Photoshop/Photoshop Elements: Why are there no thumbnails for PSD files in Windows Explorer?

  • 3
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Answered
  • (Edited)
I upgraded to Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. Now, all the thumbnails for my .PDF files are gone! Thumbnails for my .JPEG, .JPG, and .TIFF display as usual, but the only thing that shows for each of my .PDF files is the picture title and a PDF icon. This is totally unacceptable. Please tell me how to display the thumbnails for my .PDF files.
Photo of Joanne Taylor

Joanne Taylor

  • 7 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
  • frustrated and angry

Posted 8 years ago

  • 3
Photo of Brett N

Brett N, Official Rep

  • 2260 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes
Most likely there was some sort of corruption of the thumbnail database during the conversion process. Try following solution 3 (but skip step 4) from http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/916/cpsid_91....
Photo of Joanne Taylor

Joanne Taylor

  • 7 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
This is Jo, the actual user of Adobe, and here is a precise description of the problem. Microsoft Windows does NOT display .PSD thumbnails. In August I purchased Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. I already had Elements 4 and Elements 6 on my computer. I decided to remove the oldest version (Elements 4) before installation of Elements 9. As soon as I removed this version I could no longer see the .PSD files in the My Pictures library of Microsoft. I could still view them in the Elements 6 Organizer. So, I did an experiment of regenerating a thumbnail for a .PSD file to see if this would again allow it to be viewed by Microsoft - no luck. I then reinstalled Photoshop Elements 4 to see if this would again make the .PSD thumbnails visible. No such luck. Since this time, I have moved my pictures to another computer as the old computer wouldn't handle Photoshop Elements 9. I installed Photoshop Elements 9, converted the catalog to Photoshop Elements 9 and, as far as Photoshop is concerned, everything is fine. I can see all thumbnails in the Organizer. However, the .PSD thumbnails still CANNOT be viewed by windows when looking in a file with pictures. At this point I am feeling that the only solution is to save everything as a .JPG file as it is very difficult to find a specific picture when all I can see is the generic .PSD figure. This is a drastic measure as I then lose any layers, etc. Do you have a better solution?
Jo
Photo of Joanne Taylor

Joanne Taylor

  • 7 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I hope you got the above. If you didn't get the long explanation I sent a few minutes ago, please advise and I will resend it. Jo
Photo of Brett N

Brett N, Official Rep

  • 2260 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes
Official Response
Windows has never supported thumbnail generation for PSD files.

A long time ago, old versions of Photoshop would install a file into Windows that would allow the system to generate PSD thumbnails. However, this caused other problems on the system. So we stopped releasing the software with this feature. Instead, we started releasing Photoshop with Bridge, which is a file navigation application similar to Windows Explorer, except it generates thumbnails for all files supported by Adobe products (even if you don't have that product installed. E.g., you would get thumbnails from Illustrator, .AI, files even if Illustrator is not installed).

I couldn't say why you had thumbnails in Windows Explorer for your PSD files previously, perhaps you had an old version of Photoshop installed at some point. Nor can I say why uninstalling Photoshop Elements 4 would take it away, as Windows PSD thumbnail generation was never a feature of Photoshop Elements. Now that the thumbnails are gone, you are seeing the normal expected behavior for Windows.

Instead, you should just use Organizer for perusing your image files. One of the reasons for using the Organizer is as a replacement for Windows Explorer as it provides thumbnails for all of your image files.

In the end, it is not up to Adobe to determine what file formats Windows Explorer will generate thumbnails for, that would be the responsibility of Microsoft.
Photo of Ken

Ken

  • 146 Posts
  • 34 Reply Likes
Brett N:

Wrong!

It's Adobe's responsibility to provide the system DLL to display PSD files in Windows Explorer. Microsoft documents the API calls and therefore Windows Explorer supports any company that provides that thumbnail generation--witness the 3rd party DLLs that do display PSD thumbnails in WE.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Shame on Adobe for not doing the right thing and providing thumbnail capability in WE for Adobe's proprietary file format!

You can't get away with trying to blame Microsoft for this--it's entirely up to Adobe to act responsibly for its customers, as other companies do with their proprietary image formats.
Photo of Brett N

Brett N, Official Rep

  • 2260 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes
Actually Ken, it is not the responsibility of Adobe to modify your Operating System in anyway. Macintosh computers provide for the thumbnailing of PSD's without any files from us. Microsoft is perfectly capable of modifying Windows on it's own to provide this ability within Explorer.
Photo of Ken

Ken

  • 146 Posts
  • 34 Reply Likes
Actually, Brett, it is Adobe's responsibility to provide a DLL (written to MicroSoft's specs) to provide the thumbnails. That is why Windows allows such extensibility via DLL's. Corel does it for their CDR and CPT and RIF file formats. Xara does it for their XAR format.

