As a graphic designer using Photoshop, you’ll work with a variety of image types. It’s essential to understand the various saving formats for different image types like the PNG and know what each image type is most suitable for. Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to save your image as PNG.

PNG or Portable Network Graphic is an image type on Photoshop used commonly in web designs. It provides a transparent/semi-transparent background. It is suitable for logos as one can place the image on any background.

If you can’t save as PNG files in Photoshop, chances are you’re missing a step somewhere.

Key takeaways

  • To save in PNG format, your colour mode should be RGB.
  • The Byte size should be 8 or 16byte.
  • Remove your background layer before saving the file.
  • Choose PNG in “save as type” in your save as dialogue box.
photoshop cant save as png featured image

Step-by-Step guideline on how to save as PNG

Selecting the New sub-option from the File option

Step 1: Create a new canvas

Before you can save any file or work, you have to create something new; this step starts by showing you how to create a new canvas to save the work done on it. To create a new canvas, open your Photoshop, scroll to the left-hand side of your screen, click on File, and proceed to click on New from the drop-down options you get.

The dialogue box when creating the new canvas

Step 2: Fill in the necessary details for the new canvas created

If you intend to save your file in a PNG format, the following information is crucial for achieving that. Once you click on New, a dialogue box will appear, with some information for you to fill in. The dialogue box contains Width and Height Ratio, Resolution, and the PNG format save mode’s vital factor, the Color mode.

To save your image in PNG format, your Color mode must be RGB. Choose the RGB option among others such as CMYK, which you’ll find when you click on the Color mode. Also, note the bytes size concerning the RGB Color mode. The options available are 8byte, 16byte, and 32byte. For PNG, the byte size that supports is both 8byte and 16byte. Once done, click ok to create the new canvas.

Black rectangle on the photoshop screen

Step 3: Create something on your canvas

To save an image, you need to create one. In this step, create a layer, and afterwards, draw a rectangle on the new layer with the help of a rectangle tool, creating the rectangle image on the screen.

The black rectangle on a background layer

Step 4: Remove your background

Since, PNG does not save with a background, you need to remove your background layer. To remove the background layer, highlight the design you wish to save, go to the right-hand side of the screen, and scroll to the Layer side. There, you’ll find your Background layer and the Rectangle layer. Right on the Background layer, there is an open “eye”, click on it to lock it and close the background.

Selecting the "Save As" sub-option from the File option

Step 5: Saving your file as PNG

A point to note is that, for PNG saving format, the image will have no background layer; the image above, when saved as PNG, will only save the drawn and highlighted rectangle without the background layer. With this in mind, proceed to the left-hand side of your screen, go to Files once more, and then click on Save as.

The "Save As" dialogue box

Step 6: Saving process continued

Once you click on Save as, a dialogue box appears. In it, there is the Save as type, which displays different examples of saving format; Jpeg, PSG, and PDF. Click on the PNG format, pick your saving location, here the location is the Desktop, then click Save.

The dialogue box of PNG options

Step 7: Compression set

Once you click save, another dialogue box will appear showing PNG compression options of Non-compression, Fast compression, and Slow or smallest compression. Here, non-compression means no compression.

The final file size is the largest; the Fast compression does the compression faster, and the final file size of the image is more prominent, while the slow compression is, of course, slower with a smaller final file size of the picture.

Note: The more you compress the image, the lower the quality of the final image is saved. If you still intend to edit your image or design it, use non-compression to save at first so that when you further edit, the file opened still retains its original image quality/ number of pixels.

On the other hand, if you are done editing and working on the image and wish to share the file online, you can use small compression to save storage space and to get the image uploaded faster on the internet for usage on any front.

Once you are done with information filling, your design/file is ready for usage and sharing anywhere and anytime.


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As a graphic designer, the type of project you are working on determines the image type you’ll be saving your work at the end of the day. If what you desire is a sharp image with a transparent/semitransparent background fit for the web, PNG is the best type for you to work with.

This post is a part of our series on Photoshop tutorials