Converting a PNG Image


Today’s Question: I have a PNG file that I would like to convert to a JPEG or TIF in Photoshop. Is this possible?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, absolutely. You can convert an image to any other supported image format with either the “Save As” or “Save a Copy” commands in Photoshop. The same is possible from Lightroom Classic using the Export command.

More Detail: Photoshop enables you to save a copy of an image into any other supported image format. The only issue in Photoshop relates to whether the image you are trying to save in a given format includes features that are not supported by the format you’re trying to save in.

For example, the PNG (Portable Network Graphics) image format supports both 8-bit per channel and 16-bit per channel mode, while you can only save a JPEG image in the 8-bit per channel mode. TIFF images can be saved in all supported bit depths in Photoshop.

Understandably, most photographers are accustomed to using the “Save As” command when they want to save the current image as a new file, possibly in a different file format. However, with a recent update to Photoshop you will only see file formats that support all features of the current image if you use the “Save As” command.

Instead, I recommend using the “Save a Copy” command, which enables you to save a new copy of an image in any supported image format, even if the current image includes features that are not supported by the format you intend to save in.

For example, the PNG image you’re trying to save to a different file format may be set to a bit depth of 16-bits per channel. If that is the case, using the “Save As” command you would not see the JPEG file format as an option. You could, however, use the “Save a Copy” command instead, which enables you to save in any format supported by Photoshop, even if the source file includes features not supported by the destination format.

The reason the “Save a Copy” command is helpful in this context is that the source image will remain as it is. You’ll simply be creating a new file in the selected format in addition to the source file you’re saving from.