If Adobe botched the job writing such a DLL several years ago, they should have more competent developers on staff by now. I know of at least two 3rd party DLL's (one being freeware) that can generate thumbnails for PSD files. Adobe has a whole lot more money than those guys and should do the right thing for the customers of PSE.
Photo of Joanne Taylor

Joanne Taylor

  • 7 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Ok, so this is Jo with the problem. So, how do I get a file from Microsoft or ANYONE that will allow me to view .PSD files in Windows. Viewing them in the Organizer is not as handy when I have gobs of years of photos and am perhaps creating a subset to give/show someone. Then there is the problem that there are some pictures that I changed in Adobe but have taken out of my catalog (work related or non-family related) and don't want to suck it back into Adobe just to view. If there is no work around for this problem, I am assuming that my only solution is to get rid of Adobe and find some other photo editing program that will allow me to view altered files in Windows.
Photo of Brett N

Brett N, Official Rep

  • 2260 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes
I'm not sure what Microsoft has in terms of feature requests or feedback sites such as this one. They probably have some method of contacting them, you may want to start with their web site.

Here is something to keep in mind: Windows doesn't create thumbnails for a number of image formats including TIFF, PDF, and camera raw files. These same formats, like PSD, are provided thumbnails on the Mac OS natively. I look at Windows and Mac pretty equally, each having certain strengths and weaknesses. Creating thumbnails and previews for files is where Windows is the weaker of the two platforms.

In the past we provided a dll file that Windows could use to create thumbnails of PSD files. But this turned out to be the cause of other OS level issues that could not be fixed from our side.

In Photoshop/Elements, there is a feature called Maximize Compatibility. This is an option for saving PSD files. What it does is creates a flattened, JPEG version of your file and embeds it in the PSD. This file is there so that other applications that can't read the PSD info (like layers or smart objects) have something to work with to generate image data. This should be more than enough for Windows to generate thumbnails from.
Photo of Brett N

Brett N, Official Rep

  • 2260 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes
As for creating subsets of images, this is one of the prime functions of the Organizer. The use of Albums and Keyword Tags should be able to accomplish exactly what you are looking for.
Photo of Ken

Ken

  • 146 Posts
  • 34 Reply Likes
Joanne,

The two files I am aware of are from:
1. http://www.fastpictureviewer.com/codecs/ (Commercial license)
2 http://code.google.com/p/sagethumbs/ (Freeware)

Hope that helps.

P.S., Don't accept any excuses from a company trying to fob off its responsibility onto MicroSoft about this one....
Photo of Joanne Taylor

Joanne Taylor

  • 7 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks, Ken, you have been a lifesaver!!!!! I will try the freeware. I am with you that Adobe should provide this capability. I have been a professional software engineer for IBM as well as for Lockheed (software to make planes fly) and whenever you produce software for a particular platform it is your responsibility to satisfy all criteria to make it work properly on that platform. I will definitely not recommend Adobe to family, friends or co-workers as they do NOT stand behind their product.

Thanks for the help! I do not expect any further communication on this issue.
Jo
Photo of Douglas Berrett

Douglas Berrett

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
Make life easier on yourself. Install Irfanview and let it generate the thumbnails for you. Or do like I do, I use it to search for the photos since it jumps from file to file in the same directory very nicely and gives a full screen to boot. Once you figure out which image you want to mess with you can then open it in the editor.
Photo of Blaine Dickman

Blaine Dickman

  • 16 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
This is nuts on the part of Adobe. You are now in the 3D pipeline in a big way and we need a codec to view in Explorer. Bridge is to invasive on resources, a nuisance since nearly all 3D software uses .psd and it's just plain wrong you don't supply a codec. Unless the purpose is to create a third party market :) I'm sick of having to open Bridge to see what alpha I'm clicking on, or having to spend hours creating preview sheets.

At Adobe prices this is no small matter and certainly not Microsoft's responsibility. I've seen that argument and that is ridiculous and insulting to our intelligence.

It's causing such a block in my workflow today I'm going to buy the third party solution right now but wanted to rant a bit about Adobe ignoring this for so long. I guess I'll look at it like a punishment and hope the third party solution works right. Maybe Adobe should hire those people who can do what yours can't seem to do.

I feel better now.
Photo of Stephen Webb

Stephen Webb

  • 4 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Viewing+JPG+vs.+PSD.

When I open Photoshop, all the JPEGs show the actual photo, but the PSDs have to be "clicked on" to show the photo.  Why the difference?  (Sorry if this has already been answered a million times, but I don't know)
Photo of Michel BRETECHER

Michel BRETECHER, Champion

  • 1266 Posts
  • 268 Reply Likes
If you read the posts in the discussion your own post has been branched to, you'll see that it's when you browse your files in Windows explorer that the thumbnails are not shown for psds. And Elements does use explorer windows for file selection and some features.
People using the Organizer generally don't even notice the absence of thumbnails, but if you organize or work frequently from the explorer, the lack of thumbnails is annoying.
The answer is to install a 'codec' in Windows for that purpose. You may find free or affordable ones by Googling 'psd codecs'. Beware of not installing unwanted options when using freewares...
Photo of Lusiana Setiani

Lusiana Setiani

  • 3 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Thsi thread was started years ago and we are still no further forward.

