Photoshop Top 40, Feature #1: Open and Save

Yesterday, Adobe officially announced its forthcoming parade of graphics applications, Creative Suite 5. One day later, I close my 9-month video countdown Photoshop Top 40 with Feature #1. Timing the end of my Top 40 to the beginning of CS5 seemed like an awful long shot back in July when I started this thing. But Adobe hit its dates, we hit ours, and the two came together as planned.

Just as CS5 and Photoshop Top 40 represent a kind of alpha and omega—one beginning, the other bidding farewell—Feature #1 embodies the alpha and omega of any image-editing cycle: Open and Save.

If Open and Save sound a tad bit anticlimactic, remember that these are no ordinary Open and Save commands. File > Open can parse any major image format created in any previous version of Photoshop or any other product without any loss of information. It can also convert the published vector formats to smoothly rendered, color-accurate pixels. Meanwhile, File > Save treats all image formats as native, to the best of each format’s ability. That is, you can save layers and masks to any format that supports them, and paths and metadata even to those formats that don’t.

When I told my producer that I planned to make Feature #1 Open and Save, he shook his head woefully and groaned. But if the record responses to the last The Final 10 Contest are any indication, you guys saw it coming. Hundreds of you guessed the right answer or something very close. Those of you who nailed it—who guessed Open and Save, in that order, and no other command—numbered 111!

Alas, I had to choose one and only one über-winner. And that is dcarr from North Reading, MA, who erred on the side of too much information with “File > Open and File > Save.” Donna, you did it!

Thanks to for producing these videos, to Fotolia for providing the images, and to the many sponsors who provided prizes. And most of all, thanks to you.

Next entry:Martini Hour 061, In Which Cap’n Deke Helps Us Navigate the High Photoshop Seas

Previous entry:Next Week: Photoshop CS5 Top 5


  • Yes…..Finally We Celebrate

    Congratulation Sir…you Did it!!! your top 40 epic was awesome…..


    Black Seals ... White Reveals…!

  • #1 answer

    Wow I actually finally get the right answer for the most important 1 but didn’t win. It was fun anyway following along the top 40 and guessing your toppers. Thanks again and until next time….

  • Top 40

    Your presentations on the top 40 were excellent learning experience. The expertise and depth were outstanding. I continue to go over them and I find something I missed the first time. Thanks again for putting on such a great show.

    Dick Morris

  • Gary Anderson What a

    Gary Anderson

    What a generous series of informative videos this has been. Thank you so much. There were so many tips and helpful bits of info embedded, it was just a delight each Tuesday morning.

    I look forward to next weeks breakdown of the “real” CS5.

  • Congratulations

    Congratulations to the winner!  Deke, I love your videos and books.


  • Who Da Man?

    What a great series, thank you so very much Deke

    Bit of a Photoshop nut.

  • Many, many thanx to U

    Monsieur Deke,

    your contest has been as challenging as it has been instructive. I wish i had teachers like you when i was younger,

    as i might’ve ended up much wiser.

    I’ll keep reading, watching and learning.

    Having myself done a couple of video training for podcasts, i can only imagine how much work it must have been.

    So, i really want to provide you with all my congratulations, for you (who made it), for your family (who had to deal with it) and for every (if any) member of your staff.

    My best regard to a great mensch.

    Carmina One

  • Wow, congratulations dcarr!

    Oh crap, I didn’t guess it either wink hehehe… but the contest was real fun anyway grin

  • What a great series!!!

    Bravo Deke (from Hong Kong)!! Looking forward to more great stuffs from you!!

  • aie aie…

    I am very happy for the winner..congratulations to the winner from Brazil…I was one of the 111 who guessed the answer accurately…too bad!!! but it was really fun and the podcasts are excellent, far better than the previous ones which were a bit too quick and with lots of flash pictures a bit confusing…

    thanks Deke and looking forward for the next features of CS5


  • Feature #1

    Who would have thought that the most boring feature possible would grab the number 1 spot!!!

