#67 Know when to use Save, Save As, and Save for Web & Devices
When you are working on a project in Photoshop (or any program for that matter) it is important to “Save” the file IMMEDIATELY and frequently “Save” as you work over time. I know a lot of people who just work on their project with the file un-saved and named as “Untitled” and eventually lose their file after hours of work. One of the worst feelings in the world is to build a Masterpiece and lose it all with one quick “unexpected error.”
Get into the habit of saving your work with this method no matter how insignificant the file may be. It is much easier to delete a file than it is to recreate one from scratch.
“Save As” is a great tool to rename a file on the spot or keep a record of your work. Simply put, it allows you to save your current document under a different name. I use this as a tool when designing or rendering.
When you reach a point in your work where you are satisfied, but would like to continue working on it to experiment or further develop it, use the “Save As” feature to keep the file “As is”.
Here is an example of file names:
Thesis Render - 1 - No Background
Thesis Render - 2 - Full Entourage
Thesis Render - 3 - FINAL (Layers)
Thesis Render - 4 - FINAL (Merged with Overlay)
Then at any point you can reference the file at a specific point in the design timeline. You can also delete any of these at any time to save space.
Another great thing about “Save As” is that you can open a file with properties similar to a new drawing you wish to do, delete out layers you do not want, and save the document as new. This will save a lot of time in setting up Fonts, Color Pallets, Canvas Size, Etc.
Save for Web & Devices
This feature is especially important when saving images for ONLINE use. Any time you save an image it will use the current canvas size when it exports. Luckily, sites like Tumblr and Facebook will automatically resize an image for you to be compatible for viewing, but the quality of the photo might get lost in transition.
When you “Save for Web & Devices” you decide what size the file is by the pixel instead of by the inch. This is especially important in web design because the files will show up as it was exported without compression. Anything you save in this manner will automatically look better online.
I have gotten into the habit of only saving with this method if my work is only going to be used on the internet. If I am physically printing my work, I will select the proper size in inches with the “save” or “save as” option so it doesn’t come out too small.
Here is a quick guide for saving:
Pixels for Internet - Inches for Printing
Also reference RGB vs CMYK as this will determine the quality of your output based on use as well.