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A guide to convert the PSD image file to a PDF

by Casey Schmidt  |  January 6, 2020

3 min. read
An arrowed representation of conversion.

The PSD is a highly editable image file that allows users to work with different graphics and designs within it. However, sometimes users need a file that simply exists for others to see and not be edited. Whether it’s for sharing with a coworker, a friend or a corporation, sometimes you need to convert the PSD to a PDF. Here’s a guide to help you out.

What is the PSD?

The PSD image file is the official file format for the Adobe Photoshop program. PSD stands for Photoshop document and is drastically different from most image files. This is because it typically contains numerous images and can reflect multiple aspects of graphics. It’s an efficient file for editing graphics extensively.

What is the PDF?

The PDF document file is a format that contains printed documents. It allows users to search and view links within a document. PDFs hold multimedia like video and audio and are much safer than the average document file type. It is a professional document that is great for sharing because it’s hard for the recipient to edit it.

A picture of the PDF file icon.
The PDF file is a professional file type.

How to convert the PSD to PDF

There are three different ways to convert a PSD to a PDF. The first method is for anyone who has access to the Adobe Photoshop software. First, open your Photoshop program. Under ‘file’, select ‘save as’. Use the dropdown menu ‘format’ to change the type to PDF. Click ‘save’. This will give you a PDF in the most direct way.

The next two steps are for users who don’t have access to Photoshop. The first way is by using a browser-based converter. This method is great for users with a fast internet connection and only a few files to convert. It only requires an upload and download of a relatively small file, so this process is perfect for anyone worried about hard drive space. I recommend Zamzar for its quick speeds and simple interface.

Finally, if you want a system that operates right from your desktop, there are some installable programs available. These are ideal for anyone with a lot of hard drive space and limited to no internet access. These programs let users convert numerous files at once. I like Coolutils’ version due to its easy-to-use system.

Arrows going in the same direction, except for one.
There are a lot of different ways to make this conversion.

Why convert a PSD to PDF?

The PSD and PDF are quite different file types, one being more of a graphics file and the other leaning toward a document file. Why would you need to convert the PSD to PDF? For one, the PSD is designed to be edited extensively. Its main purpose is to open into Photoshop and undergo a lot of different edits by multiple users.

The PDF, on the other hand, is typically in its final form and ready to be shared. Therefore, if you have a PSD that requires no more editing, you might convert it to a PDF document in order to make sure it doesn’t get altered further. This is especially true when sharing the file with another user or uploading it to a website. The PDF format prevents the recipient from changing your file.

Ultimately, the PDF is a much more professional document. It’s capable of acting as a contract, resume or other business file type. For all of the unique benefits of the PSD, it just can’t handle some of the things PDF can. When this is the case, make sure you know how to make a conversion.