    Well… if you think about it, it’s a “DUH” kinda thing.

    That being said… Photoshop Top 40 is one fun way to learn about all that Photoshop has to offer!

    Thank you Deke… I cannot wait for you CS5 One-on-One series!!!!


  • It has to end… (?)

    Found your website around feature 4 and I have to say it is a treasure.

    Would love to see something done the same way for InDesign or Illustrator.

    Im just not ready for this relationship to end…..

  • #1 Answer Congrats

    Wow Congrats to dcarr for winning! The only guess I ever entered was for the #1 feature and I got it right so I’m pretty happy about that! Great series Deke, fun and informative as always, looking forward to seeing the top features of CS5 which alas I won’t be able to use either….


  • Congrats dcarr and great series Deke!

    Congratulations to the winner!! And a great series Deke! Well it had to end now but do come up with such great series again!

  • The End

    Deke thank you for these I looked forward to Tuesday night for the past 12 weeks now keep up the excellent work!

  • Awww

    This stinks, I put “New” and “Open”. I was so mad at myself later because I didn’t think of “Save”. Oh well, for it being the only time I voted it was pretty close. Congrats to the winner, good job with being over-detailed, in this case it really set you apart and you won! :-D


  • Groan

    Now that was a terrible choice of Photoshop “features.”

    90% of the features in those 2 functions are from the OS, not the app. I watched the whole video and barely saw anything that was Photoshop, it was almost all Windows. Oh yeah, it can export files and convert them to TIFF and JPEG too? Well that’s an OS function with plugins like QuickTime. Come on gimme a break.

  • The top 40

    Deke, thanks for your amazing, informative, superb, fun, delightful and infuriative (when you don’t get the right answer!) series.

    Too bad it had to end.

    Can we have another one soon?

  • Great Series

    Looking forward to your next endeavor with CS5.

    Thank you for your time.  See you in Las Vegas.

  • Photoshop’s support for JPEG and TIFF

    Has nothing to do with the OS or a plug-in. Which is rather the point, btw. And nothing I showed was enabled or augmented by Windows, except for the wrapper around the dialog boxes.

    Also worth noting, TIFF is owned by Adobe, and Photoshop is the format’s steward. For example, it was Photoshop that introduced TIFF layers, layer compression, and the image pyramid.

    Just fyi.

  • Thanks for all the positive comments!

    I enjoyed making the series. Haven’t decided what sort of video blog I might do next, so the weekly videos will be on hiatus after Photoshop CS5 Top 5. But I’ll come up with something, never you fear. wink

  • re-Groan

    I noted your presentation began with an excessively long demonstration of WIndows file association with apps, which took place outside Photoshop, and in fact, works exactly the same way for any app. So that was entirely Windows.
    But I am not a Windows user, I am a Mac user as any right-minded Photoshop user should be. And I note that, in MacOS X at least, you can operate Photoshop without ever using the Open dialog. You don’t even have to associate file types with the app. You merely go to the Finder, drag and drop the file onto the Photoshop icon in the dock, and it will open. So one of your features really does not belong as the #1 most important feature, it really wouldn’t even make the list at all, since it is completely unnecessary and could be removed from Photoshop entirely without losing any functionality. And that eliminates the need for about half your presentation on the video.

    Now of course I know that the Save dialog users Adobe’s proprietary storage geekery, which to a large extent, duplicates features found in standard MacOS save dialogs. Take a look at the bare minimum Apple-supplied image app, Preview. It can convert file formats, even save in Photoshop format (no layers and fancy stuff though). Yeah, you can do layers, that’s a sub-feature. I know other programs that can export .psd layered files.

    So, would you please take another crack at explaining to me, what was in your presentation that was a unique to Photoshop feature in the Save dialog that made this feature worthy of being dubbed the most important feature in Photoshop? Every app has a Save dialog. Many of them have OS-level JPEG and TIFF conversion.

