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Saving as TIF, how to set "Layer Compression" default as ZIP?

Participant ,
Dec 02, 2023 Dec 02, 2023

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Hi! My workflow in Photoshop has always been non-destructive. Just incase I want to come back, to revisit edits. So I save all the layers, and never flatten. 

With the ever growing size of raw on these newer cameras, I've been hitting the 4GB limitation for layered TIF, even if compression is ZIP. I've found that enabling Layer Compression to ZIP always gets me under the 4GB limit to get it to play nice in my workflow.

Is there a way to set default behavior of Layer Compression to ZIP? I'm tiring of having to Save As, and hitting the ZIP option. 

Thank you!

P.S. is there a better way to use an alternative format like PSB, and have the Lightroom Classic catalog/stack it by default?  I rely on LrC a lot, so that would be a requirement. 

Screenshot 2023-12-02 125437.png

Screenshot 2023-12-02 125453.png

  

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2023 Dec 02, 2023

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I never compress anything, so I wanted to see what zip compression actually does.

 

I took a random file, a few layers, that saves uncompressed at slightly over 2 GB.

With full zip compression it saves at 1.24 GB.

With zip layer compression it saves at 1.25 GB.

 

So far so good. But now to what mainly interests me: how long does it take?

 

Uncompressed it saves in under 2 seconds. Basically instant.

With full zip compression it saves in 44 seconds (!)

With zip layer compression it saves in 35 seconds.

 

I really, really have a hard time seeing how such an insignificant size reduction is worth the long save times. It certainly isn't for me.

 

Now - I use PSB, and I do agree with one thing. There should be a preference to set that as the default format, so that you don't have to choose it every time.

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Participant ,
Dec 02, 2023 Dec 02, 2023

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Thank you for your test, however on my end, the size difference is significant with many layers.

mlphotoraw_0-1701568165298.png

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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OK, but how long does the save take?

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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I fail to understand why the duration of the save matters for the question? 

Im' trying to figure out how to save over 4GB layered photoshop document in TIF, to be able to select default to ZIP, instead of dragging the mouse around to click the radio button on screen everytime. 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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 I use TIFF ZIP regularly because I like to save the space, with many large files the savings does add up.

 

The amount of space saved can vary greatly depending on the bit depth and layer content, so sometimes on the basis of space alone it’s quite worth it, and sometimes not very much.

 

The amount of time it takes to save is always much longer than any other non-ZIP compression. For some people, this is an absolute deal breaker that makes TIFF ZIP unacceptable in a deadline-driven environment. For me, the long save time is only a problem when I really want to close Photoshop and move on; but during an edit session it is not a problem because Photoshop completes the long save in the background as I continue to work in any open document.

 

The bottom line is although it is possible to build a case against TIFF ZIP based on (sometimes) marginal space savings and extremely slow save times, how much this affects each user depends on what they want, and that’s probably why Adobe continues to offer it as an option.

 

There are solid reasons to use PSD (for example, control over individual layers in an imported Photoshop document by InDesign or After Effects is not possible with TIFF or PSB), but I do choose TIFF ZIP for many of my Photoshop documents when it is not going to get in the way.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 02, 2023 Dec 02, 2023

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In a quick test (Intel Mac, Ps2021), the TIFF save settings were sticky, even after quitting and restarting Photoshop.

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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I should try this test on my m2 mbp, I thought I saw the same behavior few months ago. 

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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ok, so I decided to dive into this further tonight. 

I'm running Adobe LrC 13.0.2. and Adobe Photoshop Beta 25.4.0
Based on the few comments here about PSB, I went into LrC preferences and changed the external editing file preference like this: 

mlphotoraw_2-1701656317737.png

I initially thought PSD is same as PSB. I found this out little later that i was wrong. 

My work flow typically, I do the ACR/LR adjustments in the Lightroom Classic, and right click and edit-in... Photoshop:

mlphotoraw_0-1701656115150.png


For this test, I took this image, and expanded the image using the AI crop tool, to give it some file size, and did my usual layer work flow on it. 
 

mlphotoraw_1-1701656203138.png

original is 5760x8640, and resulting image is 8086x12129. 

