User Guide Cancel

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. Get to know Photoshop
  3. Photoshop and other Adobe products and services
    1. Work with Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
    2. Work with Photoshop files in InDesign
    3. Substance 3D Materials for Photoshop
    4. Use the Capture in-app extension in Photoshop
  4. Photoshop on the iPad (not available in mainland China)
    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 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. Edit your image size
    23. Livestream as you create in Photoshop on the iPad
    24. Correct imperfections with the Healing Brush
    25. Create brushes in Capture and use them in Photoshop on the iPad
    26. Work with Camera Raw files
    27. Create and work with Smart Objects
    28. Adjust exposure in your images with Dodge and Burn
    29. Auto adjustment commands in Photoshop on the iPad
    30. Smudge areas in your images with Photoshop on the iPad
    31. Saturate or desaturate your images using Sponge tool
    32. Content aware fill for iPad
  5. Photoshop on the web (not available in mainland China)
    1. Common questions
    2. System requirements
    3. Keyboard shortcuts
    4. Supported file types
    5. Introduction to the workspace
    6. Open and work with cloud documents
    7. Generative AI features
    8. Basic concepts of editing
    9. Quick Actions
    10. Work with layers
    11. Retouch images and remove imperfections
    12. Make quick selections
    13. Image improvements with Adjustment Layers
    14. Move, transform, and crop images
    15. Draw and paint
    16. Work with Type layers
    17. Work with anyone on the web
    18. Manage app settings
    19. Generate Image
    20. Generate Background
    21. Reference Image
  6. Photoshop (beta) (not available in mainland China)
    1. Get started with Creative Cloud Beta apps
    2. Photoshop (beta) on the desktop
    3. Generate image with descriptive text prompts
    4. Generate background with descriptive text prompts
  7. Generative AI (not available in mainland China) 
    1. Common questions on generative AI in Photoshop
    2. Generative Fill in Photoshop on the desktop
    3. Generative Expand in Photoshop on the desktop
    4. Generative Fill in Photoshop on the iPad
    5. Generative Expand in Photoshop on the iPad
    6. Generative AI features in Photoshop on the web
  8. Content authenticity (not available in mainland China)
    1. Content credentials in Photoshop
    2. Identity and provenance for NFTs
    3. Connect accounts for creative attribution
  9. Cloud documents (not available in mainland China)
    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. Invite others to edit your cloud documents
    9. Share files and comment in-app
  10. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Preferences
    3. Learn faster with the Photoshop Discover Panel
    4. Create documents
    5. Place files
    6. Default keyboard shortcuts
    7. Customize keyboard shortcuts
    8. Tool galleries
    9. Performance preferences
    10. Use tools
    11. Presets
    12. Grid and guides
    13. Touch gestures
    14. Use the Touch Bar with Photoshop
    15. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    16. Technology previews
    17. Metadata and notes
    18. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    19. Place Photoshop images in other applications
    20. Rulers
    21. Show or hide non-printing Extras
    22. Specify columns for an image
    23. Undo and history
    24. Panels and menus
    25. Position elements with snapping
    26. Position with the Ruler tool
  11. Web, screen, and app design
    1. Photoshop for design
    2. Artboards
    3. Device Preview
    4. Copy CSS from layers
    5. Slice web pages
    6. HTML options for slices
    7. Modify slice layout
    8. Work with web graphics
    9. Create web photo galleries
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Selections
    1. Get started with selections
    2. Make selections in your composite
    3. Select and Mask workspace
    4. Select with the marquee tools
    5. Select with the lasso tools
    6. Adjust pixel selections
    7. Move, copy, and delete selected pixels
    8. Create a temporary quick mask
    9. Select a color range in an image
    10. Convert between paths and selection borders
    11. Channel basics
    12. Save selections and alpha channel masks
    13. Select the image areas in focus
    14. Duplicate, split, and merge channels
    15. Channel calculations
  15. Image adjustments
    1. Replace object colors
    2. Perspective warp
    3. Reduce camera shake blurring
    4. Healing brush examples
    5. Export color lookup tables
    6. Adjust image sharpness and blur
    7. Understand color adjustments
    8. Apply a Brightness/Contrast adjustment
    9. Adjust shadow and highlight detail
    10. Levels adjustment
    11. Adjust hue and saturation
