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Why Can’t I Save Photoshop as PDF?

Last updated on December 20, 2022 @ 1:52 pm

When it comes to image editing, Photoshop is the gold standard. The software has been around for over three decades and is used by professionals in a wide range of industries, from graphic design and photography to web design and advertising.

One of the most common tasks in Photoshop is saving an image as a PDF. However, for some users, this can be a frustrating experience. There are a number of reasons why you might not be able to save Photoshop as a PDF, but fortunately, there are also a few things you can do to fix the problem.

What is Adobe Photoshop?

From graphic design and illustration to photo retouching and 3D animation, Photoshop is the universally-required image editing package. Photoshop may have begun as a photo-editing program, but it has since expanded greatly; today, “if you can dream it, you can make it,” as Adobe puts it.

To be specific, Photoshop is a raster graphics editor and design program that lets you make, alter and manipulate photos, illustrations, and other digital media. It also supports importing images from a variety of file formats, as well as the creation and editing of raster images with multiple layers. Photoshop is a program created by Adobe Systems that can run on both the Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

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After its creation by Thomas Knoll and John Knoll in 1988, Adobe Systems paid for the rights to distribute the program officially. There have been countless updates to Photoshop since then. All sorts of creative professionals rely heavily on Adobe Photoshop, including web designers, graphic artists, photographers, and the like.

What is a PDF file, and where can you use it?

PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format used to represent documents in a platform-independent way. PDF files are supported by a wide range of devices, including desktop and laptop computers, PDAs, and even mobile devices.

This makes PDF files perfect for sharing documents with friends and family, as well as sharing them with a wider audience online. In addition, PDF files are easy to print, so you can easily create hard copies of your documents.

PDF files

PDF files are commonly used to store and share documents. They’re easy to open and print, and they can be used in a variety of ways. For example, you can use a PDF file to store your resume or to create a business plan.

You can also use a PDF file to transfer money electronically or to share documents with other people. In short, PDF files are a versatile and useful tool, and you should use them whenever possible.

Common reasons why you can’t save a photoshop edit as a PDF

One of the most common reasons why you might not be able to save Photoshop as a PDF is that you’re using an older version of the software. While Photoshop CS6 and earlier versions had the ability to save images as PDFs, this feature was removed in Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud). As a result, if you’re using an older version of Photoshop, you’ll need to upgrade to the latest version in order to save your images as PDFs.

Another reason why you might not be able to save Photoshop as PDF is that you’re trying to save an image that’s too large. PDFs have a maximum file size limit of 10 MB, so if your image is larger than this, you won’t be able to save it as a PDF. To fix this problem, you’ll need to resize your image before trying to save it.

Finally, another reason why you might not be able to save Photoshop as PDF is that you don’t have permission to do so. This usually happens when you’re trying to save a file that’s located in a protected folder, such as your system32 folder. If this is the case, you’ll need to give yourself permission to save files in that folder before you are able to save your Photoshop file as a PDF.

Importance of saving PSD as Photoshop PDF

Saving a Photoshop file (PSD) as a Photoshop PDF is usually unnecessary. Eventually, you will lose information and mobility.

But there is one significant exception. Save your Photoshop file as a PDF if you plan to use any vector layers (shapes or type) from it in a different layout that will be printed.

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that your Photoshop file will be embedded in an Adobe InDesign file. Create a PDF of your Photoshop file and ensure that “Preserve Photoshop Editing Capabilities” is selected. Then, import the PDF file into InDesign in place of the PSD.

This is due to the fact that importing a PSD into an INDD file causes it to be flattened and rasterized. Since InDesign rasterizes PSDs before printing, the print version of your document will have a lower resolution for any vector artwork, including type. In particular, rasterized type is much more difficult to read than the vector-preserving type.

However, vector information (such as a type) in a Photoshop PDF that has been properly placed will remain crisp all the way through the printing process.

PRO TIP: When attempting to save a Photoshop file as a PDF, you may receive the error message “Why Can’t I Save Photoshop as PDF?” This is because the PDF format does not support all of the features of the Photoshop file format, and some data may be lost when converting from one format to the other. To avoid losing data, it is recommended that you save your Photoshop files in the native PSD format or export them to PDF using a third-party tool.


There are a number of reasons why someone might not be able to save their Photoshop file as a PDF. The most common reasons are due to using an older version of Photoshop, trying to save an image that’s too large, or not having permission to do so. However, there are also a few things that can be done in order to fix these problems.

Dale Leydon

Dale Leydon

Sysadmin turned Javascript developer. Owner of 20+ apps graveyard, and a couple of successful ones.