And then, I saved it, and it gave me an error that the image exceeded the 2GB limit for PSD. So I saved it as PSB as it suggested, and lo-and-behold, LrC recognized the PSB, and stacked the images automatically. 

mlphotoraw_3-1701656400318.png


And then, I tried to replicate the TIF saving issue where it exceeds 4GB, and when I attempted to save it as uncompressed TIF with uncompressed layers it did the same error, suggesting to save as PSB. 

mlphotoraw_4-1701656600928.png



The problem here, is why, within the Lightroom preference panel for external editing, there is only PSD or TIFF. Obviously PSB is the ideal choice here, but is there anyway to have the Lightroom default to PSB for external editing? 

Also is there any way to make the Photoshop default to compress ZIP and Layer ZIP in TIF? So when I have ~50-100 images open in photoshop, going through my workflow, and constantly get interrupted by these error messages, and I have to manually hit OK, and save as PSB or hit Cancel and Save As, and hit the layer compression ZIP radio button. 

Perhaps @Mark.Dahm can point me in the right direction? 

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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@Stephen_A_Marsh 

I just hopped on my m2 mbp, and it exhibits the same behavior as my PC. All screen shots below are from the mac. 
Screenshot 2023-12-03 at 8.51.09 PM.png

 


right here I have to manually click on the ZIP layer compression every time. and it won't remmeber/be permanent. Screenshot 2023-12-03 at 8.52.23 PM.png

 

This is even in Lightroom Classic, external editing tab, has the TIFF ZIP compression turned on. 

Screenshot 2023-12-03 at 8.53.14 PM.png

@Conrad C Thank you so much for your input. A lot of times, I have 50-100s of images open in photoshop, to work as a big batch, and I just keep going to the next tab for next photo to work on while the previous photos "slow save" in TIF. 

I'd just love the option of it saving as layer-zip, or save as PSB, without any interaction from me, so i can keep continuing to focus on working on the next image, like you stated.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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quote

Also is there any way to make the Photoshop default to compress ZIP and Layer ZIP in TIF? So when I have ~50-100 images open…

By @mlphoto.raw

 

I have also seen that Save As to TIFF with ZIP is sticky. That means if I save one file as TIFF ZIP, the next 1 or 1000 files that I Save As will also default to TIFF ZIP. But, the problem is that “sticky” only means it’s re-applying what was done last time. Which means, if for just one file I need to Save As to different specs like Photoshop PSD, now those are the specs that stick, so the next time I need TIFF ZIP, it is time to set it manually again, and now that will stick.

 

It’s worth noting that if the problem is that TIFF/PSD files are exceeding 4GB too often, adding ZIP compression to TIFF will only be an unreliable stopgap, mostly because ZIP space savings can be highly variable depending on content, so the ZIP option will not always be able to get it under 4GB. PSB (Large Document Format) is the only viable long term solution you want to focus on if you have to get past the 4GB limit reliably.

 

quote

And then, I saved it, and it gave me an error that the image exceeded the 2GB limit for PSD. So I saved it as PSB as it suggested, and lo-and-behold, LrC recognized the PSB, and stacked the images automatically.

By @mlphoto.raw

 

For that, you can thank the many users who repeatedly badgered Adobe to add PSB import support to Lightroom Classic so that the increasing number of too-big-for-PSD/TIFF documents could be cataloged. This feature was finally added in 2020, see the feature request Support cataloging PSB files (Status: Released, Upvotes: 174). over on the Ideas section of this community.

 

Adobe has not yet made PSB one of the options for sending from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop. This has already been requested so Adobe is aware that some want it, see Add PSB as a file format for external editing (Status: No status, Upvotes: 9). The request has been sitting there since 2020 and needs to be upvoted and pushed by other users to advance it up past other potential Lightroom Classic feature requests and bug fixes being added by other users to the Ideas list. So it might not happen for a while.

 

Ultimately, if it would save you a tremendous amount of time to make Photoshop save to PSB or TIFF ZIP every time without fail, and if you need it done right now (without waiting for a feature request to be approved and developed) the answer is going to be two parts:

  • A custom Photoshop action or script that does a Save As, chooses the format, and sets the correct options. An action for this could be built in a minute.
  • An easy trigger. For an action, put the Actions panel in Button Mode so you can run that action in one click. Or, map it to a function key or key+modifier, and just whack that key every time you need a save to PSB or TIFF ZIP. Some will map that function key shortcut to their Stream Deck or Touch Portal app so they can hit a button on another device being used as a Photoshop control surface.

 

If this is that critical to workflow efficiency, there are already so many customized automation options in Photoshop that you shouldn’t have to do all those mouse clicks manually or wait for Adobe to make a feature request happen.

