Today’s Question: I often save images as JPEGs to send by email or post on social media. Up until now this has been straightforward, but since the recent update to Photoshop the only options for Save As are PSD, TIFF and JPEG2000. Any idea what is going on?
Tim’s Quick Answer: This is a new “feature” in the 22.4 version of Photoshop. Instead of choosing Save As from the menu, you can select the new Save a Copy command, which will enable the other file formats supported by Photoshop, including JPEG.
More Detail: When you choose the Save As command in Photoshop, you can of course specify the folder location, filename, and file format to be used to save a copy of the current image. However, with the latest update to Photoshop when you use the Save As command you will only be able to select a file format that supports all features or settings for the current image.
For example, the JPEG file format does not support layers, nor does it support 16-bit per channel images. So, if you were working with a 16-bit per channel image with multiple layers, the Save As dialog would not show JPEG as an option. In this case you would want to save as a TIFF or PSD file, for example, in order to preserve the layers for the image.
If you specifically want to save a copy of the image in a different file format for some other purpose, you can use the new “Save a Copy” command on the File menu to overcome this new limitation. When you use the “Save a Copy” command you’ll be able to choose from any supported file format, even if all features used for the current image will not be retained. For example, if you opted for the JPEG file format the resulting JPEG would be in the 8-bit per channel mode and would not contain any layers.
The idea is that Photoshop is trying to help ensure that you don’t accidentally save an image in a file format that doesn’t support some of the features in the current file. The “Save a Copy” command is intended as a way to specifically choose a format even though some features may be lost in that copy.
Of course, it is worth noting that you can preserve special features such as layers in the primary version of the image, and then save an additional copy for a different purpose, such as when you want to create a JPEG for sending via email or sharing online.