a non-PostScript printer, save in TIFF format and export to Adobe InDesign, or to Adobe PageMaker® 5.0 or later.

Print image clipping paths

Sometimes an imagesetter cannot interpret image clipping paths, or an image clipping path is too complex for a printer, resulting in a Limitcheck error or a general PostScript error. Sometimes you can print a complex path on a low-resolution printer without difficulty but run into problems when printing the same path on a high-resolution printer. This is because the lower-resolution printer simplifies the path, using fewer line segments to describe curves than the high-resolution printer does.

You can simplify an image clipping path in the following ways:

  • Manually reduce the number of anchor points on the path.

  • Increase the tolerance setting used to create the path. To do this, load the existing path as a selection, choose Make Work Path from the Paths panel menu, and increase the tolerance setting (4 to 6 pixels is a good starting value). Then re-create the image clipping path.

Export paths to Adobe Illustrator

The Paths To Illustrator command lets you export Photoshop paths as Adobe Illustrator files. Exporting paths in this way simplifies the task of combining Photoshop and Illustrator artwork or using Photoshop features with Illustrator artwork. For example, you may want to export a pen tool path and stroke it to use as a trap with a Photoshop clipping path you are printing in Illustrator. You can also use this feature to align Illustrator text or objects with Photoshop paths.

  1. Draw and save a path or convert an existing selection into a path.
  2. Choose File > Export > Paths To Illustrator.
  3. Choose a location for the exported path, and enter a filename. Make sure Work Path is chosen from the Path menu to export the path.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Open the file in Adobe Illustrator. You can manipulate the path or use the path to align Illustrator objects that you add to the file.

    Note that the crop marks in Adobe Illustrator reflect the dimensions of the Photoshop image. The position of the path within the Photoshop image is maintained, provided you don’t change the crop marks or move the path.

Link or embed an image using OLE (Windows only)

Photoshop is an OLE 2.0 server, which means it supports embedding or linking an image in an OLE container application (usually a word-processing or page-layout program). For example, you can insert Photoshop files and selections into other OLE applications, such as Adobe PageMaker, Adobe FrameMaker, and Microsoft Word, using copy and paste or other methods.

  • Linking lets you place a link in the OLE container file that refers to the Photoshop file on the hard drive.

  • Embedding lets you insert the Photoshop file into the OLE container file.

    After the image is in the container application, you can double-click it for editing in Photoshop. When you close the image in Photoshop, it is updated in the container application.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Copy a selection in Photoshop, and insert it in your OLE container application using the application’s Paste Special command. Refer to your word-processing or page-layout application documentation for more instructions. Pasted selections can only be embedded, not linked.

    • Use your OLE container application’s Insert Object command to insert a new Photoshop image or existing Photoshop file as an OLE-embedded or OLE-linked object. Refer to your word-processing or page-layout application documentation for instructions.

Insert an unlinked screen-resolution bitmap into an OLE application

  1. With the Move tool  , drag a selection to the OLE container application. When you drop the object, it appears as a 72‑ppi bitmap, which cannot be automatically updated in Photoshop.

Modify and update a linked or embedded image in an OLE application

  1. Double-click the linked or embedded image in your word-processing or page-layout application to start Photoshop (if it is not already running), and open the image for editing.
  2. Modify the image as desired.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • For embedded images, close the file, or choose File > Update or File > Close & Return to [application name].

    • For linked images, save and close the file.


    You can also modify linked files without first opening the container document. The linked image is updated the next time you open the document in its OLE container application.

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