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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ok I must have been under a rock, I did not know an action could be created for saving files. 

I already use a macro-capable keyboard to customize a lot of the shortcuts/scripting, so let me attempt right now, and report back! 

Many thanks @Conrad C 

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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Sort of weird behavior, I'm assuming it is my fault? 

I have successfully made "SaveAsPSB" action, and it does work, but the files won't save as the original name, but rather, the last image name I created the action with, is the one that keeps getting saved to.

Is there a way to get it to take the original image name and just add "-Edit" at the end? 

Thank you for helping with this, as I agree, TIFF as ZIP is a stopgap as the raw files get larger and larger.  

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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here's the behavior: 

mlphotoraw_0-1701663357405.png

Since I have created the Save-As PSB action with that one specific file, it will keep writing, any and all image to that file when ran. 😅

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Community Expert ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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@mlphoto.raw wrote:

Since I have created the Save-As PSB action with that one specific file, it will keep writing, any and all image to that file when ran. 😅


 

Actions always record the path to the file, however, it is also possible to include the filename and the path, which is what you have inadvertantly done. Just record saving the file without touching/changing/clicking on the filename.

 

atn.png

 

You can make the step interactive by clicking the modal icon:

 

modal.png

 

This way you should be able to override the save location and filename while still having the ZIP and other settings defaulting.

 

It is also possible to use a script to default to the required ZIP and other save options, including using the current path and filename.

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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Okay. 

So this proposed workaround involves these steps with the modal icon enabled:

  1. Hit the action button, vs the Ctrl-S 
  2.  It's saving to a last known file's open folder, known "bug" in "https://community.adobe.com/t5/lightroom-classic-ideas/p-add-psb-as-a-file-format-for-external-editi... 
    So I have to click on the top bar to find the correct folder, and click on that folder to enter it.
  3.  I must click on File name box, to rename the file from the action's saved name, hit enter.

 

I think I'm gonna stick with save-as (ctrl-shift-s) and wait for the TIF save box to come up, and hit layer compression "zip" button. Its less steps. 
Unless i'm doing something else wrong, and I'm not sure what you mean by "use a script to default to the required ZIP and other save options, including using the current path and filename." I'm a photographer, not a computer scientist 😅

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Community Expert ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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quote

I'm not sure what you mean by "use a script to default to the required ZIP and other save options, including using the current path and filename." I'm a photographer, not a computer scientist 😅


By @mlphoto.raw

 

 

You don't have to be a computer scientist to save and run a script (and photographers can certainly create scripts without being computer scientists).

 

Here is the script code to Save As a layered ZIP TIFF – see if it works for you. The confirmation to overwrite an existing file can be removed if you don't wish to be warned. Unsaved files will be prompted to set a save location and will use the current document name.

 

/*
Save As ZIP TIFF.jsx
v1.1b, 4th December 2023, Stephen Marsh
https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop-ecosystem-discussions/saving-as-tif-how-to-set-default-as-zip/td-p/14273504
*/

#target photoshop

if (app.documents.length) {

    (function () {

        // Save and set the dialog display settings
        var savedDisplayDialogs = app.displayDialogs;
        app.displayDialogs = DialogModes.NO;

        try {
            // Use a custom simplified save process for previously saved files
            activeDocument.path;
            var docPath = activeDocument.path.fsName;
            var docName = activeDocument.name.replace(/\.[^\.]+$/, '');
            var saveFileTIFF = new File(docPath + '/' + docName + '.tif');

            if (saveFileTIFF.exists) {
                // true = 'No' as default active button
                if (!confirm("The file '" + docName + ".tif' exists, overwrite: Yes or No?", false))
                    return;
            }
            // Use true to Save As a Copy, false to Save As
            saveTIFF(saveFileTIFF, false);

