Discover how to use cloud documents in Adobe Photoshop to access and edit your Photoshop documents anywhere.

What you'll need

This sample file contains Adobe Stock assets you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase licenses on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file.

The same design of a dancer on a spiral dance floor displayed on the screen of a laptop and tablet

Photoshop is more than a desktop application. It gives you seamless access to your Photoshop documents across devices using the power of cloud documents. A cloud document is a Photoshop document that is stored in the Adobe cloud and can be accessed in Photoshop anywhere. As you work on a cloud document, it is automatically saved to the Adobe cloud with your changes, so it is available and up to date wherever you sign in to Photoshop. You can move freely between Photoshop on your desktop and other devices, working on the same document wherever convenient.

Open a local document in Photoshop on your computer

Sign in to Photoshop on your computer, click the Open button on the Home screen, and open a Photoshop document (.PSD) that is stored locally on your computer. If a Cloud documents window opens, click the On your computer button in that window to switch to your local file system; then navigate to a .PSD on your computer and click Open. If your file system window opens instead, navigate directly to a .PSD on your computer and click Open. 

Cloud documents window with the On Your Computer button highlighted

Edit the document in Photoshop on your computer

One way to quickly change the look of a document is to alter its color with a Gradient Map adjustment layer in Photoshop on your computer.

In the Layers panel, select the layer you want to change—the Swirl layer. Then click the Create New Adjustment Layer button, and choose Gradient Map.

Apply a Gradient Map to the Swirl layer in the Photoshop workspace

The Gradient Map adjustment layer affects all the layers below it. To limit its impact to only the layer right below it—the Swirl layer—click the clipping icon at the bottom of the Properties panel.

The clipping icon is highlighted at the bottom of the Properties panel

In the Properties panel, click the arrow to the right of the gradient, and browse through the folders of gradient presets. When you find a preset you like, click the preset to apply it to the document. We chose the Orange_05 preset. The colors in the gradient are mapped to the shadows, midtones, and highlights in the Swirl layer.

Orange_05 gradient preset selected in the Properties panel

Save to cloud documents

Choose File > Save As. If you see a window with options to choose Save to cloud documents or Save to computer, click the Save to cloud documents button. Then click the Save button in the Cloud documents window.

Save to Cloud documents button highlighted in the Save As window

The document automatically uploads to the Adobe cloud and becomes a cloud document that you can access in Photoshop anywhere. Choose File > Close to close the document. If you are offline when you save to cloud documents, the document will automatically upload to the Adobe cloud when you are connected.

Note: A major benefit of a cloud document is that it automatically and regularly saves to the Adobe cloud as you work on it. The default auto-save interval is ten minutes in Photoshop on your computer. You can change that interval in Preferences > File Handling.

The cloud is connected to Photoshop on all your devices. So the edits you make to a cloud document in Photoshop on your computer are automatically saved and reflected in the same cloud document in Photoshop on your iPad and other devices too.

Tip: If you edit a cloud document while offline, it will automatically upload to the Adobe cloud with your changes when you are back online.

Access the same cloud document in Photoshop on your iPad

You can access and continue to edit the same cloud document in Photoshop on another device, like your iPad or your laptop.

Sign in to Photoshop on your iPad with your Adobe ID. In the Home screen of Photoshop on your iPad, go to the Recent section to view cloud documents you recently worked on, or tap Cloud documents on the left to view all your cloud documents. Tap the thumbnail of the cloud document from the previous step to open it in Photoshop on your iPad.

In the Layers panel on your iPad, tap the Gradient Map adjustment layer you added in Photoshop on your computer. Then tap the Properties icon in the Task bar on the right to open the Properties panel.

Gradient map applied to a layer using Photoshop on the iPad

In the Properties panel, tap the Blending Modes menu, and tap the Lighter Color blend mode to change the look of the swirl. When you’re finished editing, tap the Home icon at the top left of Photoshop on your iPad to close the document.

Note: Every document you work on in Photoshop on your iPad is automatically and regularly saved to the Adobe cloud with your edits, so you don’t have to worry about saving. The default auto-save interval is five minutes in Photoshop on your iPad.

Lighter Color blend mode selected in the Blending Modes menu

Note: Adobe is regularly adding features to Photoshop on your iPad. Even if a feature you apply in Photoshop on your computer is not yet available in Photoshop on your iPad, Photoshop on your iPad may recognize the applied effect. For example, at the time we’re creating this tutorial, Gradient Map adjustment layers are not yet a feature of Photoshop on your iPad. However, the Gradient Map adjustment layer you created in Photoshop on your computer does appear in the Layers panel on your iPad, and you can change its layer properties even if you can’t edit the gradient.

Open a cloud document in Photoshop on your computer

Opening a cloud document in Photoshop on your computer gives you access to everything Photoshop has to offer and can be a useful adjunct to editing in Photoshop on an iPad or other device. In the Home screen of Photoshop on your computer, click the Home tab and go to the Recent section for quick access to documents you worked with recently. Or click Cloud documents on the left. Then click the thumbnail of the cloud document you worked with in Photoshop on your iPad. Alternatively, choose File > Open recent in the Menu bar. The cloud document opens for further editing in Photoshop on your computer.

The Home tab of Photoshop on the desktop includes thumbnails of your recent iPad projects

Note: Another way to open a cloud document in Photoshop on a computer is to choose File > Open in the Menu bar. If a file system window opens, click the Open cloud documents button in that window to switch to a Cloud documents window; then click your cloud document to open it. If the Cloud documents window opens, you can click directly on the cloud document thumbnail.

The Cloud Documents Organizer in Photoshop on a computer or iPad is useful for viewing and managing all your cloud documents. In the Cloud Documents Organizer on a computer, you can organize your cloud documents into folders, as well as rename, delete, and open cloud documents.

The Cloud Documents Organizer helps you manage all your projects in one central location
11/04/2019

Adobe Stock contributors: 621513, R. Gino Santa Maria, Kaspars Grinvalds

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