    12. Adjust vibrance
    13. Adjust color saturation in image areas
    14. Make quick tonal adjustments
    15. Apply special color effects to images
    16. Enhance your image with color balance adjustments
    17. High dynamic range images
    18. View histograms and pixel values
    19. Match colors in your image
    20. Crop and straighten photos
    21. Convert a color image to black and white
    22. Adjustment and fill layers
    23. Curves adjustment
    24. Blending modes
    25. Target images for press
    26. Adjust color and tone with Levels and Curves eyedroppers
    27. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    28. Dodge or burn image areas
    29. Make selective color adjustments
  16. 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. Radial Filter in Camera Raw
    10. Manage Camera Raw settings
    11. Open, process, and save images in Camera Raw
    12. Repair images with the Enhanced Spot Removal tool in Camera Raw
    13. Rotate, crop, and adjust images
    14. Adjust color rendering in Camera Raw
    15. Process versions in Camera Raw
    16. Make local adjustments in Camera Raw
  17. 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
  18. Image enhancement and transformation
    1. Replace sky in your images
    2. Transform objects
    3. Adjust crop, rotation, and canvas size
    4. How to crop and straighten photos
    5. Create and edit panoramic images
    6. Warp images, shapes, and paths
    7. Vanishing Point
    8. Content-aware scaling
    9. Transform images, shapes, and paths
  19. 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. Gradient interpolation
    14. Fill and stroke selections, layers, and paths
    15. Draw with the Pen tools
    16. Create patterns
    17. Generate a pattern using the Pattern Maker
    18. Manage paths
    19. Manage pattern libraries and presets
    20. Draw or paint with a graphics tablet
    21. Create textured brushes
    22. Add dynamic elements to brushes
    23. Gradient
    24. Paint stylized strokes with the Art History Brush
    25. Paint with a pattern
    26. Sync presets on multiple devices
    27. Migrate presets, actions, and settings
  20. Text
    1. Add and edit the text
    2. Unified Text Engine
    3. Work with OpenType SVG fonts
    4. Format characters
    5. Format paragraphs
    6. How to create type effects
    7. Edit text
    8. Line and character spacing
    9. Arabic and Hebrew type
    10. Fonts
    11. Troubleshoot fonts
    12. Asian type
    13. Create type
  21. Filters and effects
    1. Use the Blur Gallery
    2. Filter basics
    3. Filter effects reference
    4. Add Lighting Effects
    5. Use the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
    6. Use the Oil Paint filter
    7. Use the Liquify filter
    8. Layer effects and styles
    9. Apply specific filters
    10. Smudge image areas
  22. Saving and exporting
    1. Save your files in Photoshop
    2. Export your files in Photoshop
    3. Supported file formats
    4. Save files in graphics formats
    5. Move designs between Photoshop and Illustrator
    6. Save and export video and animations
    7. Save PDF files
    8. Digimarc copyright protection
  23. Color Management
    1. Understanding color management
    2. Keeping colors consistent
    3. Color settings
    4. Duotones
    5. Work with color profiles
    6. Color-managing documents for online viewing
    7. Color-managing documents when printing
    8. Color-managing imported images
    9. Proofing colors
  24. Web, screen, and app design
    1. Photoshop for design
    2. Artboards
    3. Device Preview
    4. Copy CSS from layers
    5. Slice web pages
    6. HTML options for slices
    7. Modify slice layout
    8. Work with web graphics
    9. Create web photo galleries
  25. 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
  26. 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. Print images to a commercial printing press
    8. Improve color prints from Photoshop
    9. Troubleshoot printing problems | Photoshop
  27. 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
  28. Troubleshooting
    1. Fixed issues 
    2. Known issues
    3. Optimize Photoshop performance
    4. Basic troubleshooting
    5. Troubleshoot crash or freeze
    6. Troubleshoot program errors
    7. Troubleshoot scratch disk full errors
    8. Troubleshoot GPU and graphics driver issues
    9. Find missing tools
    10. Photoshop 3D | Common questions around discontinued features

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.

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.


Get help faster and easier

New user?

Adobe MAX 2024

Adobe MAX
The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX

The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX 2024

Adobe MAX
The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX

The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online