When you save your files, you have another prime opportunity to save time and optimize Photoshop performance. The following sections discuss how, where, and when you can save time and space as you save your files.
Saving Files in 16-Bits/Channel Mode
Not only can working on files in 16-Bits/Channel mode slow down many of the processes, such as applying filters, using the Extract command, rotating content, and so forth (as was discussed previously in the chapter) but also saving files can take considerably longer. If you have finished correcting the image and optimizing it for output, there's no benefit in keeping it in 16-Bits/ Channel mode, other than keeping the option open for editing it again at some future date. Convert it to 8-Bits/Channel mode before saving it or sending it to your printer if speed and space are a higher priority for you.
After you have optimized and purposed a CMYK document, you can remove the embedded profile, which can reduce file size and help speed the saving process. This can amount to a considerable saving of disk space and time if you are purposing hundreds of files. To remove a profile, choose Image ^ Mode ^ Assign Profile. In the Assign Profile dialog box (Figure 1-11), select Don't Color Manage This Document.
TIP If a special recipe was used to do the conversion to CMYK, it's usually a good idea to keep notes of the settings used in case you need to match conversions or you are asked to edit the file.
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Figure 1-11: You can remove a profile from a document by choosing Image ^ Mode ^ Assign Profile and then "Don't Color Manage This Document."
The number of layers and alpha channels in your file can also impact on the size of the file and consequently the time it takes to save it. You can minimize the file size and the time it takes to save the file by deleting any empty layers, merging others that do not benefit from being standalone layers, and deleting alpha channels that you no longer require.
When you save a file in the native Photoshop file format (PSD), you can include a flattened, composite version, as well as all the layers, layer sets, adjustment layers, blend modes, and styles that go to make up your file. The flattened version can then be used by older versions of Photoshop and applications that do not support all the Photoshop features used to create the file. However, the downside is that it can take considerably longer to save the file and can increase the file size unacceptably, especially if you are working on very large files.
If you feel your workflow is unlikely to benefit from a file that also includes a flattened version, you can elect never to include a flattened version, or to do so always, or sometimes (Figure 1-12). To tell Photoshop how you would like to save PSD files, open the Preferences dialog, choose File Handling from the pop-up menu at the top of the dialog box, and then select an option for Maximize PSD File Compatibility.
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Figure 1-12: You can save time and disk space by electing not to save a flattened version with your PSD file automatically or to do it on a case-by-case basis.
It has to be said that Adobe has been putting out couched warnings about the blend modes "possibly" changing in a future version of Photoshop and hinting (almost insisting with Photoshop 7.0) that you should include a flattened version. The company says that the composite version may be the only true representation you will see when you open your file. If you choose never to include a flattened version when you save in the PSD format, you may like to factor that veiled warning into your decision-making process. However, many people are ignoring it, especially people who work on very large files, because Photoshop can take a considerable time to generate a composite when the file is saved to disk.
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Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.