Unable to Save as JPEG in Photoshop


Today’s Question: I recently got my Mac with the M1 chip set and upgraded to Photoshop 2023. I thought that I had everything under control until I wanted to Save As a JPEG file, but that does not seem to be there anymore. How can I send my photos to friends if Adobe does away with the option to save JPEG files?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can still save photos as JPEG images from Photoshop. The solution in this case is to use the “Save a Copy” command from the File menu, which will enable you to save a copy of the current image as a JPEG file, or any other supported file format.

More Detail: Adobe recently updated Photoshop with a “feature” that prevents you from saving an image in a file format that does not support all the features you’ve used for the image. The aim here is to prevent you from losing important image data, but of course the way it is implemented can lead to some confusion.

JPEG images, for example, don’t support layers, saved selections, layer masks, high bit depth, and more. Let’s assume you opened an image in Photoshop and then added some layers, for example, and then wanted to save a JPEG copy to share with a friend. In earlier versions of Photoshop, you could choose the Save As command, and save a JPEG. If you then closed the layered image, you would be prompted to save the file. Having saved a JPEG, you might assume you don’t need to save again, so you don’t save the updated file. As a result, you will have lost layers and any other features not supported by the JPEG version you saved.

To prevent you from accidentally discarding the special features you may have used for an image, the Save As dialog now only allows you to select among file formats that support the features for the current image. For example, if the image includes layers you could save as a Photoshop PSD or TIFF file, but not as a JPEG or PNG file.

Thus, the addition of the Save a Copy command. When you want to save another copy of the image in a file format that doesn’t support all applicable features for the image, simply choose File > Save a Copy from the menu. This will enable you to save a copy of the source image in any file format you want. For a JPEG image, for example, that means the additional copy would be flattened without any layers and would be in the 8-bit per channel bit depth, for example.

You would still want to be sure to preserve the original image in a format, such as Photoshop PSD or TIFF, that supports all the features you’ve used for the image, but with the Save a Copy command you can still save another copy of the source image in any file format you’d like.