Photoshop: Maximize file compatibility bloats files, need smaller option

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I understand the purpose of the Pref setting: Maximize File Compatibility is to allow older versions of photoshop to be able to open a layered file created from a newer version of photoshop; should there be a compatibility issue. Basically it includes a flattened composite of the layered file.

This composite is also used by other applications such as; the Mac OS uses it to provide a "preview" image in column view, Mosaic DAM software to create thumbnails and image previews, etc. Without this option turned on, you get a generic photoshop thumbnail showing 4 lines of type you can't read, useless.
See attached images:





What I'd like to see is the option, (or just make it standard practice); is for photoshop to create a small, low res flattened version, at a low quality setting, that would be on the kb in size for a thumbnail. And imbed that into the psd file, (vs the bloated composite), to be used for thumbnail / preview by other applications / Mac OS etc.

Why??....

1) Because when you use the Maximize File compatibility it greatly bloats the file size.
I did some experimenting saving different size files with and without Maximize File compatibility and found that on 10 layered files ranging from 14Mb to 45Mb. The new file size increased a whopping 35% to 88%. That's a heavy price to pay both on my system here, our back up / archive, CD / DVD burning, and our client systems.

2) I'm in the process of putting together a browser based image library. To render a image thumbnail it shows the generic lines of type if layered (useless), and a image thumbnail only if "File compatibility" is set to Yes. ( Which greatly increases file size, and cost of storage space).

Conclusion:
Not being a coder and therefore I maybe speaking foolishness. It would seem to me that Adobe would have (by now), written code to create a small, low res flattened version, at a low quality setting, that would be on the kb in size for a thumbnail. And imbed that into the file, vs the bloated composite. I understand the reason for the composite for file compatibailty with previous versions etc. Just not for creating the thumbnail. They could leave the full size composite for what is intended (to be compatible with older versions of Photoshop).

I hope that this is something that can be implemented in the next version.

JeffN
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Jeff Natrop

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Posted 6 years ago

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Chris Cox

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The composite has to be the same size as the full document.

PSDs do typically include thumbnails and previews at lower resolution - but not all software reads those.
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Jeff Natrop

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"The composite has to be the same size as the full document. "

Yes I understand this to be true for the Maximize compatibility use by earlier photoshop versions. But for thumbnail or other uses couldn't there be an option to include a composite that is the same dimension as the document ( eg. 8"x10") but at 72 ppi and low jpeg compression to keep the file size down.

"PSDs do typically include thumbnails and previews at lower resolution - but not all software reads those."

Is this true of layered PSDs?

I have the "Always Save" Image Previews for icon & windows thumbnail selected. But that doesn't seem to solve the problem. As shown in my attached images, the Mac OS finder doesn't show a preview in the column view, (just the generic photoshop lines of type). The Mosaic Digital Asset Management software (image library), also doesn't / can't use the what ever is created.

Apple / Mac OS is a major player. Something is wrong if they can't use the photoshop supplied thumbnail in the finder preview. I don't think they would display the generic photoshop lines of type if they had a image thumbnail they could use. Note that Mac does use an image thumbnail in the icon view, and cover flow view.

I'm hoping / suggesting for a solution to provide other applications the ability to show an image thumbnail without the need to set photoshop to "Maximize Compatibility" and the bloated file size, just to be able to show an image thumbnail,
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Chris Cox

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No, the composite has to be the same PIXEL size as the document.
The best we can do is writing solid white or solid black in the composite (because solid colors compress well) when maximize compatibility is off. But many other applications don't read layers, and need the real composite.

Thumbnails and previews are options - as seen in the preferences and save dialog. And it won't solve anything if other applications don't read the previews or thumbnails (which Apple doesn't seem to do).

Let's just say that Apple has a long history of poor file format support (and a worse history of reading documentation or specifications).
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Jeff Natrop

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Thanks for reply and info. Unfortunately the issue remains. I've run into this issue with other applications where it only will use the full size composite file attached to a layered psd. Without that I just get the generic 4 lines of type as a thumbnail which is useless for visually discerning what the file is. And adding the composite just makes the file too large. (35-88%)
I wish there was a way to attach a low res small compressed file / data to the layered psd, which other applications could use in place of the full res composite.
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conroy

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"I wish there was a way to attach a low res small compressed file / data to the layered psd, which other applications could use in place of the full res composite."

When you say "small", would 256 x 256 pixels be enough?

When the Photoshop preference to include icon when saving is enabled, a 256 x 256 composite is attached to the saved file in an extended attribute named "com.apple.ResourceFork".

Ask the developers of the other applications to make their software use that when a composite cannot be read from inside a file.
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Jeff Natrop

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I'm thankful there are people out there that are smarter then me.

I'll send your info / suggestion on to the developer and see if that will solve the issue. 256 px is a bit small, may be they can res is up to 512 px

thanks for the suggestion!
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conroy

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You're welcome, and good luck!

By the way, let the developer know that Ps CS6 and CS5.1 (I don't have earlier versions to check) do not create identical icons. CS5.1 icons are multi-resolution and current CS6 icons are a single image.

With OS X 10.6.8, 512 x 512 pixel icons can be attached to files. I wouldn't be surprised if larger is allowed with newer OS X, now that Retina displays are available. You could ask Adobe to provide a preference for icon size in future Ps.

For now, you can replace the icons created by Ps with larger ones, either manually or with a batch-processing script that your developer could quickly throw together, but a subsequent save from Ps would again put a 256 x 256 icon on a file.

Edit: New OS X supports icons containing multiple images up to 1024 x 1024 pixels which will provide sharp images when displayed at various scales and are recommended for Retina displays.
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Jeff Natrop

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Another option in the interim....
When Max File Compatibility is set to "ASK" in preferences, change the default option to No (leave the check box empty by default). Or at least in the preference window, give us the option it we want the Max box checked or not checked. If you want you want to save a file with Max File Comp. then check the box.
Most often I don't want to save the file with Max File Comp because it bloats the files. It would be faster to just click OK when the window pops up rather than have to uncheck the box each and every time, then hit ok.

JeffN