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How to Open Special Files in Photoshop CS6

Photoshop CS6 needs to know the image format of a file (whether it’s a TIFF, PCX, PSD, or JPEG file, for example) before it can open the file. Photoshop uses different methods in Windows and Mac OS to determine the format of an image file:

  • In Windows, Photoshop looks at the file extension (.tif, .pcx, .psd, and so forth), and if it finds a standard image format extension, it assumes that the file was saved using that format.

    File extensions are hidden by default in Windows. You, like many other users, may have changed the default to display file extensions.

  • Mac OS X uses a similar system based on filename extensions. File extensions may or may not be hidden in the Mac OS. Showing or hiding file extensions can be accomplished via any file’s Info dialog box.

    Select the file in the Mac OS X Finder and press Command+I to make the Info dialog box pop up. In this dialog box, you can show or hide the extension for that file and change what application is associated with that file (or all files with the same extension).

For compatibility reasons, Macintosh applications, such as Photoshop usually use the Windows file extension. However, when you move files from one platform to the other, they can easily be misidentified. With Photoshop’s Open As feature, you can specify the format that you think (or know) a given file uses. This facility works slightly differently in Windows than in the Mac OS.

How to open specific Photoshop CS6 files using Windows

In Windows, follow these steps to open a specific file:

  1. Choose File→Open As and navigate to the file you want to open.

  2. From the Open As drop-down list, select the file format you want to use.

  3. Double-click the file’s icon.

    If you selected the right format in Step 2, the file opens in Photoshop. If the file doesn’t open, you may have selected the wrong format. Select another and try again.

How to open specific Photoshop files on a Mac

The standard Open dialog box includes an Enable option at the bottom. Select All Documents from the Enable pop-up menu. Then, you can select the file format you want to try directly from the Format pop-up menu.

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