PSD vs. PSB: What are the Differences Between PSD and PSB?

Google is filled with PSD vs. PSB and I know that you have heard a lot that Photoshop supports two file format in which it stores all the information like layer, tone, color etc. but you should prefer to save it with PSD, not with PSB. If this is the case, then why is there a PSB format? This question also bugged me for few days and then I googled it out to do some research. I have gathered enough information and I am going to aggregate all the relevant differences between PSD and PSB file in this article.

Last month I posted an article on keyboard shortcuts of Photoshop which has become quite a hit. If you want, you can have a look at it. Here’s the article of Photoshop Keyboard shortcuts.

What is the Full-form of PSD and PSB?

PSD stands for Photoshop Document

PSB stands for Photoshop Big file or Photoshop Bloated file. There is no evidence present, at least I could not found, of being the correct one.

What is the Difference Between PSD and PSB? It’s PSD vs. PSB

I am sure that you will have some rough idea of the difference between them by reading the full-form of those two.

PSD is a universally accepted format to store a Photoshop file. Many software and websites are able to read a PSD file. An example is that when you save a PSD file on your windows or macOS, both OS are able to show you the preview of the file. This means that they can read the file without having any need of Photoshop.

There are many websites which can also read PSD format. Last month I uploaded a PSD file to my Dropbox account and I was amazed that Dropbox was able to show me the preview of the file. Although I was not able to edit the file which I totally understand.

Every cool thing comes with a limitation. The limitation of PSD file is that you cannot save big Photoshop files in PSD format. For a big file, you need to go with PSB.

What are the Capacities of PSD and PSB?

A PSD file can save a file only up 30,000 x 30,000 pixels in size which is already a huge size. Given that only a few DSLRs have 36 MP camera and the resolution is 7360 x 4912 pixels, I don’t think that your image will cross 30,000 x 30,000 pixels.

If we do some calculation, 30,000 multiplied by 30,000 is 900,000,000 pixels. So, your camera will need to higher than 900 Megapixels (900 million pixels) if you unwillingly want to go with a PSB file. In other words, if you have a camera that is lower than 900 MP, you can go with PSD file.

Yes, PSB supports file which has more than 30k x 30k pixels. But, there will always be an upper cap, right? The upper cap of a PSB file is 300k x 300k pixels. So, unless you have a camera of 90000 MP or 90 Gigapixel, you can use a PSB file.

I have also heard that a PSB file is more stable than a PSD file if the file size crosses 2 GB mark but I am not sure on this. I enlarged a photo and the saved it with a PSD file with a size of 2.7 GB but Photoshop was quite stable with the file also. Yes, it was lagging a bit but that’s OK. I don’t have a super computer. My machine runs with an i5 processor, has 4 GB graphic memory and 8 GB RAM.

I know a little more on how Photoshop process a PSD and PSB file but that’s not relevant. I have written all the relevant information regarding the difference. But you like a curious then you can refer this article by Adobe.

If you know anything regarding this difference and like to share with the fellow Photoshop folks, write it down in the comment.

Have a nice day!