It shouldnt be down to searching for free codecs. its a total disgrace that software that costs so much has such a poor integration with a major os like windows.
And blaming MS just adds insult to injury.
Adobe are the experts in adobe file formats. Talk to MS, go on bended knees if you have to ... but ... just sort it out

ps:
fyi - Im using current CC.
And I've been searching on and off for months now with no success so if somebody can tell me how to get a preview of psd or ai files in windows explorer please please do.
(Edited)
Photo of Michel BRETECHER

Michel BRETECHER, Champion

  • 1266 Posts
  • 268 Reply Likes
You have already got the answers years ago. Nothing new.
Can't you understand that you are using the Explorer, a Windows software?
Please explain how Adobe or any other software editor can change a Windows software?

By the way, if you stay with Adobe software, there is no problem if you use Bridge or the Organizer as a browsing solution.
Photo of Lusiana Setiani

Lusiana Setiani

  • 3 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
forgive me, maybe I am stoopid in some way, but if by this:
Can't you understand that you are using the Explorer, a Windows software?
you mean its MS's problem, then no I cant understand it.

MS cant be expected to make the file viewer work with every file type on the planet. they can provide hooks for software vendors. I pay adobe for their kit - so its up to adobe to make it work to my advantage,

I dont want to use bridge. why reinvent the wheel? it means everything gets more combersome.
I already have to use win ex to view all other files in some project folders - so why on earth cant I use it to see m adobe files
</rant>
(Edited)
Photo of Blaine Dickman

Blaine Dickman

  • 16 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Sage Thumbs is open source and has the codex. Why Adobe does not include one in their software is a mystery to me, but they must have a reason of some sort. Might work for  you and you could find it at sourceforge
Photo of Brett N

Brett N, Official Rep

  • 2260 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes
The inability of Windows Explorer to create thumbnails for PSD files is not a lack of collaboration or information from Adobe. We've provided all the tools they need for integration. Why that still have not after all this time is beyond me. Apple, with the same level of support, have been able to create thumbnails in Finder. So I'm afraid that the good folks at Microsoft are the only ones that will be able to answer this question. 
Photo of Blaine Dickman

Blaine Dickman

  • 16 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Where I get lost is if others can provide a simple solution, why would Adobe not want to do the same, even if Microsoft does not include it in the OS?

I guess as long as other solutions are out there, it does not really matter much. It's just odd.
Photo of Brett N

Brett N, Official Rep

  • 2260 Posts
  • 123 Reply Likes
PSD isn't exactly a closely guarded secret. We provide the information necessary to work with PSD freely to everyone:

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/photoshop.html
Photo of Lusiana Setiani

Lusiana Setiani

  • 3 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Do you see what you're doing up there in your last post Brett? Perhaps not so I'll tell you:
You're just blaming someone else.
Oh yea...And taking me for an idiot.

The fact is that I (your customer) am seriously disadvantaged by this and you (Adobe) are just shrugging your shoulders, wiping your hands and pointing at the other guy.
Oh yea...And taking me for an idiot.
And to me that smells real bad.

So I'm afraid that the good folks at Microsoft are the only ones that will be able to answer this question. 

But the fact is that 3rd party solutions work (ok... some nearly work). So that shoots down your theory that ONLY MS can provide a solution. If some guy in his garage can make it work (ok, nearly work) - then I point blank refuse to believe that all the fantastic talent at Adobe cannot.

We've provided all the tools they need for integration. Why that still have not after all this time is beyond me

Brett, please get off your blame box for a minute and realise that if MS cant (or wont) make it work but apple can, then thats even more reason why YOU (Adobe) need to find the solution here.

I just dont wanna hear "oh deary deary, its beyond me". Thats just not good enough Brett.

And if you really really cant do it without MS's help - then TALK to them. Go the extra mile, go 2 miles if necessary. If someone high level at Adobe speaks up, I'm absolutely sure this could be sorted in days or sooner.

And if MS wont talk to you, make some noise, embarrass them into doing it. Or even as I mentioned before - you get down on bended knees and beg on behalf of your paying customers.

But whatever, ADOBE need to find a solution on behalf of all your paying customers who dont use a mac.
Definitely no more shoulder shrugs,wiping of hands and finger pointing please Brett.

Unless of course the conspiracy theorists are right, and Adobe have no intention of making this work for other reasons?
(Edited)