    It really looks to me like this selection of #1 as Open/Save was a stunt. Your producer was right to groan. I am curious about your contest entries, what did the USERS think was the #1 most important feature, out of the ones you hadn’t demonstrated yet?

  • LZW vs. ZIP

    Hey Deke,

    Thanks for the awesome series! I’m a bit curious about the TIFF compression options. I’ve been using ZIP compression for my .tif files for a while now, but is LZW that much better for some reason? What are the fundamental differences? Why should I not use ZIP?

    Keep up the good work, can’t wait to see your CS5 material.


  • I too had the right answers

    I too had the right answers yet didn’t win. How many others had right answers? Huh ?

  • I didn’t win but…

    I didn’t win any of the prizes. I wish I had. They were very fantastic prizes and it’s perfectly understandable that we’d feel deep disappointment if we didn’t win, especially if we got the answer right.

    But Deke has also been generous in giving us all the excellent Top 40 tutorials - for free! It’s a resource I will be dipping into again and again and recommending to everyone. Does it really matter what feature Deke regards as number one when I need to look at feature 10 or 30 or 26 to get a job done?

    Regarding what Chas said: “But I am not a Windows user, I am a Mac user as any right-minded Photoshop user should be.”

    I use both Mac and Windows. I had to buy a Mac because most graphic firms in the UK use Macs and want me to be Mac compatible (that may change with the current economic climate being what it is - firms that use the old G4 and G5 and that want to upgrade to Adobe CS5 will find it cheaper to switch to Windows). Apart from feeling an ache in my wallet after buying the Mac, I was disappointed to find that the shortcut keys had been dedicated to Mac specific tasks.

    I could go on, but I have noticed all over the web anyone who dares diss anything Mac is shot down in flames. I have a wife that depends on me and don’t want a fatwa on my head.

  • NIce finish

    Exelent finish deke!

    Oh an congratz to the winner,

  • WOW

    I am truly shocked and amazed that I won. I want to thank everyone who played and know exactly how you feel, that it sure would be nice to win these amazing prizes and they sure would come in handy to help expand Photoshop’s capabilities. I empathize with you as I’ve been there many times.

    I thought I’d try to submit answers just to see if I could answer correctly.  I didn’t expect to win, but I could sure use the items in the prize. As a Graphic Designer and Digital Imaging specialist I need these to help me further my skills and career.

    I already have learned so much from Deke, having done several of his books and Photoshop training classes.  He really rocks!  Here’s to keep on learning and mastering Photoshop!  I may have a Martini to celebrate!

    Thanks again. Keep up the inspiring work, the awesome training and all the tips, Deke!

  • I think you’ll find if you

    I think you’ll find if you removed the open command, the drag and drop method (which is a shortcut) wouldn’t work. It’s plain and simple to me why this was feature number one, opening and saving are essential commands - without them Photoshop would be rendered useless.

    This series is based on the word essential, not pretty.

    Ps Great series Deke - can’t wait for the new videos!

  • PS would be

    useless without Open and Save as it is.  As for being a Mac user, at present that would be someone that uses an Intel based processor, like a Windows based machine, that runs a version of Unix, no?  The lines there are getting more and more blured as I type…

    Thanks for the Mini-Series Deke!

  • Know Deke…

    Well, here is a plain and painfully long exemple of someone who doesnt know Deke… knowing Deke, is like voyaging to the deepest, most unknown places of the universe. It takes a while to get there and once you are there, you slowly begin to understand its beauty & complexity.

    I’ve been there once and since… I wanna think like Deke, looks like Deke… It’s like Jack and the Na’vi people… you simply want more and more!!!

  • All right Dang It

    I’ve been trying to win a shirt…. is there a place I can buy one, have not seen a link here yet (been look’in too)?

    You and your crew ROCK!!!

  • Educational to its finger tips

    Thanks Deke for a great learning experience.

  • I love your videos and books.

    That’s all!

Share your feedback, work, homages, questions, wisecracks, advice, critiques, riffs, derision (within reason), frustrations, and love of all things graphical. Log in (or register) to lend your voice.