        } catch (e) {
            // Use the standard Save As dialog for unsaved documents
            var idsave = stringIDToTypeID("save");
            var desc392 = new ActionDescriptor();
            var idas = stringIDToTypeID("as");
            var desc393 = new ActionDescriptor();
            var idbyteOrder = stringIDToTypeID("byteOrder");
            var idplatform = stringIDToTypeID("platform");
            var idIBMPC = stringIDToTypeID("IBMPC");
            desc393.putEnumerated(idbyteOrder, idplatform, idIBMPC);
            var idencoding = stringIDToTypeID("encoding");
            var idencoding = stringIDToTypeID("encoding");
            var idzip = stringIDToTypeID("zip");
            desc393.putEnumerated(idencoding, idencoding, idzip);
            var idsaveTransparency = stringIDToTypeID("saveTransparency");
            desc393.putBoolean(idsaveTransparency, true);
            var idlayerCompression = stringIDToTypeID("layerCompression");
            var idencoding = stringIDToTypeID("encoding");
            var idzip = stringIDToTypeID("zip");
            desc393.putEnumerated(idlayerCompression, idencoding, idzip);
            var idTIFF = stringIDToTypeID("TIFF");
            desc392.putObject(idas, idTIFF, desc393);
            var idin = stringIDToTypeID("in");
            desc392.putPath(idin, new File("~/Documents/" + activeDocument.name.replace(/\.[^\.]+$/, '')));
            var iddocumentID = stringIDToTypeID("documentID");
            desc392.putInteger(iddocumentID, 986);
            var idlowerCase = stringIDToTypeID("lowerCase");
            desc392.putBoolean(idlowerCase, true);
            executeAction(idsave, desc392, DialogModes.ALL);
        }

        app.displayDialogs = savedDisplayDialogs;

    }());

} else {
    alert('A document must be open to run this script...');
}


function saveTIFF(saveFileTIFF, aCopy) {
    tiffSaveOptions = new TiffSaveOptions();
    tiffSaveOptions.embedColorProfile = true;
    // ByteOrder.MACOS or ByteOrder.IBM
    tiffSaveOptions.byteOrder = ByteOrder.IBM;
    tiffSaveOptions.transparency = true;
    tiffSaveOptions.layers = true;
    tiffSaveOptions.layerCompression = LayerCompression.ZIP;
    tiffSaveOptions.interleaveChannels = true;
    tiffSaveOptions.alphaChannels = true;
    tiffSaveOptions.annotations = true;
    tiffSaveOptions.spotColors = true;
    tiffSaveOptions.saveImagePyramid = false;
    // NONE | JPEG | TIFFLZW | TIFFZIP
    tiffSaveOptions.imageCompression = TIFFEncoding.TIFFZIP;
    activeDocument.saveAs(saveFileTIFF, tiffSaveOptions, aCopy, Extension.LOWERCASE);
}

 

 

  1. Copy the code text to the clipboard
  2. Open a new blank file in a plain-text editor (not in a word processor)
  3. Paste the code in
  4. Save as a plain text format file – .txt
  5. Rename the saved file extension from .txt to .jsx
  6. Install or browse to the .jsx file to run (see below)

 

https://prepression.blogspot.com/2017/11/downloading-and-installing-adobe-scripts.html

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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Code branches merged...

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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This worked absolutely beautifully! I assigned it to a function key, and using that as a save. I modified it a lil to have "-Edit" to follow the LrC naming convention for Photoshop edited images. 

Is there a command to get the save dialog to be in the background? like here:

mlphotoraw_0-1701671585047.png



vs the dialog that prevents me from moving to a different image to work on:

mlphotoraw_1-1701671619359.png

Thank you so much for this, this will improve my workflow a bunch already.




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Community Expert ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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quoteIs there a command to get the save dialog to be in the background? like here:

mlphotoraw_0-1701671585047.png



By @mlphoto.raw

 

 

How did you get that background save result? The files that I am testing are not that big so they are near instant!

 

Save? or Save As?

 

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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to get that "save in background" to come up, I just saved normally, Ctrl+S, to initiate default save.

The "progress" window is with the script you provided.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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That's what I thought... What happens when you manually use Save As or Save As a Copy? That is what the script is doing, it isn't using Save, it's using Save As.

 

I could make a different script to duplicate the current file, close the original without saving changes and then use Save to save it back to the same path with the original filename (minus copy).

 

Perhaps that would force the background Save without the progress dialog from Save As.

 

EDIT: Scratch that idea, it still uses Save As.

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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mlphotoraw_0-1701672898210.png


when using Save As, its doing the background save thing. 

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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when using Save As, its doing the background save thing. 

 


By @mlphoto.raw

 

OK, I have modified to a 1.1b version of the previous script, does this now have the dialog suppressed?

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Participant ,
Dec 03, 2023 Dec 03, 2023

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mlphotoraw_0-1701674044550.png

unfortunately still there.

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